These questions request ones that were asked at a Nov. 28, 2011 public meeting.

 How do I access water at these sites?

The sites listed on the online Request for Applications noted with an asterisk (*) currently have an active water meter.  The ones that do not have active meters may be able to have one installed, but it depends upon proximity to water lines, accessibility, and the future intended use of the sites.
If you’d like to propose vegetable/fruit production that requires irrigation, please note this in your application.  On a site-by-site basis we will evaluate the feasibility of installing water metering infrastructure, and work with applicants to determine responsibility for installation costs.

How do I pay for water usage?

Applicants will be required to set up an account with the City of Lawrence, and will be charged for water usage.  If it is just for irrigation, the meter will only be charged for water and no other utilities (i.e. sewer, solid waste collection).

The sample license states that applicants must provide proof that they have at least $500,000 in Comprehensive General Liability insurance.  How can applicants meet this requirement?

First, be sure to contact your insurance agent to see if you current Farm Liability insurance or other policy can be extended to cover the parcel you wish to farm.  If not, you will need to get a quote for a General Liability Insurance policy to cover the parcel.  NOTE:  proof of insurance is not required during the application stage.  Only if you are matched with a site will the City and County require proof of insurance.

What types of projects can we propose in the Community Benefit Plan?

Please be creative!  The Community Benefit Plan component of the application is intended to help us meet our program goal of increasing access to local food for Lawrence and Douglas County residents. Therefore, Community Benefit Plans should directly benefit local residents and organizations that serve our community.

Can any farm animals be raised on these properties?

Chickens and ducks are allowed per Article 5 of Chapter 3 of the City Code:  “The maximum total number of permitted fowl allowed to be owned or kept on an individual lot is one animal per 500 square feet of lot size, rounded down, but in no event will the total number of permitted fowl on any lot exceed 20.”

Please explain any interest you have in raising chickens and/or ducks in your application.  This will be considered on a site-by-site basis, but might not be appropriate for all sites.

What other city codes should I be aware of?

Obviously, farming within city limits is different that out in the agriculturally-zoned regions of the county.  The full list of city codes is available at:

In particular, you may want to review the following sections:

  • FENCES: Chapter 16- Section 601, Chapter 20- Section 1506
  • NOISE:  Disturbing the Peace: Chapter 14- Section 413
  • PARKS:  Chapter 15
  • NOXIOUS WEEDS: Chapter 18- Sections 301:308
  • TREES:  Chapter 18 – Sections 101:109

Can I build a shed, hoophouse, or other building on the parcel?  Can I post a sign?

Any structures would need to be reviewed by the Planning Office, and any requests for signage would be processed through Development Services.

How can I submit my application?

Email your completed application to Helen Schnoes, Douglas County Sustainability and Food Systems Planner, at

If you prefer to drop off a paper application, you can do so at:
City Hall, 4th floor – City Manager’s Office
County Courthouse, 2nd floor – County Administrator’s Office