How to Get Land


There are several options for acquiring land for urban agriculture in Chicago. A few are listed here:

Shared Earth

Shared Earth is a land-sharing website that connects landowners with interested gardeners and farmers. Join the network today and find some land in your neighborhood!
Website: http://www.sharedearth.com
Connecting with landowners willing to let their land to be used for agricultural purposes can also always be done the old-fashioned way: finding land, finding out who owns it, and starting a conversation!

NeighborSpace

NeighborSpace is a collaborative project started by the City of Chicago, the Chicago Park District, and the Forest Preserve District of Cook County. This organization helps communities interested in gardening acquire lots for long-term use. An application process is required and can take anywhere from a couple months to 2 years.
Website: http://neighbor-space.org/ | Contact: info@neighbor-space.org

Adjacent Neighbors Land Acquisition Program (ANLAP)

ANLAP is a program in which a resident who own properties adjacent to a vacant lot can purchase the lot for a significantly reduced fee. Qualifications for accessing this program:
  • Purchasers must provide proof of ownership and occupancy of the property immediately adjacent to the vacant lot.
  • Proof may be provided in the form of a deed, title policy, etc.
  • The vacant lot must be zoned either R-5, R-4, R-3, R-2 or R-l.
  • The appraised, fair-market value of the lot must not exceed $20,000.
  • Minimum bids must be at least $700 (or 7 percent of the appraised value for a parcel with a value that exceeds $10,000).
  • Adjacent neighbors must not be delinquent in the payment of real estate taxes or have outstanding debts with the City of Chicago.

To begin the ANLAP process, fax or mail a completed ANLAP Application Form to:

Department of Community Development
Real Estate Division
121 N. LaSalle St.
City Hall, Room 1003
Chicago, IL 60602
Ph: (312) 744-LAND (5263)
Fax: (312) 744-5826

Click here to visit the ANLAP home page

Chicago Park District

The Chicago Park District has been helpful for acquiring garden plots located on existing parkland in Chicago. Their website (http://www.cpdit01.com/resources/community_gardens/index.html) has application directions, case studies of other gardens who have gone through the process, and other resources. The Park District has helped over 40 gardens sprout in Chicago.

Redevelopment Agreement with the City of Chicago/Transfer of Land

The City of Chicago owns many vacant lots and may be interested in transferring some of this land if the project is in the interest of the neighborhood in which it is located. Some of the steps needed to get land through an RDA:
  • Meet with the alderman and get his/her support
  • Conduct a community meeting to get neighborhood support and buy-in for the project
  • Submit an official request to the City Department of Housing and Economic Development
  • Negotiate a Redevelopment Agreement that will stipulate all of the conditions that must be met for the transfer of city-owned land.

For more details contact Harry Rhodes at Growing Home, hrhodes@growinghomeinc.org