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Design & Engineering Standards - Food System


Healthy Food System
Design & Engineering Standards


  • Pass zoning ordinances that allow farmers’ markets to be established and maintained in specified areas without requiring a permit, finding, variance, or other land use approval. Model language for this zoning ordinance can be found here and here. [xxiii]
  • Establish zoning provisions that require farmers’ markets to accept various forms of food assistance, including CalFresh and WIC. Examples of city requirements: In San Francisco, farmers’ market vendors are required to accept coupons, vouchers, and EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) cards. San Jose requires all new farmers’ market applicants either to accept WIC/EBT or to allow a third party to operate onsite redemption. Los Angeles County also has made it mandatory that farmers’ markets accept EBT. [xxv]

Food Cultivation

  • Permit use of front yard setback areas for private or shared gardens with appropriate restrictions. Permit use of planting strips for local food production. [xxv]
  • Promote kitchen gardens in residential neighborhoods. Partner with community organizations to deliver geographically appropriate gardening education to the general public. Herb and produce garden plots shall be accounted for in any water conservation requirements for landscape irrigation. To site gardens appropriately for solar access and wind protection, or to address other environmental factors, front, side and/or rear yards are all potential locations for kitchen garden plots. [xxvi]


[xxiii] National Policy & Legal Analysis Network to Prevent Childhood Obesity (NPLAN).
[xxiv] Wooten and Ackerman, “From the Ground Up: Land Use Policies to Protect and Promote Farmers’ Markets”; National Policy & Legal Analysis Network to Prevent Childhood Obesity (NPLAN), “Establishing Land Use Protections for Farmers’ Market.”
[xxv] City of Half Moon Bay, “First Public Draft Recreation and Healthy Community Element.”
[xxvi] City of Half Moon Bay.