|Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
|Dec 18, 2013||
|Dec 06, 2013||
delivered to governor
|Jun 13, 2013||
returned to senate
ordered to third reading rules cal.187
substituted for a3743
|May 29, 2013||
referred to agriculture
delivered to assembly
|May 08, 2013||
advanced to third reading
|May 07, 2013||
2nd report cal.
|May 06, 2013||
1st report cal.554
|Mar 05, 2013||
reported and committed to finance
|Jan 16, 2013||
referred to agriculture
senate Bill S2372Signed By Governor
Expands the powers and duties of the office of community gardens
Archive: Last Bill Status - Signed by Governor
- In Committee
- On Floor Calendar
- Passed Senate
- Passed Assembly
- Delivered to Governor
- Signed by Governor
view actions (14)
May 29, 2013 - floor VoteS2372601floor60Aye1Nay0Absent2Excused0Abstained
show floor vote details
Floor Vote: May 29, 2013aye (60)
May 6, 2013 - Finance committee VoteS2372310committee31Aye0Nay1Aye with Reservations1Absent3Excused0Abstained
show Finance committee vote details
Finance Committee Vote: May 6, 2013aye (31)aye wr (1)absent (1)
Mar 5, 2013 - Agriculture committee VoteS2372100committee10Aye0Nay1Aye with Reservations0Absent0Excused0Abstained
- show floor vote details
S2372 - Bill Details
S2372 - Bill Texts
Expands the powers and duties of the office of community gardens.
view sponsor memo
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the agriculture and markets law, in
relation to expanding the powers and duties of the office of community
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill has many purposes. First, to
enact a comprehensive legislative finding that supports the concept and
work of those involved in the community gardens movement. This is impor-
tant as a demonstration to state agencies, municipal governments, and
not-for-profit charitable organizations that the transfer of vacant
lands to be used as community gardens is an important public policy
objective that should be pursued. Second, the bill expands the powers of
the Office of Community Gardens that is within the Department of Agri-
culture and Markets to promote community gardens. These new duties can
be carried out at the option of the Department of Agriculture and
Markets so there is no fiscal impact to this bill.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1: Adds a new Ag. & Markets Law section 31-f to establish legis-
lative findings that community gardens provide significant health,
educational, and social benefits to the general public, especially for
those who reside in urban and suburban areas of this State. Community
gardens help to provide low cost nutritious and fresh foods to the
general public, especially to the disadvantaged and poor; promotes
health and healthier lifestyles by encouraging better eating habits and
increased physical activity, fosters the retention of open spaces in
urban areas of our state's cities and villages, provides inexpensive
community building activities, helps to reduce the incidence of crime,
and engenders a closer relationship between urban residents and nature
and their local environment.
Section 2 & 3: Amends Ag. & Markets Law section 31-g to expand the types
activities that the Office of Community Gardens may pursue. In the
definitional section, it expands what types of activities are considered
to be "garden" activities, expands the definition of "municipality", and
adds a new definition for "state agency" to reduce the verbiage in this
Among the new types of activities that the Office may participate in, if
the Office wishes to do so, are the following:
- To assist groups that wish to establish community gardens, the Office
can help to develop a single recommended application form to request a
state agency or municipality to use certain vacant lands for community
- Assist community garden groups in their activities and encourage the
better coordination of activities between such groups and school garden
programs and local voluntary food assistance programs, such as food
pantries and soup kitchens that provide food for the poor and disadvan-
- Encourage better communication between and sharing of resources
between community garden groups and the New York Kids Week Program
provided for under the Ag. & Markets Law, and individual farm-to-school
and school garden programs. The purpose of this section is to make a
better connection between the activities of community gardens and the
educational activities of already existing school programs, if such
schools wish to do so.
Section 4: Amend Ag. & Markets Law section 31-i to include municipal
vacant land in addition to state agency controlled vacant land.
Section 5: Adds Ag. & Markets Law section 31-j to authorize the Commis-
sioner, if he or she wishes, to convene a Community Gardens Task Force.
The membership of the Task Force can include appropriate state agencies,
existing community garden organizations, and various municipalities to
solicit input and representation into the activities of the task force.
