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Farm Stands With Restrictions Approved For Sacramento

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

If you live in the City of Sacramento you will soon be able to sell fruits and vegetables grown in your backyard...from a stand in your front yard. But, Capital Public Radio's Bob Moffitt reports you won't be able to sell that produce every day.  

About 100 people attended the Sacramento City Council meeting to support an urban farming ordinance.  

The proposed ordinance would allow sales two days a week.

Chanowk Yisrael urged the council to approve sales from stands on front lawns seven days a week.

"When you come back to the same stand that sold you food on Tuesday, I have to say, "Sorry, I can't sell you anything today. You have to go somewhere else and buy food."

The council retained the two-day-a-week restriction on farm stand sales from front lawns. It amended the ordinance to allow sales on previously-vacant or blighted lots seven days a week.

Sue Vang was pleased with the provisions for vacant lot sales.

"Sacramento needs a new innovative way to have our community be able to access food."

The ordinance passed 6-to-1. Council member Larry Carr was the lone dissenting vote. Carr says farm stands on lawns, bee hives near property lines, and the selling of preserves all concern him.

"I think we do need to caution people about what they're liabilities are -if they are going to undertake this if we pass this ordinance- especially if people are manufacturing food, canning food, putting it in mason jars, and then selling that, without any idea of what could happen to them if they don't follow the proper procedures as well as what procedures they have to follow."

Mayor Kevin Johnson left the meeting before the item was heard.

Council member Angelique Ashby says she supports the idea of urban farming and will  support the new law -for now. But, she said she would vote to rescind it -if it affected Natomas adversely.

The Community Development Department will come back to the council to report on the effects of the ordinance in six months, and then again in 12 months.

The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors is expected to consider a similar ordinance before summer. The board will also consider a special, lower tax rate for blighted properties that are turned into farms.

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