An amendment to the Denver Zoning Code is in the works that would allow Denver residents to sell home-grown produce and some “cottage foods” at their residences, directly to consumers. Councilwoman Robin Kniech proposed the change, in collaboration with the Denver Sustainable Food Policy Council and LiveWell Denver, with the intent of expanding access to healthy, affordable foods throughout Denver’s neighborhoods and to bring Denver into compliance with the Colorado Cottage Food Act.
A draft of the proposed amendment has been posted on the city’s website for public review, and city staff will be presenting the proposal to the City Council Land Use, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Tuesday, March 25.
RNOs interested in submitting comments or questions on the draft may direct them Senior City Planner Sarah Showalter (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Councilwoman Kniech’s office (email@example.com).
About the Amendment
The idea for the amendment was brought forward by Councilwoman Kniech as part of an effort to help implement city policy objectives to increase residents’ access to healthy foods, reduce obesity rates, and increase opportunities for self-sufficiency, as outlined in the 2020 Sustainability Goals for Health and Food. The amendment would also support Comprehensive Plan 2000 objectives to preserve and enhance the environment, create a sustainable economy, build on neighborhood assets and foster community.
Today, the Denver Zoning code does not allow direct retail sales of food from the home. However, some limited home businesses are allowed as accessory to the homes’ primary residential use. They include hair salons, professional offices, small-scale repair services, art studios and child care services.
The proposed zoning code amendment would allow individuals to sell:
· Raw, uncut fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs, grown in an on-site garden or community garden.
· Whole eggs produced by chickens or ducks owned and kept by the individual at the home.
· Cottage foods, which include non-potentially hazardous, unrefrigerated food products made on-site such as spices, teas, honey, jams, and certain baked goods, as defined by the state in Senate Bill 12-048 (known as the Colorado Cottage Food Act).
Sale of marijuana or products made with marijuana are NOT included in the amendment.
As proposed, sales would be allowed from 7 a.m. to dusk, indoors or outdoors, with one small window or wall sign allowed.
To learn more about the amendment or current regulations under the Denver Zoning Code, visit the Denver Community Planning and Development website.