Portlanders are one step closer to gaining greater access to healthful, locally-grown food in their neighborhoods. On April 24, 2012, the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) unanimously approved the proposed zoning code changes in the Urban Food Zoning Code Proposed Draft.
The Urban Food Zoning Code Update project recognizes the connections between food and the community’s environmental, economic and physical health and promotes traditional and emerging ways of producing and distributing food.
The recommended changes support community gardens, farmers markets and small scale market gardens. Alternative distribution methods such as community sponsored agriculture (CSA) and food buying clubs were also promoted at a scale that is appropriate to neighborhoods and helps build community. Project staff was aided by a Code Development Advisory Group, which helped sift through the existing code regulations and develop recommended changes that support these activities, while also protecting the surrounding neighborhoods.
The Urban Food Zoning Code Recommended Draft, which is the PSC recommendation to City Council, will be published by May 21. The City Council public hearing is scheduled for Thursday, June 7, 2012, 2 p.m. time certain in the Portland Building, 2nd floor auditorium, 1120 SW 5th Avenue (across from City Hall).
If you operate a market garden, food membership distribution site and/or farmers market, visit www.portlandonline.com/bps/foodcode to learn more about "grandfathered rights” and fill out a short questionnaire to be included in the inventory. This will establish your right to continue to operate at your current level — even if you don’t meet new regulations approved by City Council. Project staff is offering this inventory as a service; after June 6, 2012, you will be required to go through a more rigorous process to document that you existed and are eligible for “grandfathered rights.”
For more information, please contact Julia Gisler at Julia.firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-823-7624.