Friday, August 12, 2011

Local Food Needs YOU: Portland's Urban Food Zoning Code Update Concept Report Accepting Comments

 "Community Food Distribution Points"

 The Urban Food Zoning Code Update Project is well underway here in Portland, Oregon.  

When word went out seeking volunteer community members to participate on the Portland/Multnomah County Food Policy Committee's Food Advisory Group, my heart felt the tug, but realistically, I couldn't commit to another endeavor during this season of life.

However, I am happy to follow updates from time to time and participate (and encourage your participation) as life allows.

Until August 15th 29th (that's Monday!), the public (that's you and me!) are invited to comment on the Food Policy Committee's Urban Food Zoning Code Update Concept Report

The report covers the future of Farmers Markets, Community Gardens, Urban Food Production, Community Food Distribution, and Animals & Bees. In general, their work seems to be going in a positive direction: solidifying the ability of Portland to strengthen its local food shed and bolster community food security.

However, if you only spend time educating yourself and commenting about one thing, let it be 4) Food Membership Distribution Sites (page 21 and following). Future policy making impacts Community Supported Agriculture programs (such as our CSA, Gardenripe) and Food Buying Clubs (such as our own previous Azure drops, and the various Food Buying Club drops around Montavilla, East Portland, and the rest of the city).

The report notes examples for Portland to draw from, including the city of Philadelphia's standards:
Home occupation standards could apply to food membership distribution sites. Home occupation language in Philadelphia’s code could serve as guidance for regulating food membership distribution sites. The following rules are of particular applicability: no more than one off-street parking space is permitted for visitors; no separate building entrances may be added for the sole use of the home occupation; home occupations may not produce noise, vibration, glare, odors, parking/loading demands, traffic of other unreasonable effects on neighboring residences, up to three people who are not residents of the principal dwelling be may present at one time in connection with the home occupation; and lastly, truck deliveries of pick-ups of products associated with the home occupation are allowed only between the hours of 8am and 7pm, and delivery and pick-up via semitractor trailer is prohibited.

(Remember that Azure semi truck coming kindly down our Montavilla street to drop off our load of goods?)

Currently, the option is on the table for Portland to restrict drop sites to commercial and light industrial areas (and thereby not in residential or open spaces - including churches located in residential areas).

A quote from Know Thy Food's Facebook page: "this is exactly what happened to us, and why we were forced to move out of my home into our current space. not every club will be able to survive or afford such a move, so proposals to force them into commercial or light-industrial spaces is a proposal to shut them down. let's not let it happen!" 

As the Committee contemplates Portland/Multnomah County's best choices for creating new policy, please let your voice be heard! (Remember, comments due by Monday!)

OR print a hardcopy and forward it to:

Julia Gisler
Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
1900 SW 4th Avenue, Suite 7100
Portland, OR 97201

Because we ARE the community.

Monday, August 15th Update from Julia Gisler:
Problems with the on-line survey has been resolved and we apologize for the frustration this caused over the weekend.

The good news is that all surveys submitted were received (even if you got an error message) and will be added to the public record. As a result of this mishap we will be extending the deadline for questionnaires/surveys to Monday, August 29th at 5:00 pm.

Please pass this information on to others you think may be interested in commenting on the Concept Report. You can find the questionnaire at
Julia Gisler, City Planner
Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability

Further reading:
Portland Planners Threaten Local Resiliency, Local Food, and Local Economy


Naomi Montacre said...

Hi Bethany! After I filled out the survey online and tried to share and test the survey link, I think it may not 'work' because it's been filled out already. I tried opening it in a different browser and it opened. So hopefully the survey is opening for everyone, especially with the coming 8/15 5pm deadline!

Thanks for your post : )

Bethany said...

Hi Naomi,

Thanks so much for stopping by. I've updated the post with information from Julia explaining that the survey has been fixed, that all past submissions were received despite the error message, and that the deadline has been extended by two weeks.

So glad that members of the community are taking the time to communicate with the city about these important issues.

Take care! xx


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