Permitting Regulations

Before starting an Urban Agriculture endeavor in Boston, you must receive the appropriate permits .The Harvard Food Law & Policy Clinic has been working with the City of Boston to create permitting guides for new farmers. Below, please find additional information for ground level farms.

The Harvard Food Law & Policy Clinic now has a guide available for those looking to start a Ground-Level Farm on less than an acre of Land.

If you are looking to start one of the following, please contact us at 617-635-0710:

  • Hydroponics: The growing of plants in nutrient-enriched water.

  • Aquaponics: Combines the farming of fish and shellfish with the growing of plants in nutrient-enriched water.

  • Rooftop Agriculture: Area of a rooftop that is used for Urban Agriculture for commercial purposes, whether for profit or non profit.

  • Freight Farms: Means standardized reusable steel box previously used for the storage that has been re-purposed for a Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) use, such as Hydroponics and/or Aquaponics.

  • Other innovative food-growing ventures

Article 89 

Since 2010, the Boston Redevelopment Authority and the Office of Food Initiatives has run a community-based effort to write Article 89, and after hosting 18 Urban Agriculture Working Group meetings, eleven neighborhood meetings, and revising multiple drafts, in December 2013, Article 89 was adopted by the City to allow for commercial urban agriculture. Article 89 makes it possible for farmers to grow and sell their produce in the city.

Visit the BRA’s website for more urban agriculture zoning information and to read Article 89.
Read Article 89

The BRA has also written an Article 89 User’s Guide that breaks down the language in Article 89.
Article 89 Made Easy

Soil Safety Protocol
Urban Farming Soil Safety Compliance Certificate Application

More Information About Urban Agriculture Rezoning