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Success at Berkeley Planning Commission

Dear Berkeley Edible Gardens Supporters:

GREAT NEWS!!! Edible Gardens legislation was passed UNANIMOUSLY the May 16 Berkeley Planning Commission meeting.

Two versions of the code changes were under consideration; the version that was passed EXEMPTS residents from any permitting requirements to sell Non-Processed Edibles grown or raised on the premises, and requires no fees whatsoever. THIS IS A HUGE VICTORY!

There is still one more hurdle to finalize this – the City Council will have to vote on the proposal as well. It is expected that the item, having unanimous support from the Planning Commission, will be passed on consent. We will let you know when it comes up on the Council Agenda.

Thank you to all of you for your support of this Initiative – your names were included in the list of supporters submitted to the Planning Commission. In addition, almost 200 letters were submitted on behalf of the legislation, which made a big impression!

Commissioner Patti Dacey joked that the Commission should all join hands while they voted, as unanimous votes are very unusual in Berkeley. After the vote there was a shout of joy in the audience, and the Commissioners joined in. It was a really nice moment, and a reminder that food brings us together in many ways.

THANK YOU TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU FOR HELPING TO MAKE THIS POSSIBLE – WHAT A GREAT EFFORT AND A GREAT OUTCOME!

Sophie Hahn
Co-Founder, Berkeley Edible Gardens Initiative

Click here for an article about this on Berkeleyside

Text of what was adopted by Planning Commission (not yet published in official version)

Definition of Non-Processed Edibles:
Foods, including fruit, vegetables, nuts, honey, and shell eggs from fowl or poultry, but not including cannabis as defined in Chapter 12.26 or meat, grown or raised in accordance with the Berkeley Municipal Code, that are whole and intact and have not been processed. Washing, trimming, bundling, and similar handling of otherwise whole and intact foods shall not be considered processing.

Exemption Text:
The sale or donation of Non-Processed Edibles grown or raised on the premises is permitted by right as an accessory use in all residential districts, provided that:
1. Sales are directly to the end consumer of the Non-Processed Edibles;
2. Sales-related activities take place between the hours of 8am and 8pm and are located either indoors or in an area generally shielded from view from the public right-of-way to the extent practical based on the accessibility of the subject lot;
3. The sale of Non-Processed Edibles does not involve hazardous materials or processes or create offensive or objectionable noise, vibration, odors, heat, dirt, or electrical disturbance perceptible by the average person beyond the lot line of the subject lot.
4. The sale of Non-Processed Edibles does not involve more than ten customer visits to the premises in one day.