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Long Beach will impose monthly fees on vacant lots

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The land would be better used for gardens and mini farms, city officials say

View of urban farm Paul Sableman/Creative Commons

The city of Long Beach is about to start charging landowners a monthly fee for letting their property sit idle, KPCC reports.

City officials hope the $53 monthly fee will discourage illegal dumping and blight and encourage property owners to turn their vacant plots into gardens and farms, according to KPCC.

The Long Beach City Council voted last month to offer tax breaks to landowners who convert their vacant properties into mini farms for growing produce or even raising bees and chickens. The tax breaks will be awarded under California’s Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone Act. (Los Angeles passed similar incentives this summer.)

The program has been around since 2014, but only a very small number of property owners statewide are actually taking advantage of it, says KPCC.

There are 618 vacant lots in Long Beach, and city officials tell KPCC that fees from the revenue will help pay for the costs of monitoring the vacant parcels.

For the full story, head over to KPCC.