New Publications

The City has created two new publications to offer residents an easy way to learn what is allowed when it comes to urban agriculture. These resources will equip residents with knowledge to successfully practice urban food production and be a good neighbor.

Urban Ag 101

11-page booklet with flow-charts and key contact information.

Policy Summary

One-page brochure summarizing key elements and regulations.

City Policies Supporting Urban Ag

The City of Lawrence has approved a series of policies to support urban agriculture, expanding the ability of residents to produce local, healthy food at home and creating opportunities to pursue commercial production.

The City of Lawrence encourages all residents practicing urban agriculture to conduct their activities responsibly and in a manner that does not negatively impact their neighbors. For example, gardeners need to maintain their garden areas to prevent runoff, such as water, mud, or fertilizer, from flowing onto a neighbor’s property after a rainy day. Animal areas must be maintained in a clean and sanitary manner. Compost piles should be properly managed to not attract vermin or produce bad smells.

A wealth of resources, trainings, and experts exist within our community to ensure all can develop the skills to successfully pursue urban agriculture. See the Community Resource section below for an overview of where to look to have questions answered and find trainings to support urban agriculture in Lawrence.

The City of Lawrence Land Development Code now defines:

  • What practices residents can do “by-right”
  • What regulations limit those practices based upon zoning, lot size, etc.
  • An “Urban Farm” Special Use Permit for activities that exceed the allowed practices
  • The way urban ag regulations will be enforced

Remember: Regardless of your urban agriculture activities, it is always important to respect your neighbors. Maintain open communication that builds positive relationships. For example, all garden areas.

Additional Information and Resources

Learn about what is allowed by-right and what your responsibilities are when practicing urban agriculture. Topics include small animal agriculture (chickens & ducks, small goats & sheep, and bees), crop agriculture, on-site agricultural sales, and how to apply for an urban farm Special Use Permit.

Quick Reference
The Douglas County Food Policy Council created two user-friendly guides to help you learn the basics of urban agriculture regulations in Lawrence.

Full Text
To dig into the detail and reference the official language surrounding urban agriculture, review:

  • Urban Ag Ordinance
  • City of Lawrence Land Development Code
    • Urban Ag is a use category in the use table in Article 4.
    • Agriculture, large animal is in Section 20-502
    • Animal Agriculture, Small is in Section 20-547
    • Crop Agriculture is in Section 20-548
    • On-Site Agricultural Sales is in 20-550
    • Urban Farm is in 20-551

How do I find my zone?

Go to the City of Lawrence Interactive Map

  • Click on Layers List
  • Select Zoning Layer
  • Find your property

I have more questions—who should I contact?
The City of Lawrence Planning Department is your best first-stop for all questions about practicing urban agriculture in Lawrence.

Call:
785-832-3150

In person:
1st floor, City Hall, 6 East 6th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044

Contact:
Mary Miller
City/County Planner
785-832-3147
mmiller@lawrenceks.org

Successful urban agriculture practices are safe and sanitary for humans, the environment, and any animals involved. When activities do not align with the standards and requirements laid out within the City Code, inspection may be required, with the possibility of fines and removal of animals.

For property maintenance and code violations:

Development Services
785-832-7700

Stray or mistreated animals

Animal Control
785-832-7650

Douglas County Food Policy Council
As an advisory body to the City of Lawrence and Douglas County Commissions, the DCFPC seeks to identify the benefits, challenges and opportunities for a successful, sustainable local food system in Lawrence and Douglas County, Kansas.

  • The DCFPC collaborated with the City of Lawrence Planning Department in updating local urban agricultural policies. It serves as a forum for public input about policy barriers and opportunities to support local, healthy food production and consumption.
  • The DCFPC also provides a list of Local Food Resources and Partner Organizations.

For more information, contact:
Helen Schnoes
Douglas County Food Systems Coordinator
785-832-5157
hschnoes@douglas-county.com

K-State Research & Extension—Douglas County
The local office for K-State Research & Extension provides a range of technical support and training to Douglas County residents to help them grow and produce food safely. They host a special page dedicated to Urban Agriculture resources.

For more information about opportunities for workshops, trainings, and technical assistance, contact:

Roberta Wyckoff
Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent
785-843-7058
rwyckoff@ksu.edu

Marlin Bates
County Director
785-843-7058
batesm@ksu.edu

Common Ground Community Garden Program
This City of Lawrence program connects interested residents with community spaces to garden.

Backyard Composting—City of Lawrence Solid Waste Division
The City provides online resources and periodic trainings on how to properly maintain a compost pile for vegetative food scraps and garden debris in your backyard.

  • In addition, the City sells backyard compost bins to help residents easily start their composting. Contact 785-832-3030 to reserve your bin.
  • Worm Composting is another at-home approach to turn food scraps into a nutrient-rich humus to add to gardens.

For more information or to sign up for a Compost 101 class, contact: recycling@lawrenceks.org

Lawrence Public Library
The library boasts a number of informative books to support successful urban agriculture activities.

Each spring, the Library hosts a Seed Library, offering seeds to the community and providing associated information and programming. Learn out hit works!

Northeast Kansas Beekeepers Association