The task force can look into encouraging the establishment and expansion
of community gardens, encourage cooperation between community gardens
and voluntary food assistance programs, and increase the benefits
provided by community gardens.
JUSTIFICATION: The legislative findings contained in section 1 of this
bill outlines the many social, economic, health, educational benefits
that are provided by community gardens to young and old alike. See
section 1 of this bill which outlines such benefits and the justifica-
tion for this bill.
Article 2-C, that established the Community Gardens, was first enacted
in 1978. It was then re-codified with other sections of the Ag. &
Markets Law in 1986, but with few changes made to this article with
regard to the powers of the Office of Community Gardens or the activ-
ities that could occur within community gardens. This bill updates Arti-
cle 2-C to better reflect the current needs of the community garden
movement and the activities that may be conducted by the Office.
With New York's, and the nation's current economic troubles, it is
important to update the state's Community Gardens Law to better reflect
New York's current economic conditions and needs. First, land use laws
and practices within city, village and suburban areas have changed and
community garden activities need to be better integrated with such
current land use laws, policies, and trends. Second, New York needs to
promote self-help activities that can enhance our communities with
regard to providing better and more healthy foods for young and old
alike, encourage more physical exercise to increase overall physical
well being, provides community residents with a forum in which to
participate in community activities, and encourages the use of the read-
ily available vacant lands that currently exist in many urban and
village centers. The enactment of this bill is long overdue.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S. 4906 - Senate Finance, Passed Assembly
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1st of year in which it shall have become law.
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S T A T E O F N E W Y O R K ________________________________________________________________________ 2372 2013-2014 Regular Sessions I N S E N A T E January 16, 2013 ___________ Introduced by Sens. KLEIN, GRISANTI, MONTGOMERY, SAVINO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Agriculture AN ACT to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to expand- ing the powers and duties of the office of community gardens THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Article 2-C of the agriculture and markets law is amended by adding a new section 31-f to read as follows: S 31-F. LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS. THE LEGISLATURE HEREBY FINDS AND DECLARES THAT COMMUNITY GARDENS PROVIDE SIGNIFICANT HEALTH, EDUCATIONAL AND SOCIAL BENEFITS TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC, ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE WHO RESIDE IN URBAN AND SUBURBAN AREAS OF THIS STATE. FURTHERMORE, IT IS THE ARTICULATED PUBLIC POLICY OF THIS STATE TO PROMOTE AND FOSTER GROWTH IN THE NUMBER OF COMMUNITY GARDENS AND THE ACREAGE OF SUCH GARDENS. THE COMMUNITY GARDEN MOVEMENT CONTINUES TO PROVIDE LOW COST FOOD THAT IS FRESH AND NUTRITIOUS FOR THOSE WHO MAY BE UNABLE TO READILY AFFORD FRESH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES FOR THEMSELVES OR THEIR FAMILIES, PROMOTES PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTHIER INDIVIDUAL LIFESTYLES BY ENCOURAGING BETTER EATING HABITS AND INCREASED PHYSICAL ACTIVITY BY GROWING THEIR OWN FOOD, FOSTERS THE RETENTION AND EXPANSION OF OPEN SPACES, PARTICULARLY IN URBAN ENVIRONMENTS, ENHANCES URBAN AND SUBURBAN ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY AND COMMUNITY BEAUTIFICATION, PROVIDES INEXPENSIVE COMMUNITY BUILDING ACTIVITIES, RECREATION AND PHYSICAL EXERCISE FOR ALL AGE GROUPS, ESTAB- LISHES A SAFE PLACE FOR COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT AND HELPS TO REDUCE THE INCIDENCE OF CRIME, ENGENDERS A CLOSER RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN URBAN RESI- DENTS, NATURE AND THEIR LOCAL ENVIRONMENT, AND FOSTERS GREEN JOB TRAIN- ING AND ECOLOGICAL EDUCATION AT ALL LEVELS. IT IS THEREFORE THE INTENT OF THE LEGISLATURE AND THE PURPOSE OF THIS ARTICLE TO FOSTER GROWTH IN THE NUMBER, SIZE AND SCOPE OF COMMUNITY GARDENS IN THIS STATE BY ENCOUR- EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD06611-01-3 S. 2372 2 AGING STATE AGENCIES, MUNICIPALITIES AND PRIVATE PARTIES IN THEIR EFFORTS TO PROMOTE COMMUNITY GARDENS. S 2. Subdivisions 2 and 3 of section 31-g of the agriculture and markets law, as added by chapter 862 of the laws of 1986, are amended and a new subdivision 4-a is added to read as follows: 2. "Garden" shall mean a piece OR PARCEL of land appropriate for THE cultivation of herbs, fruits, flowers, NUTS, HONEY, POULTRY FOR EGG PRODUCTION, MAPLE SYRUP, ORNAMENTAL OR VEGETABLE PLANTS, NURSERY PRODUCTS, or vegetables. 3. "Municipality" shall mean any county, town, village, city, school district [or], BOARD OF COOPERATIVE EDUCATIONAL SERVICES, other special district, OR ANY OFFICE OR AGENCY THEREOF. 4-A. "STATE AGENCY" SHALL MEAN ANY DEPARTMENT, BUREAU, COMMISSION, BOARD, PUBLIC AUTHORITY OR OTHER AGENCY OF THE STATE, INCLUDING ANY PUBLIC BENEFIT CORPORATION OF WHICH ANY MEMBER OF WHOSE BOARD IS APPOINTED BY THE GOVERNOR. S 3. Subdivision 2 of section 31-h of the agriculture and markets law, as added by chapter 862 of the laws of 1986, is amended to read as follows: 2. The duties of the office shall include: a. Upon request, the office shall assist in the identification of vacant public land within a given geographical location and provide information regarding agency jurisdiction and the relative suitability of such lands for community gardening purposes; b. Serve as a coordinator on behalf of interested community groups and the appropriate state or local agencies to facilitate the use of vacant public lands for community garden use for not less than one growing season by receiving and forwarding with recommendation completed appli- cations to the appropriate STATE OR MUNICIPAL agency. PROVIDED, FURTHER, THAT THE OFFICE MAY DEVELOP A SINGLE RECOMMENDED APPLICATION FORM TO BE USED BY COMMUNITY GROUPS WHEN APPLYING TO STATE AGENCIES OR MUNICI- PALITIES FOR USE OF VACANT PUBLIC LAND FOR COMMUNITY GARDEN PURPOSES; c. Support and encourage contact between community garden programs already in existence and those programs in the initial stages of devel- opment; [and] d. Seek and provide such assistance, to the extent funds or grants may become available, for the purposes identified in this article[.]; E. ASSIST, SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGE CONTACT AND COOPERATION BETWEEN, AND THE COOPERATIVE SHARING OF RESOURCES BETWEEN COMMUNITY GARDEN GROUPS, SCHOOL GARDEN PROGRAMS AND LOCAL VOLUNTARY FOOD ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS, SUCH AS COMMUNITY FOOD PANTRIES, SOUP KITCHENS, AND OTHER COMMUNITY AND NOT-FOR-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS THAT PROVIDE OR DISTRIBUTE FOOD TO THE POOR AND DISADVANTAGED. SUCH SUPPORT CAN INCLUDE THE PROVISION OF SURPLUS COMMUNITY GARDEN FOOD OR OTHER AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS TO SUCH LOCAL VOLUNTARY FOOD ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS; AND F. ASSIST, SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGE COMMUNICATION, AND THE SHARING OF RESOURCES BETWEEN COMMUNITY GARDEN ORGANIZATIONS AND THE NEW YORK HARVEST FOR NEW YORK KIDS WEEK PROGRAM ESTABLISHED BY THE DEPARTMENT PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION FIVE-B OF SECTION SIXTEEN OF THIS CHAPTER, AND INDIVIDUAL FARM-TO-SCHOOL AND SCHOOL GARDEN PROGRAMS. S 4. Section 31-i of the agriculture and markets law, as added by chapter 862 of the laws of 1986, is amended to read as follows: S 31-i. Use of state OR MUNICIPALLY owned land for community gardens. 