CFM Unincorporated

Steps for Opening a

Certified Farmers' Market in

an Unincorporated Area

Step 1 – Agriculture, Weights & Measures (AWM)

To open a Certified Farmers’ Market (CFM), the applicant must obtain a CFM certificate from the County Department of Agriculture, Weights & Measures (AWM).  Qualified applicants must be a certified producer, a nonprofit organization, or a local government agency.  AWM will verify that the applicant has met the requirements of Steps 2-5 prior to issuing the CFM certificate.  *Fee Required*

Questions? 858-614-7786, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, M-F

Download a Certified Farmers' Market Application

NEW – Fee Deferral Letter – November 2020

Step 2 – Planning & Development Services (PDS)

CFMs in the unincorporated areas of the county must be approved by the County Department of Planning & Development Services.  CFMs must comply with all applicable local zoning requirements.  Limitations may include, but are not limited to, allowed zones, number of days and hours of operation, parking requirements, etc.  For approval of your market location, please contact PDS at

Questions? 858-565-5981, 8:00 am to 11:45 am, M-F

Planning and Development Services

Step 3 – Department of Environmental Health (DEH)

CFMs must obtain an organizer permit from the County Department of Environmental Health, Food and Housing Division.  All food vendors participating in the market must have a temporary food facility permit. *Fee Required*

Questions? 858-505-6900, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, M-F

Temporary Events website

Step 4 – Sheriff’s Department

In the unincorporated areas of the county, CFM organizers are responsible for obtaining a single Solicitor’s License from the County Sheriff’s Department.  The Solicitor’s License will cover all the non-certified vendors that intend to sell their products at the market.  *Fee Required*

Questions? 858-974-2106, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, M-F
Sheriff's Licensing
Download application

Step 5 – Department of Public Works (DPW)


CFMs which are proposed to operate within or may impact a County maintained road must obtain a Special Event Permit from the County Department of Public Works (DPW).  Please contact DPW at or 858-694-3862 to determine whether your market location will require a permit.  *Fee May Be Required*

Questions? 858-694-3850, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, M-F
Department of Public Works

Step 6 – Agriculture, Weights & Measures (AWM)

Once the applicant has met the requirements of Steps 1-5, AWM will issue the CFM certificate.  The applicant may make an appointment to pick up the completed certificate at AWM.

Address & Hours:

AWM - Attn: Ag Standards
9325 Hazard Way, Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92123
Hours: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, M-F
Phone: 858-614-7786

Opening a CFM in a City

The process for opening a CFM is different in an incorporated city than in an unincorporated area of the County.  Not sure if your market will be in a city or unincorporated area?   Look it up

Open a CFM in a City


AWM has collaborated with the County Department of Parks and Recreation to develop a list of County Parks in the unincorporated area that could be great locations for a CFM.  If you’re interested in opening a CFM in one of the County Parks listed below, please contact AWM at (858) 614-7786 or

North County: Live Oak County Park

Central San Diego: San Dieguito County Park, Lindo Lake County Park, Flinn Springs County Park

South County: Eastview County Park, Sweetwater Ballfields (Bonita), Sweetwater Lane Ballfields (Spring Valley), Spring Valley Gym/Teen Center, Spring Valley County Park, Pine Valley County Park

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