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Monday, April 11, 2011

Tuesday: Supes Vote on Easing Restrictions for Urban Farmers

Posted By on Mon, Apr 11, 2011 at 2:31 PM

click to enlarge If tomorrow's amended ordinance passes, it'll mean small urban farms like Little City Gardens will be able to sell produce without securing zoning exemptions. - LITTLE CITY GARDENS
  • Little City Gardens
  • If tomorrow's amended ordinance passes, it'll mean small urban farms like Little City Gardens will be able to sell produce without securing zoning exemptions.

In February, S.F.'s Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve new rules for urban agriculture, allowing small growers like Little City Gardens to sell produce grown within city limits. The proposal (introduced by Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor David Chiu) passed the Land Use and Economic Development Committee last month, and tomorrow, April 19, the proposal faces its final vote before the Board of Supervisors. As it stands now, you need a special (read: expensive) permit to legally sell any food you grow in San Francisco (Ghost Town farmer Novella Carpenter has run up against similar rules in Oakland). After moving to a larger urban farm in the Outer Mission last year, Little City's Brooke Budner and Caitlyn Galloway learned they'd need to spend several months and several thousand dollars to get a conditional-use permit to sell. If passed, the new urban ag ordinance will allow commercial gardens smaller than one acre in all parts of the city, and allow those gardens to sell their produce. Eventually, that should make it easier for both restaurants and home cooks who shop farmers' markets to source foods grown locally -- like, city-and-county-grade local.

Follow us on Twitter: @sfoodie, and like us on Facebook. Contact me at John.Birdsall@SFWeekly.com

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