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Planning Commission recommends Farmer's Market by-right zoning

Zoning cleanup allows outdoor dining in Fallbrook Village

While most of the Zoning Ordinance changes recommended for approval by the county’s Planning Commission were minor revisions, including an update which allows outdoor dining in the new Fallbrook Village zones, a more prominent change would allow a Certified Farmer’s Market to operate by right in appropriately zoned areas.

The Planning Commission’s 6-0 vote November 21, with Commissioner Bryan Woods absent, sends the recommendations to the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.

The county’s Department of Planning and Land Use intends to docket the recommended changes for the December 10 Board of Supervisors meeting.

The proposed changes add a definition for a Certified Farmer’s Market.

Under the definition a Certified Farmer’s Market may be either indoors or outdoors but must be a temporary facility for the display and sale of produce or other agricultural products such as horticulture, nuts, honey, and eggs.

A Farmer’s Market becomes a Certified Farmer’s Market upon issuance of a certificate by the county’s Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures.

If the supervisors approve the change, a Certified Farmer’s Market will be allowed on a legal lot on parcels with certain zoning and under specified conditions. The changes would also exempt a Certified Farmer’s Market from a site plan.

“There’s growing demand for Farmer’s Markets,” said Eric Larson, the executive director of the San Diego County Farm Bureau.

At the time of the Planning Commission hearing, only three of the 31 Certified Farmer’s Markets in San Diego County were located in unincorporated communities.

One of those is at a school in Lakeside, although a county park has been identified as a more preferred site.

“That attempt to put the Farmer’s Market in Lakeside is one of the reasons the ordinance cleanup came about,” Larson said.

“Under these regulations, we’ll be able to put that market in what we think is a much better location in the community,” Larson said. “It’s a more centralized location, more visible to the community.”

Under the proposed regulations a Certified Farmer’s Market would be allowed on public property (with permission of the public agency) or on property with commercial C31 (Residential-Office Professional), C32 (Convenience Commercial), C34 (General Commercial-Residential), C35 (General Commercial/Limited Residential), C36 (General Commercial), C37 (Heavy Commercial), C40 (Rural Commercial), or C42 (Visitor Serving Commercial) zoning.

The five commercial zones where a Certified Farmer’s Market would not be allowed are RC (Residential-Commercial), C30 (Office-Professional), C38 (Service Commercial), C44 (Freeway Commercial), and C46 (Medical Center).

A Certified Farmer’s Market would also be allowed within commercial components of property with S88 (Specific Plan) zoning.

A Certified Farmer’s Market would not be allowed within a private road easement or on vacant or unimproved land, and the sales area may not disrupt the flow of traffic onto and off of the site.

A Certified Farmer’s Market would be limited to one day per week. All activities, including setup and preparation as well as sales and close-up, would be limited to between 6:30 a.m. and 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and between 7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Sunday.

The approval of the amendments to the Zoning Ordinance was simplified when a proposal to allow up to five private burial plots on owner-occupied primary residences of at least ten acres was deferred to a future date.

“We had some outstanding legal issues,” county Department of Planning and Land Use interim director Eric Gibson said of the elimination of the burial plot allowance from the proposed amendments.

“I was pleased to see that,” Planning Commissioner Michael Beck said of the removal of the burial plot issue.

Greenhouses of any size are allowed by right in areas with Rural Residential, Agricultural A70 and A72, and General Rural S92 zoning, and in other residentially zoned areas greenhouses of up to 450 square are allowed by right while a Minor Use Permit may increase the allowable size.

The changes would replace the Minor Use Permit requirement with an Administrative Permit (both permits allow for public review but a minor use permit request is automatically heard by the county’s Zoning Administrator while a hearing for an administrative permit takes place only if requested by a member of the public) while increasing the by-right size to 500 square feet.

The proposed changes would also codify compliance with applicable setback and building code requirements for all greenhouses while giving the building official the authority to determine whether a building permit is required for a greenhouse.

The recent creation of the Boutique Winery use classification led to the proposed addition of an exemption of a single sign of up to 12 square feet from sign regulations.

An existing exemption covers a permitted roadside sales stand which advertises products produced on the premises.

The Fallbrook Revitalization Plan was adopted in 2003 and added five Fallbrook-specific zones.

While outdoor café seating accessory to an eating and drinking establishment had previously been permitted on property with C32, C34, C35, C36, M50 (Basic Industrial), and M52 (Limited Industrial) zoning and outdoor café seating accessory to food and beverage retail sales was permitted in C32, C34, C35, C36, and M50 zones, the creation of the V1, V2, V3, V4, and V5 zones forced the planned addition to the Zoning Ordinance to allow outdoor seating in accordance with the Fallbrook Village regulations.

A proposed change to the setback definition stipulates that if a parcel or lot abuts a public road the front setback will be measured from the center line of that public road.

Another proposed change allows the on-site incidental sale by a recycling facility of products produced from recycled material.

The proposed changes will also exempt county-undertaken solid waste management projects on county-owned land (for example, recycling activities at community centers) from the Zoning Ordinance.

The manager of a recreational vehicle park is currently permitted to reside continuously in the park, and the proposed changes would require on-site residence either on a campground space or in a permanent dwelling unit.

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