Growhouse 2.0 gets OK from city for new garden

After moving locations, the Roosevelt Growhouse was approved to have a community garden. (Craig Johnson/DD)

The city of Phoenix approved the Roosevelt Growhouse’s permit request for a community garden at its new location last Thursday.

The request was approved after hearing from Growhouse representative and co-owner, Kenny Barrett, and other supporters of the proposal. Barrett was not available to comment on this story.

Barrett and other employees of the Growhouse intend to begin immediately on the use of their new permit. The group announced the garden’s reconstruction and is inviting the public to join them this coming Saturday, March 25, for its first community gardening event from 8-11 a.m. The previous location closed last year as its new landlord, Desert Viking, had plans to use it for a restaurant.

The permit was granted to Roosevelt Row Community Development, the applicant name listed on the zoning adjustment hearing’s agenda, in preparation of construction on the anticipated lot. The newly acquired space is on the corner of Roosevelt and Second streets, near Desoto Central Market, on the vacant lot surrounding the historic Leighton G. Knipe House.

To be approved for its permit request, the garden had to meet specific criteria laid out by the city, which Michael Widener, the zoning adjustment hearing officer, furthered explained during the hearing.

According to Widener, the requirements in place state the way in which the permit is used should not negatively impact the neighboring space.

“I have to find that the use for the manner in which you are going to implement it is unlikely to generate substantial amounts of odor, dust, gas, heat, smoke, glare or vibration,” Widener said.

Other factors taken into consideration are whether the garden will impact surrounding traffic in the area and whether it complies with the existing ordinances.

In an earlier interview with the Downtown Phoenix Journal, Barrett said the relocation is not permanent. The Growhouse continues to look for a location that will be able to house the GROWop boutique, which will not be a part of this new location.

Students across the downtown campus agree that the garden would act as a great community outreach.

Darreyl Woodson, a business marketing major at the W.P. Carey School of Business, said that the garden would be a great opportunity for the community to come together.

“It would create a nice atmosphere and create a place for people in the community to go visit and help out in the garden,” Woodson said.

The garden contains open community plots for both avid green thumbs and amateurs alike. According to the group’s Facebook page, the new and improved Growhouse will have its own chicken coop, aquaponics system, compost area, and beehive.

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