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Urban Food Zoning Code Update enhances Portlanders' connection to their food and community

BPS News

July 20, 2011

Julia Gisler
Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
Eden Dabbs
Bureau of Planning and Sustainability

Urban Food Zoning Code Update enhances Portlanders' connection to their food and community
Concept Report available for public review

Portland, ORE. --  Locally grown food has been in the news a lot lately, reflecting Portlanders' increasing interest in growing, selling - and, of course, eating - fresh local food. In response to this emerging passion and the growing awareness of healthy food's contribution to community health, the City of Portland has undertaken a new project to reduce barriers to healthy food for all residents. 
Through the Urban Food Zoning Code Update, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) staff are developing zoning code regulations that support residents' ability to grow, sell and buy local food at a  scale appropriate to Portland's neighborhoods. The project will help build community and increase access to healthy food by addressing the following topic areas:

  • Community gardens
  • Farmers markets
  • Backyard farming of plants and animals
  • Small scale for-profit gardens
  • Food membership distribution methods, such as community sponsored agriculture and food buying co-ops.

Last winter, BPS, working collaboratively with the Portland/Multnomah County Food Policy Council and Oregon Public Health Institute (OPHI), hosted a series of topic area discussions on Urban Food Production, Community Gardens, Farmers Markets, Food Membership Distribution and Animals/Bees. Some 60 participants attended these meetings, and staff has been incorporating the feedback into a the Concept Report for the public to review.
The Urban Food Zoning Code Update Concept Report will provide a framework for a broader community discussion about urban food. The report summarizes the types of food growing and distributing activities currently going on in Portland, defines the issues and includes examples of how other jurisdictions are regulating these activities.
Public feedback at this stage of the project is important and will be used as new zoning code regulations for urban food are developed this fall. Three community meetings are scheduled this summer for Portlanders to learn more about the project and give their input on the ideas in the Concept Report. 
Urban Food Code Update Concept Report Community Discussions
First hour will be open house, followed by staff presentation and community discussion.
Thursday, July 28, 6-8:30 p.m.
Hollywood Senior Center
1820 NE 40th Avenue
(TriMet Bus #12 and MAX Blue, Green and Red Lines) 
Tuesday, August 2, 6-8:30 p.m.
Portland Development Services Building
1900 SW 4th Avenue in Room 2500
(TriMet Transit Mall, Portland Streetcar and MAX Green and Yellow Lines)  
Monday, August 8, 5-7:30 p.m.
Midland Library
805 SE 122nd Avenue
(TriMet Busses #71, 77 and MAX Blue Line)
In addition to these meetings, project staff will be available to meet with groups interested in learning more about the project. If you would like to schedule a presentation at your meeting this summer, please contact Julia Gisler at or call 503-823-7624. 
How do I get a copy of the Concept Report?
The Urban Food Zoning Code Update Concept Report is on posted on the project website at Hard copies are also available at the community meetings and the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability offices at 1900 SW 4th Ave., 7th floor, or call 503-823-7700 to receive a copy. 
Contact information:
Julia Gisler
Process Manager/Public Involvement
Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
Steve Cohen

Food Policy and Programs
Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
Amy Gilroy

Health Consultant
Oregon Public Health Institute
503-227-5502 ext. 229;  
The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) and Oregon Public Health Institute (OPHI) have funding from a Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Community Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) grant to consider health and equity issues in this project.


BPS will make reasonable accommodation for people with disabilities. Please notify us no fewer than five (5) business days prior to the event by phone 503-823-7700, by the TTY line at 503-823-6868 or by the Oregon Relay Service at 1-800-735-2900.