Oakland Planning Commission Says “Yes!”


Kelly Carlisle of Acta Non Verba Youth Urban Farm

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:

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


Oakland Food Policy Council Launches the Hustle Guide!

photo by Ricardo Ibarra

photo by Ricardo Ibarra

We are very proud to introduce our most recent publication, The Food Hustle Guide: A Step-by-Step Instruction Booklet to Start a Mobile or Cottage Food Business in Oakland.

The idea of the Hustle Guide comes from our desire to celebrate the genius and self-motivation of our communities. Oakland is home to many informal food businesses that are inventive, inspirational and down right delicious. These businesses are examples of the creative power of utilizing resources immediately available to you. We benefit from the nimble styles of business that folks have generated to reduce costs and maximize where they operate. We also see the fact that hard to understand, out of date, strict and expensive requirements present barriers to being able to own a business when you have low capital.

The Hustle Guide is a first step in providing information to support small low capital entrepreneurs to be successful in their ventures. It is with much appreciation and respect for our hard working communities that we present this tool!