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Vancouver eyeing regulations for urban farms

The City of Vancouver is poised to introduce a new series of licensing and size regulations for residential and urban farms.

New bylaws aimed at urban farmers selling to restaurants or at farmers' markets

There are approximately 18 urban farm businesses operating in Vancouver (Getty Images)

The City of Vancouver is poised to introduce a new series of licensing and size regulations for residential and urban farms. 

A city staff report recommends limiting residential farms to 325-square metres and restricting commercial farms to 7,000-square metres.

The proposed bylaws would only apply to farmers selling produce to restaurants or at farmers' markets. 

"We are only recommending fruits and vegetables because the safety and risk issues are much lower than they would be say for animals," said Mary Clare Zak with the City of Vancouver.

The city says there are currently about 18 urban farm businesses operating in Vancouver.

The recommendations are scheduled to go before council Feb. 23. If they are approved, the city is considering a public hearing in March or April. 

Staff will monitor the effectiveness of the regulations and report back to council in late 2017.

"We're going to be working very closely with our partner at Vancouver Coastal Health to ensure the growing is done in an appropriate way," said Zak.

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