1. Any state agency[, department, board, public benefit corporation, public authority] or [commission] MUNICIPALITY with title IN FEE OR OF A LESSER INTEREST to vacant public land may permit community organizations S. 2372 3 to use such lands for community gardening purposes. Such use of vacant public land may be conditioned on the community organization possessing liability insurance and accepting liability for injury or damage result- ing from use of the vacant public land for community gardening purposes. 2. State agencies AND MUNICIPALITIES which have received an applica- tion for use of public lands for community garden purposes shall respond to the applicant within thirty days and make a final determination with- in one hundred eighty days. S 5. The agriculture and markets law is amended by adding a new section 31-j to read as follows: S 31-J. COMMUNITY GARDENS TASK FORCE. 1. THE COMMISSIONER MAY CONVENE A COMMUNITY GARDENS TASK FORCE TO IDENTIFY AND DEVELOP WAYS TO ENCOURAGE STATE AGENCIES, MUNICIPALITIES AND PRIVATE PARTIES TO ESTABLISH AND EXPAND COMMUNITY GARDENS AND THE ACTIVITIES CONDUCTED BY SUCH GARDENS. 2. THE TASK FORCE SHALL BE CHAIRED BY THE COMMISSIONER, OR BY SUCH OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT AS SHALL BE DESIGNATED BY THE COMMISSIONER. THE MEMBERSHIP OF THE TASK FORCE MAY INCLUDE REPRESEN- TATION FROM APPROPRIATE STATE AGENCIES AND MEMBERS THAT REPRESENT EXIST- ING COMMUNITY GARDENS, COUNTIES, CITIES, TOWNS, VILLAGES, SCHOOL DISTRICTS, OTHER SPECIAL USE DISTRICTS, PUBLIC AUTHORITIES AND COOPER- ATIVE EXTENSION SERVICES. 3. THE COMMISSIONER, MAY REQUEST THE ASSISTANCE OF STATE AGENCIES TO CARRY OUT THE WORK OF THE TASK FORCE. 4. (A) THE GOALS OF THE TASK FORCE MAY INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO, THE STUDY, EVALUATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF RECOMMENDATIONS: (I) TO ENCOURAGE THE ESTABLISHMENT AND EXPANSION OF COMMUNITY GARDENS BY STATE AGENCIES, MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENTS AND PRIVATE PARTIES, (II) TO ENCOURAGE COOPERATION BETWEEN THE ACTIVITIES AND OPERATIONS OF COMMUNITY GARDENS AND PROVISION OF DONATED FOOD TO LOCAL VOLUNTARY FOOD ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS FOR THE POOR AND DISADVANTAGED, AND (III) TO INCREASE THE BENE- FITS THAT COMMUNITY GARDENS MAY PROVIDE TO THE LOCAL COMMUNITY IN WHICH THEY ARE LOCATED. (B) IN ACHIEVING THE GOALS OF THE TASK FORCE, THE TASK FORCE MAY CONSIDER RECOMMENDATIONS THAT: (I) ENCOURAGE THE EXECUTION OF CONSERVA- TION EASEMENTS BY STATE AGENCIES, MUNICIPALITIES OR PRIVATE PARTIES TO ESTABLISH OR PROTECT COMMUNITY GARDENS, (II) ENCOURAGE THE CREATION OF MECHANISMS TO TRANSFER DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS TO PROTECT COMMUNITY GARDENS OR ENCOURAGE THE DONATION OR LEASE OF LANDS FOR COMMUNITY GARDENS, (III) DEVELOPMENT OF MODEL ZONING CODES, LOCAL LAND USE LAWS OR OTHER MUNICI- PAL POLICIES THAT COULD ENCOURAGE THE ESTABLISHMENT OR RETENTION OF COMMUNITY GARDENS, AND (IV) ANY OTHER ACTIVITY TO ACHIEVE THE GOALS DEEMED APPROPRIATE BY THE TASK FORCE ACCORDING TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE. S 6. This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law.
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