Urban farming, the small-scale cultivation of crops, has become increasingly popular throughout Oakland and the United States. The current rules required a comprehensive revision to keep up with the latest urban farming practices. The urban agriculture update was also initiated to implement policies and actions in the Open Space and Conservation Element of the General Plan and the Draft Energy and Climate Action Plan. These new regulations will further Oakland's goal of becoming a more sustainable city.
The adopted code amendments differentiate Crop Raising from Animal Raising. Specifically, the Urban Agriculture-related changes include a modification to the existing definition of “Community Gardens” and the creation of the following two new Land Use Activity Types to replace the City’s existing “Crop and Animal Raising” Activity Type: “Limited Agriculture” and “Extensive Agriculture”. By separating the current “Crop and Animal Raising” regulation into two different agricultural land use categories based on level of intensity and the potential for off-site impacts, and redefining Community Gardens as the activity of one or more persons, the adopted Planning Code amendments vastly increase the public’s ability to practice small-scale agriculture throughout the City. The revisions to the Permitted Activity Charts throughout the Planning Code specify when “Community Gardens”,“Limited Agriculture”, and “Extensive Agriculture” are a Permitted, Conditionally Permitted, or Prohibited Activity (see the summary charts links above that list the proposed level of allowed activity for “Community Gardens”, “Limited Agriculture”, and “Extensive Agriculture” in each Zoning District).
The current scope of the comprehensive urban agriculture update addresses the location and intensity of urban agricultural uses on a lot, number and type of animals/livestock, sales of products and possible butchering for personal consumption. This scope may evolve as we receive feedback from the community. We urge you to become familiar with the urban agriculture update process and get involved!
New Urban Agriculture regulations were adopted by the City Council On November 18 and were effective on December 18, 2014.
This updates clarifies the current regulations covering Community Gardens, Extensive Agriculture, and Limited Agriculture, including the definition and scope of these terms, as well as where such activities are permitted, conditionally permitted, or prohibited in various zoning districts in the City of Oakland. If you have questions regarding the regulation, please contact the Zoning Hotline or visit the Zoning Counter at the Permit Center.