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It’s no secret that Portlanders love their food. Whether from a farmers market, a community or backyard garden, one of the many established or innovative new restaurants, a neighborhood grocery store or a community-supported agriculture (CSA) farm, we have many opportunities to enjoy the bounty of our region. This fertile environment for producing and sharing food has raised some questions about the zoning code and whether it still serves the interests and values of the community.
The Urban Food Zoning Code Update is the City of Portland’s first comprehensive look at how zoning code regulations affect traditional and emerging ways of producing and distributing food. Through a dynamic community discussion, this project will establish zoning code regulations that support Portlanders’ access to healthy food, at farmers markets and community gardens for example, while ensuring that surrounding neighborhoods are protected from impacts such as noise, traffic and pollutants.
The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) is working collaboratively with the Portland-Multnomah County Food Policy Council, which has studied zoning barriers for food production and distribution for many years. Together, we are leading a Project Advisory Group (PAG) that will help develop project proposals and engage the larger community. The first PAG meetings in January and February have focused on five topic areas:
Multnomah County has awarded a Community Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) grant to BPS and Oregon Public Health Institute (OPHI). These funds will help to ensure health and equity are considered in this project and that decisions related to urban food production and distribution maximize public health benefits.
The next PAG meeting will review the summaries from these topic-area discussions and prepare for a citywide public review of the issues and possible solutions in April and May. PAG meetings are open to the public, and announcements and agendas are posted at: www.portlandonline.com/bps/foodcode.
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Participate in or follow the discussions of the Project Advisory Group.