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Public and Private Policies. Mary Bianchi [email protected] Loren Oki [email protected] Your Local Community. Local Regulations or Policies Land Use Food Safety Water Use. Are your edible gardens restricted by Covenants Codes and Restrictions (CCRs)?. Yes No I am not sure.

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Your local community
Your Local Community

  • Local Regulations or Policies

    • Land Use

    • Food Safety

    • Water Use

Are your edible gardens restricted by covenants codes and restrictions ccrs
Are your edible gardens restricted by Covenants Codes andRestrictions (CCRs)?

  • Yes

  • No

  • I am not sure

Land use
Land Use

  • Private policies/restrictions

  • Home Owner Association

    • Restrictive Covenants

    • Covenants, Conditions, Restrictions (CCR)

      • Fort Bend Texas – “no vegetable gardens shall be permitted except in fully screened areas in the backyard only so as not to be visible from the street or objectionable to an adjacent property”

    • Maintenance and aesthetics are key! (?)

  • AB 1061, Lieu 2009

    • This act provides that the architectural guidelines of a common interest development shall not prohibit or include conditions that have the effect of prohibiting the use of low water-using plants as a group.

Land use1
Land Use

  • Public and private policies may differentiate based on edible versus ornamental landscapes

    • e.g. Sacramento City ordinance required turf or low growing groundcover in front yards

    • Section 17.68.010 of Title 17 Sacramento City Code (April 3, 2007)

      • “…the remaining unpaved portion of the setback areas shall be landscaped, irrigated, and maintained.”

      • “The landscape may include grass, annuals, perennials, ground cover, shrubs, trees… “

Land use2
Land Use

  • Public policies or restrictions

    • Focus on community gardens

    • Edible landscape policies might relate to

      • Setbacks

      • Height of vegetation in front and back yards

      • Maintenance

      • Restrictions on restrictive covenants

    • May require specific plant materials (trees) for new development

Food safety policy
Food Safety Policy

  • Donating produce (e.g., to food banks)

    • Organization or Institution policy

      • Check with target organization

      • Clean containers, sound product with minimum 3-day shelf life (typical)

    • Government policy

      • May be local guidance

        • Department of Environmental Health

      • Non-food safety policy may apply to preventing spread of pests (e.g., Light Brown Apple Moth, Asian Citrus Psyllid)

        • Donations may be restricted to county in which product was grown and may need to be defect free (caterpillar damage)

If I am not sure how a policy applies to edible landscapes or food harvested from these landscapes, I should:

  • Eat the food

  • Don’t eat the food

  • Ask a UC Master Gardener

  • Ask a UC CE Advisor

  • Seek information from an appropriate agency

Water use
Water Use

  • Policies related to water use may address:

    • Budget

    • Allocation and Pricing

    • Water Capture and Conservation

    • Rainwater collection systems

    • Greywater systems

  • Local jurisdictions must have landscape water conservation ordinance

  • Must adopt:

    • Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance, OR

    • Equally effective ordinance


  • Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (MWELO)

  • Requires a permit for new or rehabilitated landscapes larger than

    • 5,000 sq.ft. for homeowner-installed projects

    • 2,500 sq.ft. for developer-installed projects

  • Permit requires calculating an estimation of annual landscape water use

Sla is short for choose best answer
“SLA” is short for(Choose BEST Answer)

  • Special Libraries Association

  • Symbionese Liberation Army

  • Science Leadership Academy

  • Special Landscape Area

  • Singapore Land Authority


  • The estimated landscape water use must be less than or equal to 0.7 times ETo (reference ET).

  • Areas of edible plants are classified as “Special Landscape Areas (SLAs)”

  • SLAs are assigned an ETAF (ET Adjustment Factor) of 1.0


  • Local ordinances may differ considerably from MWELO

  • MAWA= Maximum Applied Water Allowance (gallons/year)

  • Water budgets may not exceed MAWA

  • Budgets calculated using plant water use information in WUCOLS

SLAs allowed 1.0 ETo


  • Budgets calculated using plant water use information in WUCOLS or other accepted reference

  • Department of Water Resources website



  • Local ordinances may vary considerably


  • Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (MWELO)

  • Local Ordinances in place of MWELO

I can find more information about landscape water use policies from
I can find more information about landscape water use policies from:

  • Department of Water Resources

  • My water provider

  • County CE office

  • California Center for Urban Horticulture

  • All of the above

Thank you any questions mary bianchi mlbianchi@ucdavis edu loren oki lroki@ucdavis edu
Thank you! policies from:Any Questions?Mary [email protected] [email protected]