help save urban farming in SF
here's a note from our friends at Little City Gardens.
Thanks to the hard work of many people, last month the City officially announced a proposal that, if passed, will update San Francisco’s zoning regulations to explicitly permit gardening in all areas of the city and also officially allow for the sale of produce grown in these gardens. This is big news for us, as we are still currently not legally allowed to sell any of the produce we grow at our farm. The passing of this legislation is essential for us (and for future projects like ours) to be able to legitimately test the viability of commercial food production within city limits. We feel strongly that in order for agriculture to be a lasting fixture in our city, made up of a diverse mix of people, skills and backgrounds, there has to be a way for farmers to make a living. This legislation is the first step toward a legal framework that supports this kind of work in our city. Way to go San Francisco! (Here is an article about the proposal that appeared on the front page of the Chronicle last month.)
Now, the next step is for the proposal to be reviewed by the Planning Commission. This is a public hearing, so be sure to mark your calendars for:
February 10th FEBRUARY 17th at 1:30pm at City Hall
Please, if you can, join us at the public hearing to voice your comments and show your support. The more people who are present at City Hall for the review of this proposal, the more apparent it is to the Planning Commission that residents of San Francisco value agriculture as a vital part of our city. Also, if you’re unable to attend the meeting (or if you’d like to help even further), you can send letters to the Commissioners by January 31st, expressing your support for the proposal. (Check back here in the next couple of days, we’ll provide links to letter templates and an online petition).
Of course, while the proposal is a huge step for San Francisco, there are still a few items in the proposal that local gardeners and supporters would like to see changed – namely, the proposed fencing requirements, inhibitive permit fees, and regulations on value-added goods. The San Francisco Urban Agriculture Alliance (a group of representatives from various gardening projects across the city, including ours) has been poring over the draft for the past couple of months and discussing how each of these items will affect various kinds of urban ag projects and their surrounding communities. We will be addressing these priority concerns with the Planning Commission in the upcoming weeks.
These are exciting times, both for our project and for San Francisco’s urban agriculture movement in general, and we are grateful to have all of your support. Please contact us if you’d like to be involved, because as always, there is much work to be done!
If you don’t have time to write a letter or come to the February 17th Planning Commission hearing you can still support the passage of this important legislation by signing this petition. We’ve also posted addresses and a letter template here if you’d like to write a letter to the Commissioners.