Update January 30: Supervisors voted to approve the agritourism items 5-0 as recommended by staff, with no amendments.
By Miriam Raftery
January 27, 2020 (San Diego) – To promote farming and agritourism, San Diego County Supervisors on Wednesday will consider zoning ordinance amendments to define new agricultural uses including agritourism. The agritourism activities provide educational opportunities for the community including U-pick operations, tours, lectures, classes, and participation in agricultural operations on-site.
Back in 2018, Supervisors asked the chief administrative officer to explore options to make it easier for local, small-scale businesses to provide food and goods during community-based events on agriculture-producing properties in unincorporated areas.
In Nov. 2018, the board approved four actions. Two were implemented immediately: a pilot program that waived zoning verification permit fees for small agricultural stores and a food truck participation incentive pilot project. Two other actions required environmental review which is now completed.
So on Wednesday, Supervisors will consider a staff recommendation to amend zoning and ordinances to allow multiple food and goods vendors at agritourism events and to eliminate zoning verification permits for small agricultural stores.
In addition, the board will consider continuing the waiver programs established earlier and establishing new permit fee waiver programs to encourage local businesses to partner with agricultural producers to support agritourism – saving applicants fee costs from $128 to $1,337.