DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Detroit’s planning commission has approved the city’s new urban agriculture zoning ordinance.

It brings the city one step closer to officially recognizing community gardens and encouraging new and larger urban farms.

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The planning commission is an advisory board to City Council, which could take up the proposed changes in early 2013.

The decision doesn’t settle, however, whether Detroit will sell vacant residential lots on the city’s east side to Hantz Farms for a large-scale tree-growing project.

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Hantz Farms wants to put vacant Detroit land to use for agriculture. Some neighborhood activists and nonprofit leaders have opposed Hantz Farms’ plans, saying they amount to a land grab.

City Council is expected to take up the Hantz Farms proposal on Tuesday.

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