On January 20th, the City of San Diego Smart Growth and Land Use committee voted unanimously to recommend the adoption of Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones Ordinance in the City of San Diego. The San Diego Food System Alliance Urban Agriculture Working Group has been strategizing advocacy to encourage the adoption of this policy countywide. The champion of this policy within City of San Diego Council is District 7 Council Member Scott Sherman. He brought the policy to the Board of Supervisors and to the City of San Diego Land Use committee. Councilman Sherman owns his own community garden plot in San Marcos.
Our Working Group member, Kim Heinle from Bayside Community Center approached Councilman Sherman around in fall 2015. The San Diego Food System Alliance has been in support of this policy since 2014 when we were introduced to it through the California Food Policy Council. Our advocacy front gained up to speed when we formed an Urban Agriculture Working Group with groups interested in continuing to look at AB551 and other policy opportunities to create more environments for growing food in our cities. when We organized a group presentation at the City of San Diego Land Use Committee
AB551 is a state law that allows land owners in urban areas to receive tax incentives for putting land into agricultural use (fact sheet). We're organizing a workshop on Wed Feb 24th in partnership with Council Sherman's office for other cities in the county interested the policy (more details in events). Watch excellent news coverage of the policy by Fox News with Project New Village and Channel 10 with Global ARC.