News Releases

April 15, 2008

Petition Granted to Half Pint Farm to Erect Hoop House

Agency of Agriculture releases recommendation for hoop house installation at Half Pint Farm and the Intervale Center

Montpelier, Vt – The Agency of Agriculture released its decision to allow the construction of a hoop house at the Intervale Center and Half Pint Farm. Working collaboratively with the various partners involved including FEMA, the Intervale Center, the farmer, ANR and the city of Burlington, parameters for the construction have been established to ensure that the availability of flood insurance to residents of the city of Burlington is not jeopardized.

The hoop house in question covers half an acre of land, almost the equivalent of a football field. The land on which the 300-foot long and 75-foot wide hoop house is to be built is in the city of Burlington’s floodway as mapped on the city’s National Flood Insurance Program. Current Accepted Agricultural Practices (AAP’s) prohibit farm structures in a floodway. Also, it was brought to the agency’s attention that FEMA regulations do not allow structures in floodways that may have negated the availability of the citizens of Burlington to purchase flood insurance. With recommendations from FEMA, the agency found that with certain considerations taken into account, the hoop house would be considered a “minor project” and would not violate AAP regulations.

The Agency of Agriculture received the farmer’s petition in February with a request for resolution before April 24, 2008. In response to the petition, the agency conducted a thorough investigation and worked with all the stakeholders to reach a decision that would help the farmer expand his business while complying with AAP’s.

“I am very pleased that working together we were able to come to a decision to allow for the construction of the hoop house that will help Half Pint Farm’s business while protecting the availability of flood insurance for the residents of the city of Burlington,” said Roger Allbee, Secretary of the Agency of Agriculture.

The Interval Center is a farm incubator program that gives would be farmers access to land, equipment and training. Their mission is to incubate sustainable businesses in farming, and value-added food, fiber and fuel production, with a focus on economic development and environmental solutions for communities worldwide.

Source: Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets
Last Updated at: April 15, 2008 16:33:36