Urban Agriculture Permits

Overview
Learn about the permit process for urban agriculture zoning and what regulations exist for urban agriculture projects, including whether you need a permit.

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Before you begin to grow food in your backyard, it’s important to know the quality of your soil and how to mitigate potential issues. 

 

The San Francisco Department of Public Health regulates the keeping of small animals (e.g. chickens, ducks, and dogs) and hoofed animals (e.g. goats). Permits may or may not be required depended on the number of animals. 

 
For the most part, if you're growing food for personal use and consumption, urban agriculture permits (obtained through the Planning Department) are not required. Read>
If you're growing food to sell or to share with others, where the activity is not accessory use, you will generally need a permit. Read>
Urban agriculture projects must comply with physical and operational standards and policies relating to animal keeping, birds, bees, structures, soil hazard mitigation, water conservation requirements, and other areas, where applicable. Read>
To obtain an urban agriculture permit appropriate documentation must be prepared (e.g. site drawings, PUC Urban Agriculture Project Information Sheet) and taken through the permitting process with a visit to the Department of Building Inspection & Planning Information Center.Read>
The most common and easy to use permit for an urban agriculture project in San Francisco is called the Neighborhood Agriculture permit. Here are the operational standards for that permit.Read>
SF Public Utilities Commission provides guidance and regulates water management and water use for gardens, farms, and other landscape sites per the Water Efficient Irrigation Ordinance instated on January 1, 2010.Read>