Attention Portland foodies: April 24 public hearing on zoning CSAs, food buying clubs and more

Farmers markets, community gardens, food buying clubs and community-supported agriculture have enjoyed tremendous growth in Portland over the last decade with little oversight.  But oversight is on the way with the jargony “Proposed Draft of the Urban Food Zoning Code Update.

Why tamper with a flourishing system?

For two reasons: current zoning has at times hampered this foodie Wild West. While residents can grow their own food, for example, they currently aren’t supposed to sell any of it, since small-scale market gardens aren’t allowed in most residential and commercial zones. And then there’s the wild aspect of little oversight: food buying clubs – which get no mention in current zoning – have in certain instances impacted residential areas with big deliveries of bulk food picked up by large numbers of people on small streets.

“If trends continue, these kinds of food-related activities will be more common in the future, increasing Portlanders’ access to healthful, affordable food,” said a city statement. “The proposed changes . . . will help to reduce conflicts with neighbors over livability issues such as traffic, parking, truck delivery and a general increase in neighborhood activity.”

Thoughts? Suggestions? Speak up now: the public hearing on the draft is Tuesday, April 24 at 6 p.m. at 1900 SW 4th Avenue, Room 2500A. You can also send written comments via mail, email or fax to:

Planning and Sustainability Commission, 1900 SW 4th Avenue, Room 7100, Portland OR 97201 OR OR fax 503-823-7800 att: Planning and Sustainability Commission

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