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3 B’s: Birds, Bees and Beans

3 B’s: Birds, Bees and Beans

Few things have wider implications for our personal and community sustainability than what we eat and where it comes from. To encourage more residents to “grow where you are”, we’ve worked with OpenSMC to create this guide on local residential zoning codes. We hope San Mateo County individuals and jurisdictions will use it and be inspired to grow beans (and other food crops), raise birds or keep bees!

Quick links: MapDetails by JurisdictionMethodology • AcknowledgementsDisclaimer

Map


Details by Jurisdiction

(Click a link to jump to section below)
Atherton • Belmont • Brisbane • Burlingame • Colma • Daly City • East Palo Alto • Foster City • Half Moon Bay • Hillsborough • Menlo Park • Millbrae • Pacifica • Portola Valley • Redwood City • San Bruno • San Carlos • San Mateo • South San Francisco • Woodside • Unincorporated San Mateo County

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Atherton

Birds and Other Animals

See Code Section 6.04.250 Zoning provisions—Animals and Fowl for full details. No horse, colt, cow, calf, goat, pig, sheep or other animals except household pets and chickens. Roosters are prohibited. Chickens, with permit: Not allowed on lots <20,000 sq.ft.; up to 3 on lots 20,000-40,000 sq.ft.; up to 10 on lots >40,000 and ≤ 80,000 sq.ft.; up to 20 on lots >80,000 sq.ft. No more than 40 chickens on school properties 2+ acres for educational purposes.

Bees

Legal, subject to nuisance code.

Beans (Agriculture/Gardens)

No restrictions found.

Atherton Zoning Code

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Belmont

Birds and Other Animals

Municipal Code Chapter 5 Article II: Allowed under proper conditions: chicken, goose, duck, turkey, pigeon (except homing pigeon), dove, squab, or similar fowl, or hare, rabbit, monkey, cow, sheep, llama, horse or goat (except pygmy goats of the genus “Capra hircus”) — maximum of 20 animals, no roosters over 4 months, all animals kept in suitable enclosures at all times, enclosure must be of sufficient size to safely and adequately house and exercise animals, must be kept clean and free of offensive odors; enclosures on properties with 5 or more animals may not be within required setback from property lines. ~~~ Stallion, swine, bull, ram or billy goat are unlawful within city limits. ~~~ Sec. 5-33. Special requirements for keeping horses, cows, sheep, llamas or goats (except pygmy goats) — minimum lot of 1 acre allows two such animals, each additional 1/2 acre allows an additional animal, see code for details on setback requirements for corrals and stables. ~~~ Chapter 5 Article IV: Pygmy goats of the genus Capra hircus: Up to two (2) altered male or female pygmy goats, with horn buds removed, are allowed with permit in appropriate pens/fenced areas kept clean and odor-free. See code for full details.

Bees

Legal, subject to nuisance code.

Beans (Agriculture/Gardens)

Crop and tree farms and gardens are allowed in the R-1A, R-1B, R-1C, R-1E and R-1H Zones.

Belmont Zoning Code

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Brisbane

Birds and Other Animals

Domestic animals permitted. Horses allowed with Use Permit approval. Permit required for exotic animals.

Bees

Legal, subject to nuisance code.

Beans (Agriculture/Gardens)

Permitted as an incidental or accessory use of developed property. Not permitted as a primary use.

Brisbane Zoning Code

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Burlingame

Birds and Other Animals

No horses, mules, cows, sheep, goats or exotic animals. Chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, pigeons, doves, squabs or other fowl, and rabbits under certain conditions: no roosters over 4 months, limited to 12 per lot/parcel, cannot be at large, enclosures must be kept clean and be a minimum of 35′ from any dwelling or street lines. See Municipal Code Section 9.08.010 for details. (http://qcode.us/codes/burlingame/view.php?topic=9-9_08-9_08_010&frames=on)

Bees

One hive per parcel/lot and must be at least 200 feet from any dwelling or house.

Beans (Agriculture/Gardens)

No information found.

Burlingame Zoning Code

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Colma

Birds and Other Animals

No livestock, chickens allowed only if 125 feet from a neighboring residence.

Bees

Legal, subject to nuisance code.

Beans (Agriculture/Gardens)

Hedge and trellis height restrictions for the R-S Zone.

Colma Zoning Code

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Daly City

Birds and Other Animals

No more than 2 animals of any kind; no roosters.

Bees

Legal, subject to nuisance code.

Beans (Agriculture/Gardens)

No information found.

Daly City Zoning Code

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East Palo Alto

* Information currently unconfirmed

Birds and Other Animals

A reasonable number of animals for non-commercial use is allowed.

Bees

Legal, subject to nuisance code.

Beans (Agriculture/Gardens)

Raising of fruit and nut trees, vegetables and horticultural specialties, and greenhouses less than 1,000 square feet are allowed.

East Palo Alto Zoning Code

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Foster City

Birds and Other Animals

Domestic fowl, and any fowl, reptile or animal which normally lives in a wild habitat and is a curiosity to the local community, whether wild or domesticated at the time of its keeping, is unlawful.

