Policy Summary

Uncodified ordinance amending Section 6-520 of the Fresno code to allow home gardens and community gardens of 1/4 acre size or less to use drip irrigation systems to water fruit and vegetable gardens and fruit trees any day of the week, exempting these gardens from the city's water conservation laws. The law describes what kind of drip irrigation system is allowed, and also creates a process for larger gardens to also request an exemption.

Background Information

State California
Jurisdiction Name Fresno
Jurisdiction Type City,
Population Size 200,000-800,000
Legal Strategies
  • Creates an exemption
  • Expressly allows something
Reach Community-wide
Food System Category Grow;

Policy Details

Refers to priority populations?

Refers to populations affected by food insecurity and preventable nutrition-related chronic diseases in the "whereas" clauses.

Emergency management?
Health-related linkage?

"Whereas" clauses desribe gardens as "empower[ing] families and communities to be more healthy and self-sufficient," as improving access to local, fresh food, and the "growing need for healthy, sustainably produced, locally grown foods"; and to "preventable nutrition-related diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease."

Environmental linkage?

Focus of law is on water conservation, and "whereas" clause refers to "sustainably produced" food.

Economic linkage?

"Whereas" clauses refer to communities that are "self-sufficient" and food security.

Includes findings?

The "whereas" clauses include several findings about how gardens benefit public health and welfare, including: that many families rely on vegetable gardens for food; that home and community gardens provide consistent, adequate access to fresh local foods, increase food security, and empower families and communities to be self-sufficient; that they are important strategy for populations affected by food insecurity and nutrition-related chronic diseases and encourage people to eat more fruits and vegetables.

Has a stated intent or purpose?

Whereas clauses include this language: "the Council now wishes to further amend Section 6-520 to allow for watering of food-producing plants by drip irrigation on any day of the week" and that the ordinance is necessary to preserve an "inexpensive food source" for city residents.

Includes definitions?

Although not labeled as a definition section, the added Sec. 6-520(b) includes a definition for "drip irrigation"

Addresses implementation?

Enforcement provisions?

Evaluation component?

Requires extra investment?

Code context and ordinance history

Uncodified ordinance: Amending Section 6-520 of the Fresno Municipal Code (Bill. No. 32, Ord. No. 2015-29, Aug. 27, 2015), to add exemption for watering of community gardens. Codified version of the law is at: https://library.municode.com/ca/fresno/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=MUCOFR_CH6MUSEUT_ART5WARE_S6-520WACO (see Sec. 6-520(b)).


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