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San Pablo: Permit requirements could shutter urban agriculture project

gooseberGreenaway, Kate (1846-1901)
“Her Grandma – was ever so kind – and said now my dear you may play in the garden, till tea time but don’t touch anything – Oh no said the little girl. And her Grandmama had a fine gooseberry tree and the first thing the naughty girl did was to pick lots of her Grandmother’s favourite gooseberries.” Click on image for larger file.

Schneider said she has spent about $30,000 out of $45,000 she raised in grant funding to get established and doesn’t have the money to obtain permits from the health, fire, building and other departments that San Pablo is seeking.

By Rick Radin
Contra Costa Times


SAN PABLO — A farm set up to educate students and other residents about urban agriculture is on shaky ground with the city, which is saying that the farm needs a series of land-use permits to continue to operate.

The situation seems to have grown out of a misunderstanding between farm operator Linda Schneider and San Pablo over whether the permits would be waived because of the nonprofit status of the project and the tight budget under which it is operating.

“I made it clear to the city before we got underway that we would have funding for the farm or for them, but not for both,” Schneider said.

Schneider started the farm to help educate residents about urban farming in January under the auspices of her Richmond-based nonprofit, Self-Sustaining Communities ( The 2.2-acre hillside plot along San Pablo Dam Road was donated to the organization last December.

Read the complete article here.