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Anyone know if a food forest is OK in Washington County OR?

 
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Hi,

We are looking at some land in Washington County that's zoned forest/agriculture that currently grows hay and has some cattle on it. Around the property are lots of row crops of various sorts. What I'm wondering and will be calling the county on is what is the acceptability of creating a food forest on the land? I'd like to put in numerous ponds, swales, and recontour the land somewhat, then plant all sorts of different plants. It will look quite messy in comparison. Reading up on all the problems with getting permits fills me with a little unease.

I was wondering if anyone has experience doing this sort of thing? Is it even possible?

thanks
 
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I have a food forest in Washington County OR. I am in the suburbs but not in a homes association. There are certain restrictions in the county on trees in the sidewalk strip. Some trees are approved. Some not allowable, then there are some in the middle. I planted some in the middle at my other house and it was ok. It will be much tougher if you are in a Homes Association.

http://www.co.washington.or.us/LUT/Divisions/CurrentPlanning/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&pageid=172136

That's the document you need.
John S
PDX OR
 
Todd Hoff
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John Saltveit wrote:I have a food forest in Washington County OR. I am in the suburbs but not in a homes association. There are certain restrictions in the county on trees in the sidewalk strip. Some trees are approved. Some not allowable, then there are some in the middle. I planted some in the middle at my other house and it was ok. It will be much tougher if you are in a Homes Association.

http://www.co.washington.or.us/LUT/Divisions/CurrentPlanning/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&pageid=172136

That's the document you need.
John S
PDX OR




Thanks John, it's on 40 acres so I'm no so worried about street trees. I'm more worried about installing a network of ponds and swales alone with a non traditional mix of crops and crop organization.
 
John Suavecito
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I wouldn't worry about crops, traditional or otherwise. Many people have hobby farms and market gardens/farms here. This is one of the best places in the US to do that.

Some people, who I've heard on the podcasts but who shall remain nameless, have said that they think that asking for forgiveness is a better strategy than asking for permission on the earthworks. This is a very tricky area. You might call Washington County and ask about a friend who has a "language problem but needs to know about the rules." Let them assume that the language problem is a lack of knowledge of English rather than not wanting to say who you are. I would also talk to others here who have done this or are considering. Have you contacted the Forest Grove Grange? I've found them to be really interesting and helpful, particularly for what you're trying to do.
John S
PDX OR
 
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