Policy Summary

This ordinance amended Title 21 of the County Code (relating to non-coastal zoning) to allow cottage food operations as a permitted use on residential property for all zones. The revisions updated County zoning code to comply with state law requiring cottage food operations to be permitted in homes. At the time of coding, the County Code had since been reorganized and renumbered.

Background Information

State California
Jurisdiction Name Monterey County
Jurisdiction Type County,
Population Size 200,000-800,000
Legal Strategies
  • Expressly allows something
  • Requires something, sets standards
Reach Community-wide
Food System Category Process; Distribute;

Policy Details

Refers to priority populations?

See references to "prevent[ing] poverty and hunger," "low income and rural communities in which residents may have limited opportunities to purchase healthy foods." § 1 (B)(1) and (2).

Emergency management?
Health-related linkage?

See, e.g., references to "reduc[ing] obesity and obesity-related disease epidemics" especially in communities with limited opportunities to purchase healthy food . . . which may result in residents relying for much of their shopping on fatty, processed foods sold at convenience markets and corner stores." § 1 (B)(2).

Environmental linkage?

"There shall be no production of noxious or toxic odors or fumes, nor increase in numbers or duration of noise or traffic levels above those of ordinary residential use; nor use, storage, or disposal of materials of a nature or quantity not ordinarily found in residential neighborhoods, which have the potential to endanger the health, safety, or peaceful enjoyment of their property or neighborhood residence, or to constitute a hazard to their environment." § 4 (new section 21.64.090 (C)(4)).

Economic linkage?

See references to these terms: "entrepreneurial development," "microenterprises," "household incomes" and "strengthen local economies." § 1 (B).

Includes findings?

The stated findings include that "the California State Legislature adopted ..., the California Homemade Food Act...exempting home-based food businesses known as “cottage food operations” from many of the regulations that apply to traditional commercial food production;" and "[California] Government Code section 51035(a),... provides that cities and counties shall not prohibit a cottage food operation in any residential dwellings." § 1 (A). Also found that intent of state law included: to "create small businesses and help the economy recover and prosper by increasing the opportunities for entrepreneurial development through microenterprises that help supplement household incomes, prevent poverty and hunger, and strengthen local economies;" "Support community-based food production (cottage foods) which may reduce obesity and obesity-related disease epidemics, especially in ... communities in which residents may have limited opportunities to purchase healthy foods ...;" " Join thirty-two other states that have passed laws that allow business entrepreneurs to use their home kitchens to prepare for-sale foods that are not potentially hazardous." § 1 (B).

Has a stated intent or purpose?

Purpose was to implement state Homemade Food Act by classifying cottage food operations as a home occupation permitted on residential property, and establish regulations for home businesses (see new section 21.64.090 in the ordinance regarding the "purpose.") § 5.

Includes definitions?

Although not titled "definitions," new sections 21.06.215 and 21.06.650 added by the ordinance include definitions for "cottage food operation" and "home occupation." §§ 2, 4.

Addresses implementation?

Enforcement provisions?

Evaluation component?

Requires extra investment?

Code context and ordinance history

This is an uncodified ordinance (Ord. No. 5217, Jun. 11, 2013). History: amends Title 21 (Non-Coastal Zoning) of the Monterey County Code. At the time of coding, the County Code had since been reorganized and renumbered. This ordinance was followed by an ordinance that similarly amended the zoning code with respect to coastal zoning.


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