STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) — New urban agriculture ordinance in Stockton have been in the works for years and required changes to the city code.
Ed Bonilla is just one of many Stocktonians already embracing urban agriculture with his four chickens, a chicken coop and a raised vegetable garden.
“Chickens are fantastic because for one, they’re very, very easy,” Bonilla told FOX40 Wednesday. “Water and a little bit of food every day, and they don’t need anything. And they’re nice pets, very friendly.”
Though technically, his chickens are illegal in the city limits at least for another 30 days.
“I’ve had chickens all my life. Since I was little, and I’ve always lived in Stockton. I’m Stockton born and raised but my mother was a chicken criminal before me. And so, we’ve always had chickens. Even though it was supposedly against the law,” Bonilla said.
Tuesday night, the Stockton City Council unanimously approved a new urban agriculture ordinance that will allow some to have chickens, ducks and even bees on their property.
Roosters are still not allowed.
“I believe more people will have backyard chickens and gardens, which is excellent for everybody,” Bonilla said.
According to the city, the new ordinance also allows people like Bonilla to sell or share their produce from home if they have an abundance, creating new economic opportunities.
“We have enough for the whole neighborhood so free eggs is the big benefit,” Bonilla said.
The city hopes the new ordinance will increase access to fresh produce for people living in food deserts, areas that aren’t close to grocery stores.
“It’s criminal that yeah, that a lot of people in Stockton can’t get fresh produce. When fresh produce just hangs off the vines all around us,” Bonilla asserted.
Bonilla said it only makes sense for the city to finally embrace its roots.
“We are so blessed to live in Stockton, California, where everything grows, so more people should be growing their own vegetables,” Bonilla explained.
Stockton’s new urban agriculture ordinance officially goes into effect October 15.
For more information on the ordinance, tap or click here.