Please attend these public hearings and support the new zoning ordinance for community gardens

Submitted by Evelyn Kiefer on Wed, 05/16/2007 - 15:15.

Community gardens play an important role in our city and its neighborhoods.  They are a source of fresh produce for those who don't have the space at their own residence.  Gardening is a great form of exercise.  Being in contact with nature and the soil relieves stress.  A strong sense on community grows quickly in a shared gardening space.  Crime levels drop around community gardens. These are just a few of the reasons to support community gardening.
 
About 6 weeks ago, Cleveland City Council created a new zoning ordinance for gardens.  This assists in the preservation of community gardens by making the process of land use changes public.  For instance, if a community garden is officially zoned as such, and a developer wanted to purchase that lot from the city, there would now have to be public hearing to rezone the lot to commercial, residential, etc.
 
St. Paul's Patch, on West 45th just south of Franklin Blvd, is slated to be one of the first community gardens to go through this official process of being zoned as a garden.  The public hearings are slated for

         Friday, May 18th, 9 am City Hall room 514  (Must bring ID to enter City Hall)
         Wednesday, May 30th 1pm City Hall room 217

Because this is the initial use of this new zoning, we would like to show great support for the initiative that the City of Cleveland is pursuing and the effect it can have on the preservation of community gardens.
 
If you can attend one or both of these meetings, please do.  We want to show City Council that our community gardens are important to us and to the city.
 
Please forward this information to anyone you think may be interested in this initiative.
 
Finally, if you cannot attend, but are interested in showing your support, please email me a letter that I may present at the hearing as a testimonial of the neighborhood's support for our garden and all community gardens.
 
Thank you for your time and commitment to our neighborhoods.
 
-Beth Mancuso (albethfam [at] sbcglobal [dot] net)

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Benjamin Franklin Gardens

One of the oldest and most beautiful gardening efforts in the city can be found behind Benjamin Franklin school on Spring Rd in "Old Brooklyn."  Thank you Evelyn for making us aware that we have to be proactive to save these spaces, which will be snatched up by developers if we are not vigilant.  I will try to make the May 30th meeting or at least send a letter.  I will forward this information to the CDC.  I hope they are on it.  Update:  the gardens behind Benjamin Franklin are owned by the school board.  All the more reason, to stay vigilant and protect the gardens, before they become a casualty of "planning."