Encourages and increase opportunities for access to healthy foods, support continued use of agricultural lands for agricultural production, improve the economic viability of farming enterprises, the County’s Zoning Code.(Chapter 26 of the County Code) establishes an administrative zoning permit approval processes for Small-Scale Farm Retail Sales Facilities which do not exceed 500 square feet on parcels of two or more acres in the LIA, LEA, DA, and RRD Zoning Districts.
A Farm Retail Sales Facility is defined by the Code as ”… a small–scale retail facility for year-round sales of agricultural products grown or raised on the site or other properties owned or leased by the farm operator, and pre-packaged goods processed from onsite agricultural production, excluding alcoholic products. Examples include dairy and meat products that require refrigeration….”
To help assure that the rural character of agricultural areas is maintained, and the potential for land use conflicts and environmental impacts minimized the Code sets forth approval criteria and performance standards (see attached) which must be met initially and on an ongoing basis.
Agricultural Onsite sales operation that do not meet the requirements for Farm Retail Sales Facilities on an ongoing basis or which are not otherwise allowed as a Farm stand, Community Supported Agriculture, or Cottage Food sales, may be considered with a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) application where allowed by the parcel’s base zoning district.
The applicant/operator would be is responsible for complying with all requirements of Federal, State and local law which apply to the type of retail sales. These may include: food safety laws, buildings codes, and accessibility requirements.
Applicants are encouraged to consult with Permit Sonoma staff regarding other requirements of the County Code. The County’s Agricultural Ombudsman at the University of California Cooperative Extension can also lend assistance in determining what other permits may be required or providing agency contacts.