Make Kansas City laws friendly for urban farmers

The neighborhood drama started with a simple crop of tomatoes.

In 2007, Brooke Salvaggio took over the 2.5 acres surrounding her grandparents’ house on Bannister Road in southern Kansas City and turned it into Bad Seed Farm. This spring, with husband Dan Heryer adding his expertise to the urban operation, the organic farmers decided to expand their cornucopia, including a new planting of tomatoes in the front, side yard.

But the blushing fruit happened to be within view of a neighbor who didn’t take kindly to the cultivation.

Phyllis Forbes, who owns the property next to the Bad Seed, complained to the neighborhood association about the allegedly unsightly development. Soon, Heryer and Salvaggio were in the crosshairs of city officials — and urban farmers across the area were holding their breath.

Tonight could be the first step to making Kansas City far more friendly to local food producers.

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