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Articles by Jill Richardson

Jill Richardson is the founder of the blog La Vida Locavore and a member of the Organic Consumers Association policy advisory board. She is the author of Recipe for America: Why Our Food System Is Broken and What We Can Do to Fix It.

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The right to keep dwarf or miniature goats in your backyard is just one of the changes being promised in San Diego’s new urban agriculture ordinance.Photo: robotikaSan Diego resident Adam Hiner is hoping to get his chickens back. Adam and his sister were keeping hens too close to their house (breaking the city’s law that requires owners to keep them a full 50 feet from any residence) when a neighbor complained, and he had to give the birds to friends and family.

Another resident, Kaya de Barbaro, had to move her chickens around the city after a neighbor complained, eventually hiding them near a canyon, where one of them made a meal for a coyote. Some San Diegans have even tried to exploit loopholes in the municipal code that allow chickens in schools or museums, claiming to the city that their homes are actually schools. (No, it didn’t work.)

While enforcement of the 50-feet law is spotty when neighbors don’t mind, a newly proposed set of urban agriculture rules might just allow residents like Hiner and de Barbaro to keep their animals without breaking the law in the first place. That’s right; San Diego is getting an urban agriculture ... Read more

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