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Portlanders' Access to Affordable, Healthful Food Improved by Changes to Regulations

A proposal to improve access to affordable, healthful food for all Portlanders -- especially those with limited access -- will be discussed by City Council on June 7 at 2 p.m. The recommended draft of the Urban Food Zoning Code Update project supports neighborhood-scale community gardens, market gardens, farmers markets, food buying clubs and community supported agriculture (CSAs).  

Funding from Multnomah County’s Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) Initiative supported this unique and valuable partnership between the City’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and the Oregon Public Health Institute (OPHI) to make affordable, healthful food accessible to all Portlanders, especially those in underserved communities.  
 
City Council Public Hearing on the
Urban Food Zoning Code Update – Recommended Draft
June 7 at 2 p.m.
The Portland Building, 2nd Floor Auditorium
1120 SW 5th Ave (across from City Hall)
 
Recommended Amendments
The new regulations are clear and provide flexibility, while protecting the surrounding neighborhoods from potential negative impacts.

  • Market Gardens (produce is grown for sale). Currently, market gardens are only allowed in a few zones (employment, open space, and very low density residential zones). The recommended amendments allow them in all zones (with size limits in residential zones) and include regulations that address neighborhood livability.
  • Community Gardens (produce is grown for personal consumption or donation). Currently, community gardens are allowed in all zones. The recommended amendments continue to allow them in all zones and add regulations that address neighborhood livability.
  • Food Membership Distribution Sites. Currently, the zoning code is unclear how to regulate the pick-up sites for food buying clubs and community supported agriculture (CSA) organizations. The recommended amendments allow food membership distribution sites in all zones and include regulations that address neighborhood livability. 
  • Farmers Markets. Currently, farmers markets are regulated as temporary uses and these regulations can be confusing and expensive. The recommended amendments add regulations specifically for farmers markets that address location, frequency, number of "non-farmer" vendors and when markets may set up on parking lots.

How can I review this proposal?
Get a copy of the report. The Urban Food Zoning Code Update – Recommended Draft is available on the project website at www.portlandonline.com/bps/foodcode. You can pick up a copy at the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability at 1900 SW 4th Avenue, 7th Floor. To have a copy mailed to you, please call 503-823-7700.

How can I comment on this proposal?
Testify at the City Council hearing. Due to maintenance in Council Chambers, the hearing on Thursday, June 7 at 2:00 p.m. will be held in the Portland Building, 2nd Floor Auditorium, 1120 SW 5th Avenue, across the street from City Hall.
 
Write to City Council. Mail written testimony to the Council Clerk at 1221 SW 4th Avenue, Room 140, Portland, OR 97204, or FAX comments to 503-823-4571. Written testimony must be received by the time of the hearing and must include your name and address.
 
 
The City of Portland is committed to providing equal access to information. If you need accommodation, please contact us by phone 503-823-7700, by the city’s TTY at 503-823-6868 or by the Oregon Relay Service at 1-800-735-2900.