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A00735 Summary:

SPONSORRosenthal D
Amd §31-j, Ag & Mkts L
Relates to a community gardens task force.
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A00735 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                     January 6, 2021
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A. D. ROSENTHAL -- read once and referred to the
          Committee on Agriculture
        AN ACT to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to a commu-
          nity gardens task force
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section  1.  Section 31-j of the agriculture and markets law, as added
     2  by chapter 528 of the laws of 2013, paragraph (a) of  subdivision  4  as
     3  amended  by  chapter  272  of  the  laws  of 2019, is amended to read as
     4  follows:
     5    § 31-j. Community gardens task force. 1. The commissioner [may]  shall
     6  convene  a  community gardens task force to identify and develop ways to
     7  encourage state agencies, municipalities and private parties  to  estab-
     8  lish  and  expand community gardens and the activities conducted by such
     9  gardens.
    10    2. The task force shall be chaired by the  commissioner,  or  by  such
    11  officer  or  employee  of  the  department as shall be designated by the
    12  commissioner. The membership of the task  force  may  include  represen-
    13  tation from appropriate state agencies and members that represent exist-
    14  ing   community  gardens,  counties,  cities,  towns,  villages,  school
    15  districts, other special use districts, public authorities  and  cooper-
    16  ative  extension services. Membership of the task force shall include at
    17  least two representatives from organizations dedicated to the promotion,
    18  expansion or protection of community gardens.
    19    3. The commissioner, may request the assistance of state  agencies  to
    20  carry out the work of the task force.
    21    4.    (a) The goals of the task force may include, but are not limited
    22  to, the study, evaluation and development  of  recommendations:  (i)  to
    23  encourage  the establishment and expansion of community gardens by state
    24  agencies, municipal governments and private parties, (ii)  to  encourage

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 735                              2
     1  cooperation  between  the activities and operations of community gardens
     2  and provision  of  donated  food  to  local  voluntary  food  assistance
     3  programs  for the poor and disadvantaged, (iii) to increase the benefits
     4  that  community gardens may provide to the local community in which they
     5  are located, (iv) to encourage cooperation with  community-based  organ-
     6  izations  to  increase  the  opportunities for seniors, those aged sixty
     7  years of age or older, to participate in community gardens, [and] (v) to
     8  encourage the expansion of the production of fresh fruits and vegetables
     9  in areas served by community gardens so that such fresh produce  can  be
    10  consumed  locally  to help encourage healthier life styles and wellness,
    11  and to help reduce the incidence of adult and childhood obesity, (vi) to
    12  develop after school programs that establish, maintain and expand commu-
    13  nity gardens, and (vii) to encourage the development  and  expansion  of
    14  community  gardens  in  food  deserts  as defined in section two hundred
    15  sixty of this chapter.
    16    (b) In achieving the goals of the  task  force,  the  task  force  may
    17  consider  recommendations that: (i) encourage the execution of conserva-
    18  tion easements by state agencies, municipalities or private  parties  to
    19  establish  or  protect community gardens, (ii) encourage the creation of
    20  mechanisms to transfer development rights to protect  community  gardens
    21  or encourage the donation or lease of lands for community gardens, (iii)
    22  development  of model zoning codes, local land use laws or other munici-
    23  pal policies that could encourage  the  establishment  or  retention  of
    24  community  gardens,  and  (iv)  any  other activity to achieve the goals
    25  deemed appropriate by the task force according to the provisions of this
    26  article.
    27    5. The task force shall submit a report to the governor and the legis-
    28  lature on or before January first, two thousand twenty-three and  on  or
    29  before  January  first  of  each  fifth year thereafter on the status of
    30  community gardens in New York state. Such report shall include:
    31    (a) the number, nature and geographic location of community gardens;
    32    (b) a description of the costs,  benefits  and  impacts  of  community
    33  gardens;
    34    (c)  an assessment of the successes, failures and barriers in develop-
    35  ing, maintaining and expanding community gardens;
    36    (d) lists of funding sources available to develop and expand community
    37  gardens along with the requirements for obtaining the funding;
    38    (e) an assessment of the funding, requirements and barriers for double
    39  the number of existing community gardens;
    40    (f) a discussion of the goals outlined in  subdivision  four  of  this
    41  section  and  a description of the steps and projects undertaken to meet
    42  the goals for the task force as established in this section;
    43    (g) an action plan for doubling the number of community gardens in the
    44  state of New York;
    45    (h) recommendations for developing, maintaining and expanding communi-
    46  ty gardens in food deserts; and
    47    (i) any other recommendations or  assessments  the  task  force  deems
    48  appropriate for the report.
    49    Between  report  due dates, the commissioner shall maintain the neces-
    50  sary records and data required to satisfy such report  requirements  and
    51  to  satisfy  information  requests  received  from  the governor and the
    52  legislature between such report due dates.
    53    § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
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