“We are proud to say that over the past year, the New York City Council has been leading the fight for stronger protections for community gardens. As a result of our efforts, a number of significant victories have been won. Despite the new stronger protections for gardens in these rules, there is still more to be done through both policy and legislative means.
“The new rules now guarantee that as long as a community garden remains in good standing, it will be preserved and protected from development. However, because these rules are able to be repealed at any time, more permanent protections for gardens are needed. Therefore, Council remains committed to fighting for mechanisms to do exactly that.
“Towards that end, as we announced last week, the Council is working on legislation that will provide online searchable information about all city land and property, which will help in the efforts to find locations for new community gardens. The lengthening of the terms of the license agreements announced today by the parks department is a good step, but we also share the concerns that have been raised regarding default provisions, especially the 30 day accelerated default. The provisions and use of defaults should be fully transparent and accessible to the public. A community advisory committee should be established to work with gardens to correct violations before they lead to a potential default, where possible, and a website should be developed in order to provide information to the public. The Council will pursue legislation as necessary to achieve these two goals.”