On Wednesday, April 30, the Neighborhood Food Act passed out of the Assembly Local Government Committee by a narrow margin. Assemblymember Bradford worked with the Committee to make some tough decisions to address concerns raised by opponents and some members of the Committee. Assemblymember Bradford agreed to remove the city zoning component of the bill and make some further adjustments to the tenants’ rights section, limiting the growing space to the backyard. We do not believe the bill would have passed out of the Committee without these agreements.
The big property owners' lobby, the American Planning Association and the League of California Cities are trying to kill our bill. They do not want to grant all Californians the right to grow food on land they already have lawful access to.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued proposed additions to the list of allowed foods under the CA Homemade Food Act yesterday. These are proposed additions to the list, so the changes to the list will not go into effect for another 30 days and are subject to change based on public comment.Read more
We've been working towards this groundbreaking moment for two years. California State Assemblymember Steven Bradford has introduced AB 2561, the California Neighborhood Food Act, which, if passed into law, will remove zoning law barriers and other obstacles to growing produce for personal use or for sale throughout California.
It's time to legalize front yard and backyard gardens, community gardens and farm micro-enterprises! It's time to bring fresh, local produce to all communities in California, regardless of geographic limitations and socio-economic status!
Now we need your help to ensure the Neighborhood Food Act will become law.
Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC) believes that food industry laws should be scale-appropriate in order to allow casual barter arrangements, micro-enterprise, and small businesses to thrive. This winter, California State Assemblymember Mariko Yamada introduced a bill, AB 2505, to allow small-scale home dairy farms to sell and exchange small amounts of excess milk without needing to have a large and expensive processing facility and jump through other legal hoops.Read more
The Sustainable Economies Law Center partnered with the Social Justice Learning Institute, Slow Food California and Ubuntu Green to pass AB 2561, the California Neighborhood Food Act in 2014. This law is supported by many other organizations and enterprises as well.
If you sign the petition below, we can keep you updated on SELC's current urban agriculture advocacy that builds on our success with the Neighborhood Food Act and furthers our right to grow and sell food in our communities.
The California Neighborhood Food Act, signed into law in 2014, removes barriers to growing food for personal consumption. The law provides rights to grow food in certain circumstances. As a signatory to this petition, you can show your support for urban agriculture as a strategy to increase access to fresh food, promote food security for vulnerable Californians, and reduce environmental impacts of water-intensive lawns. We'll keep you updated on our other work to promote urban agriculture. Below are descriptions of the key provisions of the law:
The law requires that tenants of single family homes and duplexes have the right to grow produce in their backyard in portable containers as long as it does not create trip-and-fall risks or other hazards. It allows the landlord to place restrictions on the location and number of containers.
Homeowners' Association member rights:
The law makes it illegal for a homeowners’ association contract to prohibit or unreasonably restrict the use of backyards of private (not shared) property for growing produce.
Click here to download model Neighborhood Food Act legislation (note: this is NOT what was actually signed into law in California).
Please email Neil@theselc.org.
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32 specific policy recommendations that enable communities to remove barriers to sharing and realize the benefits of the sharing economy in food, jobs, housing, and transportation. View in window below or click here to download PDF.