Temporary Agritourism Community Events

POD 19-002

Project Contact: Timothy Vertino | timothy.vertino@sdcounty.ca.gov | (858) 495-5468


The Temporary Agritourism Community Events Ordinance Amendments was adopted by the County of San Diego Board of Supervisors, see below for details.

January 29, 2020 Minute Order

February 12, 2020 Minute Order


Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Who is eligible for a Temporary Agritourism Community Event?

A: To hold Temporary Agritourism Community Events the property must 1) be zoned for agricultural, 2) consist of a commercial agricultural use, 3) consist of 50% of land suitable for agriculture and 25% active agriculture, and 4) host agritourism activities.

Q: What are Agritourism Activities?

A: Agritourism activities are allowed by-right and are an accessory use to a commercial agriculture operation. The activities are considered educational in nature and include U-Pick operations, on-site tours, on-site agricultural instruction or demonstrations, lectures or classes related to agriculture.

Q: Can a Winery hold an Agritourism Community Event?

A: For agritourism activities and events the primary criteria is the underlying agricultural zoning of the property. If a vineyard and/or winery meets the event eligibility criteria, Agriculture Tourism Community Events would be permitted. A Winery is an agricultural use under the Packing and Processing Use Type (Zoning Ordinance Section 17535.d-g) described as the crushing of grapes, berries and other fruits and fermentation, storage and bottling of a specified amount of wine per year, dependent upon the winery tier.

Q: What is Meant by the 2 goods Vendors or 51% Agricultural Goods Requirement?

A: The Board of Supervisors directed County staff in Fall 2018 to include a provision for multiple food and goods vendors. If the Draft Ordinance amendments are approved multiple food vendors and a maximum of two goods vendors may be incorporated as part of the Agricultural Community Event, subject to all applicable permitting and licensing requirements (e.g. an ABC license is still required if selling wine). Additional goods vendors may be allowed provided that 51% of the total vendors at the event are related to agriculture or food.

Q: How does this Project affect the Tiered Winery Ordinance?

A: Agriculture Promotion Community Events would be a permitted use, therefore would be allowed where any agritourism activities are occurring. Any winery with an operating permit must continue to operate within the permit parameters.

Q: How many events can I have?

A: The Draft Ordinance states that the number of Temporary Agricultural Tourism Community Events shall occur in accordance with Section 113755 of the California Retail Food Code. This code specifies the temporary sale of food shall no occur more than 25 days over a 90 day period. Frequency of Events exceeding this code, shall be considered permanent and not qualify as a Temporary Agricultural Tourism Community Event.

Q: What are the Hours of Operation?

A: Temporary Agritourism Community Events shall be limited from 8 a.m. to sunset daily, including any removal of temporary items.

Q: Does this Draft Ordinance allow me to host weddings, music concerts, and/or carnivals?

A: Private or commercial events such as weddings, music concerts, and carnivals are not considered incidental to primary agricultural, horticultural, or animal husbandry uses, and do not qualify as Agricultural Tourism Community Events.



Since adoption of the Agriculture Promotion Program in 2017, agriculture-related business opportunities have expanded in rural communities. To further strengthen these communities, there are opportunities for other businesses to partner with an agricultural producer to enhance agricultural tourism experiences. Specifically, enabling food and goods vendors to operate at agricultural tourism events would enable producers to enhance community members’ experiences on agricultural producing lands and further foster a sense of community.

To continue strengthening the Agriculture Promotion Program, on May 16, 2018 (5), the Board directed the Chief Administrative Officer to explore options that would make it easier for local, small-scale businesses to provide food and goods at community based events on agriculture producing properties in the unincorporated area.

On November 14, 2018 (1), staff returned to the Board with a range of options to strengthen agriculture tourism in the County. The Board directed the Chief Administrative Officer to establish short- and long-term options to allow agricultural community events during agri-tourism activities, such as harvest festivals. Agricultural community events would be considered accessory uses to agricultural operations, and would exclude weddings and parties.

Board Letter
Minute Order

Previous Public Meetings:

County of San Diego Planning Commission

Descanso Community Planning Group - 9/19

Public Workshop Presentation

August 13, 2019
Valley Center Branch Library

August 14, 2019
Ramona Branch Library

Information regarding Community Events in the County of San Diego can be found here: Community Events Permit