Angelenos would no longer need permission to plant vegetable gardens on strips of city-owned land between roads and sidewalks under a proposal forwarded to the City Council today.
Gardeners would be able to sow to their hearts' content in residential areas as long as the plants don't impede people's ability to walk on nearby sidewalks or through publicly owned areas.
The plants also cannot be poisonous, controlled substances such as marijuana, invasive or noxious, nor exceed 24 or 36 inches in height, depending on the location.
Enforcement of the restrictions would be prompted only by complaints from the public.
The Los Angeles Board of Public Works voted 5-0 to support the Bureau of Street Services recommendations, which is scheduled to be considered by the City Council Wednesday.
"This is an important first step in creating a simplified process for residents wishing to harvest their own food," Monica Rodriguez of the Public Works Commission said. "The environment will benefit, the gardens will increase our supply of food, and it represents a significant way to bring neighbors together."
The policy requires approval by the council, with city attorneys yet to draft an ordinance.
With officials still working out the rules, the City Council in August waived enforcement of a law that makes edible vegetable gardens illegal.
Two years ago, South Los Angeles resident Ron Finley enlisted neighbors and friends to grow an urban garden of onions, broccoli, celery, peppers and other vegetables along a 150-foot-long strip along Exposition Boulevard near his home.
Finley was cited for the garden. He gathered signatures for a petition challenging the rule restricting the gardens, eventually gaining the support of council members like Herb Wesson, who helped initiate a study on amending the city code.
Two more gardeners were cited in July, prompting community members and the news media to look into what became of a study Wesson asked for 2011.