SF Urban Agriculture Zoning Changes — Fact Sheet and Overview

The SFUAA has pulled together a fact sheet with an overview of the new zoning code’s impact.  Click below to download it. We hope to have a more detailed guide to the permits and laws surrounding starting a new garden or urban farm by July. Stay tuned!

overview_of_sf_urban_ag_zoning_changes_final.pdfDownload File

The final text of the amended ordinance

Click here to read the text of the ordinance with all amendments. This is the final version that was passed by the Board of Supervisors on April 12, 2011.  (Note: this links to a very large (35 MB) .pdf file) .

Update: April 12 – Bill Passes !!!

On April 12th the Board of Supervisors unanimously passed the new urban agriculture zoning ordinance! It was signed into law by Mayor Ed Lee on April 20th. This legislation puts San Francisco at the forefront of cities that are updating their zoning codes to encourage urban agriculture. See the link above for the final text of the ordinance and click below to read the SFUAA’s press release celebrating the legislation’s passage.

sfuaa_zoning_signing_press_release.pdfDownload File

Mayor Ed Lee signs the new zoning legislation into law.

Watch video of the press conference:

Update: Success at the Land Use Committee!

We are happy to report great success at the Board of Supervisors’ Land Use and Economic Development Committee hearing today! We had another solid turnout, and it looked like the SFUAA had more representation in the room than any other group!

The proposal, with the amendments introduced by Mayor Lee and Supervisor Chiu, was sent to the full board with unanimous support of the committee. (For a full description of the amendments that were added to the original proposal, see: https://sfuaa.org/urban-ag-zoning-proposal.html)

The legislation will now move to the full Board of Supervisors, where it will be read and voted on at two meetings — on April 5 and April 12. We’ll send more details about the April 5th meeting in a few days. We will also be organizing a gathering to celebrate this exciting change in the coming weeks — stay tuned for more information on that as well.

You can watch video of the hearing at SFGovTV site. Check it out at:

http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=12&clip_id=11873  (Our issue is Item #2)

As before, many thanks to everyone who came out to City Hall today and to everyone who was there in spirit!

Update on the amendments to the proposal:

Following the Planning Commission hearing, the sponsors of the proposal – Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor David Chiu – plan to introduce a few amendments. The SFUAA discussed these amendments at its March meeting and the group’s position is listed alongside a description of each amendment. Except for the changes described below, the original proposal remains the same. Click here to read about the original proposal.

Value-Added Goods

The Planning Department and the bill sponsors have drafted an amendment that would allow on-site sales of value-added goods made from produce grown on site in all zoning districts of the city, except residential districts. “Residential districts” include the first two categories of residential districts in the legend on the City’s zoning map. Following the amendment, if you garden in a residential district you can still make value-added goods from your produce, but you will not be able to sell them on-site.

Note: Gardeners who wants to make value-added goods will have to follow all existing health code regulations on processed goods.

The text of the new amendment regarding sales and donations is:

In all districts, sales, pick-ups, and donations of fresh food and horticultural products grown on-site are permitted. In every district except “Residential Districts”, value-added products where the primary ingredients are grown and produced on-site are permitted.

SFUAA Position: The SFUAA supports this compromise amendment.

Fencing Requirements

The sponsors will introduce an amendment that offers a third, less expensive option for fencing, should a garden choose to have a fence. The draft amendment language is:

“If the farmed area is enclosed by fencing, the fencing must be either 1) wood fencing; 2) ornamental fencing as defined by Planning Code Section 102.32 or 3) other chain-link or woven wire fencing if over half of the fence area that borders a public right-of-way will be covered by plant material/vegetation/vegetative screening within three years of project installation.”

SFUAA Position: The SFUAA supports this compromise amendment.

Water Use Amendments

The Public Utilities Commission has asked that the zoning code cross-reference the existing water efficient landscaping ordinance. Essentially, this amendment would restate that any landscaped area greater than 1000 sq. feet must comply with existing law. The PUC, responding to concerns from the SFUAA, has created a simplified version of documentation necessary for gardens that seek to be considered “neighborhood agriculture” or “urban industrial agriculture” under the proposal. See the following PDF link for the specific amendment language and a draft list of documentation the PUC will require.

SFUAA Position: The SFUAA does not oppose this amendment

SFPUC Water Proposal DraftDownload File

Permit Fees

No amendments have been proposed to reduce or waive “change of use” permit fees.

Pooled Produce

No amendments have been proposed that would allow for on-site sales of produce pooled from multiple gardens within San Francisco. The proposal limits on-site sales, pick-ups, and donations to what was grown on that site.

Changing the Name of the Category for Gardens One Acre or Larger

Supervisor Chiu plans to introduce an amendment that would change the label for gardens that are 1 acre or larger from “Urban Industrial Agriculture” to “Large-Scale Urban Agriculture.”

SFUAA Position: The name of the categories was not a priority concern of the SFUAA, and for that reason, was not discussed as a group and no position has been taken.