In a remarkable show of support, the Oakland Planning Commission voted “Yes!” to the basic right to grow food. The Commission went above and beyond a significant liberalizing of code by Planning Staff to enable to growing, harvesting and selling of food ‘by right.’ They further voted to remove restrictions in commercial and transit zones. The proposal moved forward to City Council will enable 1) the right to grow food for personal consumption in nearly all zones without permits (we are still working on parks in support of the Edible Parks Program) 2) enable “Limited Urban Agriculture” which includes sales without special permitting (you still need a business tax license…death and taxes, my friend, death and taxes) in most zones in Oakland. Click the following links to read the proposed changes:
- Community Gardens: http://www2.oaklandnet.com/w/oak049164
- Limited Agriculture: http://www2.oaklandnet.com/w/oak049166
- Extensive Agriculture: http://www2.oaklandnet.com/w/oak049165
However, the proposal moved forward now includes the Commercial Business District Zones and Transit Oriented Zones.
The Oakland Food Policy Council recognizes and celebrates the leadership it took from all stakeholders and decision makers to move this forward. It has been four years of working with community members and City Council members who have remained dedicated.
We cannot say enough about the individuals that have shown up to Planning Department meetings, Planning Commission meetings, City Council meetings, community meetings… they have stayed late into the evening to make sure their voices were heard. And you know what? They have been. None of this would happen without the continued effort of community to work with OFPC. Community serves as members on our council; They advocate to support our recommendations. Most importantly, they demonstrate the power of self determination.
I personally feel lucky, inspired and deeply motivated to be a part of this extraordinary community. It continues to be a blessing to work alongside you all.
-Esperanza Pallana, Council Director