​Urban Livestock and Market Gardens

Thank you for providing input and participating in our surveys regarding small livestock and small-scale commercial agriculture. We had a record number of participants in these surveys, with nearly a thousand combined responses!  

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See the results from our first survey

See the results from our second survey

The demand for local food production has increased in Alaska over the past decade. The FNSB code currently limits agriculture and related uses primarily to the Rural and Agricultural (RA), Rural Farmstead (RF), and the General Use (GU) zones. This restriction on agricultural uses to the more rural zones makes sense for large commercial agricultural facilities that have the potential to create land use conflicts in non-agricultural zones. However, this restriction of agricultural uses fails to account for less intensive agricultural uses that could not only be appropriate in a broader expanse of the Borough, but could also help to improve the area’s overall food security, sustainability, and economy.

​A Planning Commission subcommittee used your survey responses, along with input from industry experts and research into best practices, to make recommendations to the administration. Mayor Kassel then used those recommendations to introduce an ordinance. The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing ​on May 8 to review this ordinance, hear public testimony and make a recommendation to the Assembly. 

​​Review the full ORDINANCE and STAFF REPORT​. 

What's permitted now? 

Find your Zone and then check the type of agriculture or livestock allowed on the table. 

Find out what your zoning is by searching for your parcel by address, owner or PAN HEREMap Location

Existing zoning standards are shown in the table below.

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​​Existing Definitions

Agribusiness - business directly related to and supportive of an agricultural use as defined herein.

Agriculture - cultivation of the soil or nutrient solution, including but not limited to indoor agriculture, the growing of crops and/or plants, animal and poultry husbandry, dairying, grazing, and accessory uses customarily incidental to agricultural activities.  Does not include commercial cultivation of marijuana.

Agriculture, commercial - conducting the business of agriculture with the intent to sell the products of the enterprise for profit.

Agriculture, Indoor - agriculture entirely indoors within a fully enclosed facility for any purpose including but not limited to commercial or retail.  Does not include animal and poultry husbandry, dairying, or grazing.

Community garden, neighborhood - cultivation of the soil, or the growing of crops or plants on a lot or zoning lot for personal use, trade, or sale off site with the area under cultivation not exceeding 10,000 square feet.  A community garden may be divided into separate plots for cultivation by individuals or families, or farmed by an individual, or the area may be farmed collectively by members of a group.  Does not include the cultivation of marijuana.

Community garden, regional - cultivation of the soil, or the growing of crops or plants on a lot or zoning lot for personal use, trade, or sale off site with the area under cultivation exceeding 10,000 square feet.  A community garden may be divided into separate plots for cultivation by individuals or families, or the area may be farmed collectively by members of a group.  Does not include the cultivation of marijuana.

Home occupation - a business, profession, occupation or trade, excluding commercial marijuana establishments in residential zones (RE, RR, SF, TF, MF, MFO), located entirely within a dwelling unit or a dwelling unit's accessory building, which is accessory, incidental, secondary and subordinate to the residential use of the dwelling unit and which does not change the essential residential character or appearance of such building or neighborhood in which it is located.

Livestock, commercial - any quantity of farm animals kept with the intention of selling related goods and/or services.

Livestock, domestic - any quantity of farm animals raised and/or kept for personal use or for occasional competitive use (i.e., 4H, FFA, etc.).

Use, accessory - a use which is clearly and customarily incidental and subordinate to the principal use of a building or premises and which is located on the same zoning lot as the principal use or building.


How might these changes affect me?

​​This proposed ordinance allows small livestock and small-scale commercial agriculture in more zones than are currently permitted, particularly in the urban residential-type zones. It also creates limits to the numbers and types of livestock permitted in those zones as well as other regulations to maximize compatibility with surrounding uses. 

​In addition to a lot's zoning designation, lot size also determines the number and type of livestock animals permitted.​

In the table below, note the addition of Market Garden and Urban Livestock and permitted zones associated with these proposed new uses:


Proposed Definitions

"Beehive" means a movable frame structure used for the housing of honey bees.

"Domestic livestock" means any quantity of farm animals raised and/or kept for personal use, occasional competitive use (e.g., 4H, FFA, etc.), or incidental sales of animal products.

"Market garden" means a small-scale production of food-producing or ornamental plants, not including marijuana, grown incidentally for commercial purposes using a variety of growing techniques including in-soil, container, or nutrient solution, in conjunction with and clearly subordinate to a residential use on the same site.

"Miniature goat" means those goats commonly known as Pygmy or Dwarf.

"Urban Livestock" means the small-scale keeping of rabbits, chickens, roosters, ducks, geese, turkeys, miniature goats, goats, sheep, llamas, alpacas, and honey bees, where permitted, outdoors or in an accessory structure, for personal use, occasional competitive use, or incidental sales of animal products.