Bees

Prohibited.

Beans (Agriculture/Gardens)

No restrictions found; subject to watering regulations.

Foster City Zoning Code

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Half Moon Bay

* Information currently unconfirmed

Birds and Other Animals

2 chickens, ducks, geese, pea fowl, pigeons, turkeys and other fowl typically used for food or food products without permit; 3 or more require permit. Roosters prohibited. See code section 18.06.025 Use regulations for additional details.

Bees

Legal, subject to nuisance code.

Beans (Agriculture/Gardens)

Allowed.

Half Moon Bay Zoning Code

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Hillsborough

Birds and Other Animals

Fowl permitted (no roosters) with letter from City Manager or designee; no part of any enclosure shall be within 125 feet of any dwelling that is not owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by the resident of the property on which the enclosure is located.

Bees

3 hives or fewer. Bee hive or like place is situated more than fifty feet from any street, dwelling, or place of public assemblage.

Beans (Agriculture/Gardens)

No restrictions found.

Hillsborough Zoning Code

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Menlo Park

* Information currently unconfirmed

Birds and Other Animals

Horses allowed with permit (stallions prohibited). Poultry allowed with permit (poultry that disturbs the peace with sound/cry prohibited). Rabbits, hares, and guinea pigs allowed with permit.

Bees

Legal, subject to nuisance code.

Beans (Agriculture/Gardens)

No restrictions found.

Menlo Park Zoning Code

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Millbrae

Birds and Other Animals

Fewer than 4 fowl, bird, rabbit, rodent, or combination: no permit required; more than 4 requires a permit. Reference code for full details: Chapter 6 Sanititation and Health, 6.14, Miscellaneous Animal Control Regulations, 6.14.030 Permit required for multiple animals exceeding specified number., B. Fowl and Other Animals.

Bees

Legal, subject to nuisance code

Beans (Agriculture/Gardens)

No restrictions found.

Millbrae Zoning Code

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Pacifica

Birds and Other Animals

A permit is required for all animals except: A. Less than five (5) small animals or not more than two (2) of the same genus. B. Less than seven (7) psittacine (hook-bill birds) or passerine (soft bill birds). C. Animals less than four (4) months of age if they are the offspring of animals of the dwelling. D. Horses or other livestock actually used in commercial farming operations on the parcel of land where they are kept. See Administrative Policy No. 35: Standards for Keeping Animals for full details.

Bees

Permit required. Minimum 200’ to any habitable structure, public thoroughfare, or playground; must notify all property owners within same distance of permit hearing. See Administrative Policy No. 35: Standards for Keeping Animals for full details.

Beans (Agriculture/Gardens)

Permit required for crop and tree farming.

Pacifica Zoning Code

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Portola Valley

Birds and Other Animals

No restrictions found on animals except for horses. Permit required per Horsekeeping and Stables Ordinance Chapter 6.08 of the PVMC.

Bees

Legal, subject to nuisance code

Beans (Agriculture/Gardens)

Horticulture is a permitted accessory use Per 18.36.040 of the PVMC. Crop and tree farming and truck gardening, including sale of products grown exclusively on the premises; Conditional Use Permit required per 18.12.030.B (crop and tree farming) and J (grapes).

Portola Valley Zoning Code

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Redwood City

Birds and Other Animals

Dogs and cats (2, or up to 4 if more than 1 acre), chickens (3), rabbits (3), or combination not exceeding (3) allowed. Horses, cows, sheep (2) allowed, per acre, 1 additional animal for each additional acre with permit.

Bees

Legal, subject to nuisance code. Hives must be setback 25 ft from nearest adjacent dwelling, limited to 2 hives on properties 3,000 sq. ft. or less

Beans (Agriculture/Gardens)

Commercial agriculture is not listed as a permitted use. No restrictions found for private use.

Redwood City Zoning Code

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San Bruno

Birds and Other Animals

2 chickens, ducks, turkeys, pigeons, doves, and squabs or similar fowl or rabbits; no roosters over the age of 4 months allowed.

Bees

Legal, subject to nuisance code.

Beans (Agriculture/Gardens)

No restrictions found.

San Bruno Zoning Code

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San Carlos

Birds and Other Animals

No more than 4 fowl, no roosters allowed.

Bees

Permit required under the Animal Control Chapter, Section 6.04.330 of the Municipal Code. Also subject to Administrative Policy: one hive allowed on properties 10,000 sq.ft. or more, second if 20,000 sq.ft or more, max. 2 hives per property; setback a minimum of 10′ from any property line and 50′ from of any dwelling unit other than owners; see policy for additional requirements.

Beans (Agriculture/Gardens)

Community gardens permitted. Garden areas dedicated to edible plants count as landscaping.

San Carlos Zoning Code

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San Mateo

Birds and Other Animals

Chapter 8 Animals and Fowl: maximum 10 fowl and rodents in all, no roosters over 4 months old; minimum 20’ from another dwelling, minimum 3’ from any property line, permit only for fowl and rodents upon property occupied by the applicant, application for permit made to Building Division.

