New Public Hearing Date for Growing Food in the City

Please note the new Public Hearing date and opportunity to provide feedback. The date has been changed to provide the required notification to residents, which was not delivered due to a newspaper clerical error.

Did you plant more kale than you know what do to with? Are your bees producing so much honey that you are thinking of packaging and selling it? The City is considering bylaw changes that would allow raw, unprocessed food such as fruits, nuts, seeds, eggs and honey to be grown, harvested and sold anywhere in the city, while limiting impacts to neighbours.

This would enable people to both grow and sell unprocessed food on a range of potential sites including commercial areas, vacant lots, residential properties, rooftops, institutional properties and other underused sites.

Individuals wanting to sell food would be required to obtain a business licence for offsite sales (such as retail locations and restaurants) and on-site sales (such as food stands and farm box pick-up locations.) A year-long business licence for off-site sales will be available for $100. Two on-site business licence options will be offered, a three-month licence for $25 or a year-long licence for $100.

The proposed bylaw changes would also eliminate the need for a development permit for certain types of landscaping required for commercial and non-commercial urban food production (such as community gardens, community orchards and edible landscaping).

Also proposed is an update to the Official Community Plan to clarify that development such as housing, office and retail buildings will be considered a higher priority than small-scale commercial urban food production, to balance food security and production with the City’s objectives for new housing and development.

'Lettuce' know what you think! The public is invited to learn more and share their feedback on the proposed changes by Monday, September 5, by email to engage@victoria.ca. All feedback will be shared with City Council for their consideration prior to the Public Hearing on September 8, 2016 starting at 6:30 p.m. inside City Hall.

Find more information at victoria.ca/growinginthecity