Posts Tagged 'value-added'

New Opportunities for Miami-Dade Farmers

Yesterday a group of us spent the day downtown. It was a long day of waiting, but it was well-spent. The Miami-Dade County Commission unanimously (12-0, 1 absent) passed 3 ordinances updating acceptable uses for AU (agriculture) zoning. We wrote about these elsewhere in this blog and in the Redland Rambles blog. The amazing thing about this was that when the proposed ordinance were presented, they each showed 9 of the 13 commissioners as co-sponsors. It was very heartening to see just how much support has gathered behind the local farm community.

So what does this all mean? Well, it means that now farms actively engaged in agriculture production within Miami-Dade County will no longer be prohibited from carrying out farming-related activities (so called ‘cottage industries’). They now can, for example, run a B&B or engage in value-added activities such as making preserves or ice cream right on the farm (provided, of course, that all the appropriate licensing etc is obtained-the ‘gummint’ must extract their pound of flesh from these new potential income streams).

You may not see many changes right away. Farms will need to put infrastructure in place and get properly licensed before they can engage in these new activities, but I guarantee you will see more farm events, exciting farm products, and agri-tourism-oriented destinations down in the Redland area. It might well make the difference between continuing to farm and selling out to developers.

Thank you, Commissioners, for putting your faith and support behind us!

Help support local agriculture!

Commissioner Katy Sorenson is the Chairwoman of the Budget, Planning, and Sustainability Committee.  There are three very important ordinances coming before her committee which will help increase the viability of small farmers and promote our area as the most progressive county in the country for eco, agri and culinary tourism.

Commissioner Sorenson’s committee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 9th at 2pm.  These three ordinances are the first items on the agenda.

Please read the attached information. Briefly:

Ordinance # 093209 is what we call the “Value Added Ordinance”.   It will allow us to process products from what we grow and allow us to diversify and vertically integrate our operations.

Ordinance # 093195 is the “Bed and Breakfast Ordinance” which will allow us to open our property to overnight guests.  This is an important long-range approach to educating the general public about small local farms.  People who have an experiential connection to our agricultural way of life then better understand and support our agricultural area.

Ordinance # 093192 is a specific value added proposal that will allow for the production of beer and distilled sprits in addition to the already existing production of tropical fruit wines.

Please contact Commissioner Sorenson at District8@miamidade.gov and let her know of your support for these ordinances if you are not able to attend. It will come before the full commission at a later date when we will need lots of support again.  We’ll keep you posted.

All this information is at:  http://www.miamidade.gov/govaction/commagenda.

The scheduled agenda items are listed below:

1G1 093192 Ordinance Sen. Javier D. Souto, Co-Sponsor ORDINANCE AMENDING SECTION 33-1 OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA (”CODE”), TO PROVIDE DEFINITIONS OF FARM-RELATED BREWERIES AND DISTILLERIES; AMENDING SECTION 33-279 OF THE CODE TO PERMIT BREWERIES AND DISTILLERIES IN THE AU (AGRICULTURAL) ZONING DISTRICT; MODIFYING CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS FOR WINERY, BREWERY, DISTILLERIES AND ANCILLARY USES; PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE (DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING & ZONING)(Department of Planning & Zoning)   PDF 1/21/2010 Adopted on first reading by BCC Passed 13 – 0 1/21/2010 Tentatively scheduled for a public hearing before the Budget, Planning and Sustainability Committee Hearing Date: 2/9/2010 1G2

1G2 093195 Ordinance Sen. Javier D. Souto, Co-Sponsor ORDINANCE PERMITTING BED AND BREAKFAST ESTABLISHMENTS IN THE AU (AGRICULTURAL) ZONING DISTRICT SUBJECT TO CERTAIN RESTRICTIONS; PROVIDING STANDARDS; AMENDING SECTIONS 33-1, 33-124 AND 33-279 OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA; PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE (DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING & ZONING)(Department of Planning & Zoning)   PDF 1/21/2010 Adopted on first reading by BCC Passed 13 – 0 1/21/2010 Tentatively scheduled for a public hearing before the Budget, Planning and Sustainability Committee Hearing Date: 2/9/2010 1G3

1G3 093209 Ordinance Sen. Javier D. Souto, Co-Sponsor ORDINANCE AMENDING SECTION 33-279 OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA TO PERMIT CERTAIN ADDITIONAL USES THAT ARE ANCILLARY TO AN ONGOING AGRICULTURAL USE OR DIRECTLY SUPPORTVE OF AGRICULTURE IN THE AU (AGRICULTURAL) ZONING DISTRICT; PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE (DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING & ZONING)(Department of Planning & Zoning)   PDF 1/21/2010 Adopted on first reading by BCC Passed 13 – 0 1/21/2010 Tentatively scheduled for a public hearing before the Budget, Planning and Sustainability Committee Hearing Date: 2/9/2010


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