The new Assembly Bill, (551), that was passed in 2014 allows owners of vacant lands between 0.1 and 3 acres of size to qualify for major tax incentives if they use their land for agricultural purposes based off of long-term leases. In the coming months, new “urban agricultural zones” will be installed on the map across the county, not just in the city.
“City officials have been talking about community gardens,” says San Diego Food System Alliance director Elly Brown, “but I see this as a larger win-win opportunity because urban agriculture can include a whole spectrum of activities from low-production things like a community garden, but it could also range all the way into a commercial operation, which can also be beneficial for communities. There are a lot of urban-farming techniques where you don’t need a lot of space — hydroponics, aquaponics, vertical growing. City councilmembers haven’t really stressed that because they haven’t seen many examples — there aren’t many small-scale farms in San Diego.”
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