Torrey Hills board supports agriculture ordinance


The city of San Diego is considering reforming its urban agriculture ordinances to legalize chicken hens, bees and miniature goats, improve opportunities to sell local produce and allow community gardens in residential zones to have sales. Representatives from an effort to get the ordinance changes passed by San Diego City Council on Jan. 31 visited the Torrey Hills planning board Jan. 17 to obtain its vote of support.

Under the changes, beekeeping would be allowed, as would miniature goats and five female chickens within the setbacks of a home.

“Chickens make great neighbors, they make great eggs,” said supporter Caroline Olsen Van-Stone. “All the changes in the ordinance are focused on making a more sustainable city and promoting greater health, what more could you want?”

The board, overall, thought the proposal was a great idea and voted to support it 8-1.

Board member Kim Walker voted against the ordinance changes because while she supports sustainability, she didn’t like the idea of a chicken coop being allowed against her fence. She questioned if the ordinance passed, would homeowners associations (HOAs) would be able to overrule it.

Board chair Kathryn Burton said yes, HOAs would be able to block these agriculture activities.

“This ordinance really doesn’t have as much to do with Torrey Hills because of our HOAs as it does for other parts of the city who are very interested in urban agriculture,” Burton said, noting she saw great opportunities with the ordinance.