AUSTIN (KXAN) - Urban farming has become quite popular in Austin over the last few years as more and more people and restaurants look to buy local.
Thursday morning the Austin City Council will vote on an ordinance that could change how these farms operate.
Right now there are about 20 urban farms in Austin - mainly on the eastside of town.
And the changes in the code could impact what the public is able to buy from these farms.
Dorsey Barger runs a two acre urban farm called HausBar Farm in east Austin.
"We raise chickens, rabbits, and about 50 or 60 different types of vegetables,' said Barger.
The vegetables get sold to restaurants - and up until a few months ago chickens were also processed for sale.
But then one day a neighbor complained to the city.
"The complaint wasn't the fact we were processing protein, they weren't even aware of that, it was that our compost had gotten a little out of whack and was a little bit smelly," said Barger.
That one day of smell has led to months of negotiations between the city and urban farmers over the rules on what they can and can't do.
Dorsey had to stop processing chickens.
But in the meantime has helped rewrite the code.
"My goal is to be an example of how food can be grown and raised that's good for our planet, good for our neighbors, and good for the animals that we raise," said Barger.
The new ordinance would allow for more than just chickens on the farm but also fish and rabbits.
"Rabbits make no noise, they are beautiful quiet creatures, easy to raise organically, sustainable, terrific source of protein," said Barger.
And these farms would be limited to the number of animals they could slaughter based on their acreage.
"What that attempts to do is scale the urban farming operation that suits the neighborhood," said Barger.
The goal urban farmers say is to create an equal balance between being a good neighbor while pushing the local food movement.
"We think we are just the best neighbors ever," said Barger.
Because many of these urban farms are not profitable off just their vegetables many hold events like weddings.
But under the new ordinance they would have to secure a permit which could make it challenging for some urban farmers to continue holding these types of events because they would need to have additional facilities.
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