ISHPEMING - The Partridge Creek Farm will someday exist in Ishpeming, but not in the city's Seventh Addition.
At its September meeting, the Ishpeming City Council directed Interim City Manager and Department of Public Works Superintendent Jon Kangas and City Attorney David Savu to work to negotiate a lease of the land from the city to the farm and its creator, Dan Perkins. Since then, however, Kangas and Savu have run into problems.
"As we were doing our research to try to prepare this lease, several issues arose - the first being the plat restriction for the property is deeded for playground and recreation," Kangas said at a special city council meeting last week. "There's a long, lengthy process to remove that from the plat."
In addition to the plat restriction, the current zoning of the land does not allow for agricultural use.
Perkins said that he's now looking at potential property on Malton Road. Construction on Malton was completed earlier this year, and the city planning commission has been tasked to look into attracting business and development in that area.
"The project isn't dead, we're just moving it to a different location," Perkins said.
The farm project is the brainchild of Perkins, who said he got the idea to build a large-scale self-sustaining farm capable of a 10-month growing season. Perkins had already been growing produce on the city-owned 8.25-acre parcel for a couple years, enlisting the help of neighborhood kids and sending them home with bags of vegetables.
Perkins is currently in the preliminary stages of incorporating the farm as a 501c3 nonprofit and has assembled a board of directors. He's also in the process of applying for a grant from the Cliffs-Eagle Mine Marquette County Community Fund to finance part of the farm's construction.
Zach Jay can be reached at 906-486-4401.