During a two-week review and comment period that began on November 4 and ends November 18, the San Diego City Council will consider new urban-agriculture amendments to allow more access to home-grown foods.
The council adopted revised community-garden regulations in June to encourage growing of vegetables. The proposed amendments cover raising chickens, bees, and goats and encourage daily farmers’ markets and selling at retail farms.
As chair of the council's Land Use and Housing Committee, District 1 councilmember Sherri Lightner champions the changes. In an October statement, Lightner said, “Urban farming is only going to get more popular. It is important to set clear guidelines...streamlining regulations and ensuring safety.”
Paul Maschka is an urban farmer and educator who helped create the community garden at San Diego City College. In a previous Sundance Channel film, Maschka said to effect environmental change, people should “convert their lawn into a vegetable garden.”
If the new amendments are approved, up to 15 chickens would be allowed in a predator-proof coop (no roosters would be allowed). Beehives would be regulated, especially their distance from a residence or public right-of-way. Owners of a bee colony would register with the San Diego County agriculture commissioner.
Keeping miniature, dehorned goats would be allowed, but goat's milk and cheese “for personal consumption only.” Daily farmers’ market stands are proposed. For retail farms, “75 percent of products sold must be generated on site.” Use of pesticides would be banned.
For a list of community gardens in San Diego County, click to www.sandiegoroots.org/comm_gardens.html.
People interested in adding their comment for council review can email firstname.lastname@example.org and type “URBAN” in the subject line.