Bees

Permit required; limited to 1 hive, 2 hives if lot exceeds 10,000 square feet; minimum setback 25′ feet from any street, car line, inhabited dwelling, church, school, or place of public assemblage; subject to nuisance code, application for permit made to Building Division.

Beans (Agriculture/Gardens)

Commercial agriculture is not listed as permitted use or special use permit in this zoning district; however, there is a separate Agriculture District. No restrictions found for private use.

San Mateo Zoning Code

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South San Francisco

* Information currently unconfirmed

Birds and Other Animals

Maximum of 2 horses, jackasses, mules, burros, cows, and cattle with shelter location requirements.

Bees

Legal, subject to nuisance code.

Beans (Agriculture/Gardens)

Community garden with permit.

South San Francisco Zoning Code

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Woodside

Birds and Other Animals

Keeping of fowl, rabbits, or other small animals not to exceed an aggregate total of 25 in number per acre up to a maximum of 50 per lot. Structures housing such fowl or animals shall be kept a minimum of 50 feet from dwellings on neighboring properties. All required setbacks shall apply. Horses and cattle-the minimum property size shall be one acre and the maximum allowable livestock shall be one equine or bovine for each one-half acre, except as provided by §§115.27 and 115.30. Sheep and goats-the maximum allowable shall be two animals for each one-half acre. 153.049(G): (2) Structures, other than fences for housing, maintaining or concentrating livestock, fowl and small animals, shall be located as follows: (a) Not less than 80 feet from any main dwelling existing on an adjoining lot in an SR and R-1 District, and 100 feet from any main dwelling in an OS, SCP and RR District at the time such structure is erected; (b) Not less than 50 feet from any neighboring property line, when either the parcel upon which the structure is located or the adjoining parcel is in the OS, SCP or RR District; and not less than 40 feet from any neighboring property line, when either the parcel upon which the structure is located or the adjoining parcel is in the SR or R-1 District; and (c) Not less than 50 feet from any front property line or a property line adjoining a street.

Bees

Legal, subject to nuisance code.

Beans (Agriculture/Gardens)

Allowed.

Woodside Zoning Code

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Unincorporated San Mateo County

Birds and Other Animals

For R-1, R-2, R-3, R-E, and R-H: Parcels greater than 2,500 sq ft, no more than 6 chickens, ducks; roosters prohibited. parcels greater than 7,500 sq ft, no more than 10 chickens, ducks; roosters prohibited. See zoning code section 6401.1.1. for additional details including coop size and location.

For R-1/CCP Keeping of Livestock or Poultry as a Residential Accessory Use is Permitted. livestock includes, but is not limited to, cows, sheep, pigs, and goats. Poultry includes, but is not limited to, chickens, turkeys, ducks or geese. See zoning code section 6401.1.1. for additional details including coop size and location. See Confined Animal regulations for keeping of livestock.

For PC: No exotic animals, horses, livestock or poultry.

Bees

Legal, subject to nuisance code.

Beans (Gardens)

For R-E: Crop and tree farming and truck gardening; nurseries and greenhouses used only for cultivating plants not for sale.

Unincorporated San Mateo County Zoning Code

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Methodology

Using zoning codes posted online, OpenSMC researched the parameters of keeping bees, chickens and other domestic animals, and gardens in each city in the County. This research was then reviewed by Sustainable San Mateo County and sent to planning departments in each city for quality assurance and accuracy; jurisdictions which have not yet responded are noted.

To obtain residential zoning boundaries, OpenSMC used the County’s parcel layer to select parcels for residential zoning boundaries for each city by zoning boundary. Given the home-based nature of the project, only residential zoning boundaries were created. Each zoning boundary for a city was dissolved to create simplified, multipart polygons.

The residential zoning boundaries and the research were then joined together and loaded as a single file into CARTO, the mapping platform OpenSMC selected for the project.

If you think some of this information is incorrect or would like to alert us to an update to your city’s zoning code, please contact us: advocate (at) sustainablesanmateo.org

Acknowledgements

This project is a collaboration between Sustainable San Mateo County and OpenSMC, a Code for America Brigade. We are grateful for the work of our partners and volunteers from OpenSMC, particularly Cary Kelly, Jessica Parsons, Michelle Littlefield, Richard Reitmeyer, John Ridener, Ben Vogelwede, Lillian Wang, and Aiko Weverka. Project graphics created by Derrick Chinn, with Icons Designed by Vecteezy and Freepik.

Disclaimer

The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. Any reliance you place on this website or its contents is strictly at your own risk. Although SSMC and our project partners at OpenSMC endeavor to provide accurate information, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability of the website or of the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website. You agree that in no event will SSMC be liable for any loss or damage arising out of or in connection with the use of this website. Visitors are encouraged to confirm the accuracy of information with local government officials or by hiring legal counsel. This website may provide the ability to link to other websites that are not under the control of SSMC. We have no control over the nature, content and availability of those sites. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.

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From the 2014 Indicators Report

The county’s population is expected to grow by 185,000 before 2040.

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‟The reconciliation of growth and the environment...is the vast and grand work of the 21st century.”—Dan Walters