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Thread: Cottage food operations

  1. #1
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    Cottage food operations

    So California passed a law, AB 1616, Cottage Food Law that allows for home-based businesses to prepare and sell a limited list of homemade food products both directly to customers and indirectly to stores and restaurants. For the most part the local health departments are handling the registration aspect of the law, inspections, etc. The state law REQUIRES cities and counties to allow these operations either by right in the zoning ordinance or through a permitting process with "reasonable standards". The big issue is that these CFO's are in direct conflict with our home occupation ordinance, especially in regards to customers at the home, employees, parking, etc. I have been tasked to come with a plan for our city to implement this law. I know several states have similar cottage food laws, although I am not sure is they are as rigid as CA's. Have any Cyburbians in CA or elsewhere dealt with these uses? How does your community regulate them? Thanks!
    Last edited by rcgplanner; 30 Jan 2013 at 2:53 PM.

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    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by rcgplanner View post
    So California passed a law, AB 1616, Cottage Food Law that allows for home-based businesses to prepare and sell a limited list of homemade food products both directly to customers and indirectly to stores and restaurants. For the most part the local health departments are handling the registration aspect of the law, inspections, etc. The state law REQUIRES cities and counties to allow these operations either by right in the zoning ordinance or through a permitting process with "reasonable standards". The big issue is that these CFO's are in direct conflict with our home occupation ordinance, especially in regards to customers at the home, employees, parking, etc. I have been tasked to come with a plan for our city to implement this law. I know several states have similar cottage food laws, although I am not sure is they are as rigid as CA's. Have any Cyburbians in CA or elsewhere dealt with these uses? How does your community regulate them? Thanks!
    Does directly to customers mean at ones residence or does that mean centralized pick up or delivery to a customer? I think you can allow it by right as a HBB but defiantly get an opinion on what directly to customers means.
    @GigCityPlanner

  3. #3
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post
    Does directly to customers mean at ones residence or does that mean centralized pick up or delivery to a customer? I think you can allow it by right as a HBB but defiantly get an opinion on what directly to customers means.
    Our attorney's and the memo from the Legislative Counsel Bureau both say that the definition allows for "direct sales from the cottage food operation." We have taken that to mean that direct sales from the home are permitted. We are thinking we will need to add a subchapter to our home occupation chapter, similar what was done for family home daycare operations.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by rcgplanner View post
    Our attorney's and the memo from the Legislative Counsel Bureau both say that the definition allows for "direct sales from the cottage food operation." We have taken that to mean that direct sales from the home are permitted. We are thinking we will need to add a subchapter to our home occupation chapter, similar what was done for family home daycare operations.
    We already have an home occupation allowed use in the all our residential zones and for for quite sometime we issued these types of permits for use as a home based business without the need for a commercial kitchen upgrade. Our Home Occ regulations strictly prohibit clients/customers from coming on-site (you can go to them) and so does the AB 1616. Check with your County Board of Health, but you should require some sort of "sellers certificate" or other type clearance prior to issuance of a home occupancy permit, just sort of a cya, consistent with AB1616. Cal APA posted a PDF about it this morning.

    http://www.calapa.org/attachments/co.../63/AB1616.pdf
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

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    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Over here our state League of Municipalities would be working on a model code. It is a travesty if each community has to start from scratch. Check around with your version of the league, APA chapter, and your network of peers in other communities.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Raf View post
    We already have an home occupation allowed use in the all our residential zones and for for quite sometime we issued these types of permits for use as a home based business without the need for a commercial kitchen upgrade. Our Home Occ regulations strictly prohibit clients/customers from coming on-site (you can go to them) and so does the AB 1616. Check with your County Board of Health, but you should require some sort of "sellers certificate" or other type clearance prior to issuance of a home occupancy permit, just sort of a cya, consistent with AB1616. Cal APA posted a PDF about it this morning.

    http://www.calapa.org/attachments/co.../63/AB1616.pdf
    We are thinking about going down the path of issuing a Cottage Food License, similar to our Home Occupation License. Twentynine Palms, Newark, Walnut Grove and a few other cites have already amended their code to have a procedure for these businesses. In the Bay Area the cities I have looked at are making it pretty difficult to obtain a permit, requiring a public hearing and a CUP. On the Central Coast many of the communities I have called are either unaware of the new law or are even further behind then we are.

    Quote Originally posted by mike gurnee View post
    Over here our state League of Municipalities would be working on a model code. It is a travesty if each community has to start from scratch. Check around with your version of the league, APA chapter, and your network of peers in other communities.
    Cal APA is provding some guidence with FAQ's but many of the cities I have contacted are still trying to figure this all out. The League was against this law for the burden that it could put on the local governments. It is a mandate though and all communties have to allow them. It is a good idea in theory, sadly the lawmakers didn't think of the unintended consequences.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by rcgplanner View post
    We are thinking about going down the path of issuing a Cottage Food License, similar to our Home Occupation License. Twentynine Palms, Newark, Walnut Grove and a few other cites have already amended their code to have a procedure for these businesses. In the Bay Area the cities I have looked at are making it pretty difficult to obtain a permit, requiring a public hearing and a CUP. On the Central Coast many of the communities I have called are either unaware of the new law or are even further behind then we are.
    you didn't call mine
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

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