San Diego approves urban agriculture measure

February 20, 2018 by  

Areas of San Diego County are so-called ‘food deserts’, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, thus prompting a new initiative in the area.

A ‘food desert’ is a place where it is hard for people to find healthy foods easily, and the San Diego City Council recently decided to address the problem, voting to create an Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone that covers the city.

In such a zone, owners of vacant lots are encouraged to use that property to grow food, or to create community gardens. There are more than 2,000 parcels that could qualify under this measure. Owners would be required to submit their plans for using their property for agriculture, or for a community garden. If the plan is approved, the owner will receive a break on their property taxes.

San Diego officials say the aim of the program is to increase the number of green spaces in the city, build stronger communities, educate people about the way food is produced, and of course, increase access to fresh vegetables and fruits in those areas that generally do not have fresh food available.

Property owners who take part in the plan not only have to apply, they must also agree to dedicate all the designated property to agricultural production; they could not build structures or use it in any other way.

Measures like this are important to thousands of people, so officials could use a flyer printing company to put together a mailer for area residents.