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Which US city is the best for urban farming/keeping livestock?

 
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My city has very strict zoning laws which mean that agriculture is impossible here, but my hometown Houston is famous for it's lack of zoning so I thought that it would be a good place for me to start my urban farm. Unfortunately, in lieu of de jure anti-agricultural zoning, Houston has de facto zoning in the form of ridiculously stringent "animal welfare laws" and "nuisance regulations" that make it functionally impossible to keep anything other than egg-laying hens, because you need a ridiculously large amount of space per animal (something like half an acre per goat or sheep, one acre per equine no matter if it's a tiny miniature donkey or a giant draught horse) which means that unless you're a multi-millionaire who purchases several adjacent big lots, you can't have these animals, because they need to be kept in groups of 2 or more and you won't find multi-acreage in town, and even if you could, if your rooster does what roosters do and crows, or your livestock do what all livestock do and poop and create a smell, that's a violation of "nuisance regulations", and even if by some miracle you can abide by all that, you can't process your goats or your chickens or your rabbits at home, you have to load them into a truck and take them to someone else who you have to pay to kill them.


I'm just trying to compile a list of cities, or close-suburbs of cities that allow the keeping of goats (both genders), chickens (both genders), sheep (both genders) and pretty much every other animal, without ridiculous regulations with regards to how much noise the animals are allowed to make, whether they're allowed to smell like animals, without telling me how I should use my land and how much space I need etc. Once I know what cities are worth even looking into, I can start narrowing down where to live. It has to be urban or close in suburban, because the conditions that my fiancée has given me for becoming a farmer is that we have to be in or right near a substantial city, and since this is what I want to do, I have to do all of the work solo. Since I would prefer to keep this relationship I would like to see if it is even possible to do so, if there is nowhere that fits my needs then I will have to consider rural areas and doing this truly solo.
 
pollinator
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Detroit all the way. Land is cheap, you can almost always just use the abandoned lots around you. There are no rules against livestock (and if you stick to the devastated urban areas there is no one to complain) and the city is actually in favor of increased food production. There is also a major permanent farm market in the city as well as a whole bunch of potential customers near by. Plus it's not as terribly cold as it's latitude would suggest. check it out
 
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Location: Stone Garden Farm Richfield Twp., Ohio
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The Ohio Legislature passed the "Agri-Tourism Law" a year ago. It says in part that any farmer that opens their farm to visitors (tourists essentially) can't be sued for any accidents, injuries or death that occurs on the farm as the result of farm related activities. The main second part of the law states that Townships can't require building permits (or other nuisance laws) for agri-tourism farms. So, ...Ohio is a great place to farm because if you simply post an Agri-Tourism Sign, lawyers and Townships can't mess with you. --And there are many rural areas very close by to urban centers.
 
Ælfred Micela
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stephen lowe wrote:Detroit all the way. Land is cheap, you can almost always just use the abandoned lots around you. There are no rules against livestock (and if you stick to the devastated urban areas there is no one to complain) and the city is actually in favor of increased food production. There is also a major permanent farm market in the city as well as a whole bunch of potential customers near by. Plus it's not as terribly cold as it's latitude would suggest. check it out




I will look into it, it seems as though land can be purchased for very cheap there. It would be cool to turn a city block into our pasture. Is it safe though? Will I need 10 foot high electric fencing so that people don't steal my goats?
 
Ælfred Micela
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Jim Fry wrote:The Ohio Legislature passed the "Agri-Tourism Law" a year ago. It says in part that any farmer that opens their farm to visitors (tourists essentially) can't be sued for any accidents, injuries or death that occurs on the farm as the result of farm related activities. The main second part of the law states that Townships can't require building permits (or other nuisance laws) for agri-tourism farms. So, ...Ohio is a great place to farm because if you simply post an Agri-Tourism Sign, lawyers and Townships can't mess with you. --And there are many rural areas very close by to urban centers.




That's awesome but what does agri-tourism constitute? Does it mean that we have to open our home to whoever, whenever just like any other public business, or does it just mean that I can have certain days when I allow people to come and see my animals?
 
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