Healthy Foods, Healthy Soils:
Improving Local Zoning and Land Use Rules for Composting Operations of all Sizes and Strengthening the Local Food System
San Diego County disposes of more than one million tons of compostable materials in landfills every year. Better management of these discards (yard trimmings, food scraps, manure, etc.) will improve air and water quality, reduce soil erosion, revitalize agricultural and garden soils, ensure a robust and healthy food system, and create local jobs while protecting human health and improving the quality of life for the region’s populace.
Several recent California mandates require source reduction, separation, landfill diversion and composting of these materials. While state regulations are generally well-defined and friendly to this activity, local zoning and land use rules in San Diego County typically are not.
Hidden Resources has been charged with identifying local barriers and developing recommendations to improve planning to facilitate composting and help local jurisdictions comply with state mandates. The San Diego Food System Alliance is implementing this toolkit in partnership with UC San Diego Center for Community Health as a project of Live Well San Diego: Healthy Works. This work is produced by the California Department of Public Health’s Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Branch with funding from USDA SNAP-Ed, known in California as CalFresh. This project supports Live Well San Diego, the County’s vision of a region that is Building Better Health, Living Safely, and Thriving. For more information about Live Well San Diego, visit LiveWellSD.org.
Scope of the Project (July-Sept 2017):
- Research local zoning and land use rules for compatibility with organics processing, including interviews with community gardeners, farmers, city planners and compost experts to identify opportunities and challenges
- Research model zoning and land use rules, and best management practices, exploring those of jurisdictions outside of San Diego County if necessary
- Demonstrate the need for proper organics processing to facilitate local access and production of healthy food
- Case study with a minimum of one small and one large jurisdiction
- Organize and conduct stakeholder workshops focused on helping local planners develop zoning and land use rules for organics processing
- Draft model zoning and land use rule language reviewed by professional planner
- Compile all findings into a Healthy Food, Healthy Soils Ordinance Toolkit
First workshop was held on July 31, 2017, when planners, recycling staff, and other key stakeholders in all jurisdictions within San Diego County attended to share the goals of the project and obtain feedback on existing challenges. Powerpoint slides from the workshop available here.
The second workshop was held at the 3rd Annual Food Waste Solution Summit on September 26, 2017, where final recommendations were presented for feedback.
Rich Flammer, Hidden Resources (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Tyla Montgomery, Hidden Resources (email@example.com)
Elly Brown, San Diego Food System Alliance (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This project supports Live Well San Diego, the County’s vision of a region that is Building Better Health, Living Safely, and Thriving. The material was produced by the California Department of Public Health’s Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Branch with funding from USDA SNAP-Ed, known in California as CalFresh. These institutions are equal opportunity providers and employers. CalFresh provides assistance to low-income households and can help buy nutritious food for better health. For CalFresh information, call 1-877-847-3663. For important nutrition information, visit CaChampionsForChange.net.