Photo courtesy Project New Village, Mount Hope Neighborhood
The Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone (UAIZ) Program offers a property tax incentive to encourage agriculture and healthy living in urban neighborhoods. Property owners in the City of San Diego, who for a minimum of five years, use or lease their vacant property for small-scale production of agricultural crops may be eligible for a property tax reduction through a lower land assessment value.
Municipal Code Ordinance: O-20959 (PDF)
The parcels must meet the standards established in State Code and the City of San Diego ordinance. The parcel must be vacant or unimproved. A vacant parcel has some form of improvement such as a slab but no structures. Unimproved means the parcel is empty with no form of improvements on it. Parcels must be between 0.1 and 3 acres (4,356 and 130,680 square feet).
Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone Guidelines
Does My Parcel Qualify?
Check out whether your property might be eligible for UAIZ in the using interactive map. View the map.
Parcels must be completely dedicated toward agricultural use, free of any homes or dwellings and only have physical structures that support the agricultural use of the site. Allowed structures include, but are not limited to, toolsheds, greenhouses, produce stands and instructional space. Parcels may not already be zoned agricultural.
Properties must begin urban agriculture operations within 60 days of filing a contract. The City will conduct annual monitoring and site visits to ensure compliance with the program.
Application: 10 Steps to Starting Your UAIZ Contract
1. Property owner contacts Economic Development Department (EDD) at email@example.com or 619-236-6700 to get UAIZ program application or download the UAIZ Application (PDF) here. Property owner submits application to EDD by emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailing it to City of San Diego, Economic Development Department, 1200 Third Ave., Suite 1400, San Diego, CA 92101.
2. EDD staff reviews application to determine whether the parcel is eligible for the program.
3. EDD staff determines if application requires permits/approvals from Development Services Department (DSD); if required, staff will set up consultation with DSD.
4. EDD staff notifies applicant if permits/approvals are required and provides instruction for obtaining permits/approvals.
5. EDD staff performs a site visit of applicable parcel.
6. EDD staff approves or denies application.
7. EDD staff drafts contract for property owner (See a sample contract here).
8. Property owner reviews contract.
9. Property owner approves contract and records a copy of the contract with County of San Diego Assessor/Recorder/Clerk.
10. Property owner provides a copy of the recorded contract to the following two (2) agencies: City of San Diego Economic Development Department and County of San Diego Assessor/Recorder/Clerk. Property owner should keep one copy of contract for his or her own records.
UAIZ Frequently Asked Questions
CIty of San Diego Urban Agriculture Amendments (2012)
City of San Diego Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone Program Guidelines
City of San Diego - Urban Farming page
County of San Diego Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk
County of San Diego Certified Producer (Farmer)
County of San Diego Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures
California Department of Food and Agriculture
San Diego Food System Alliance
San Diego County Farm Bureau