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San Diego City Council Approves Backyard Chickens, Goats and Bees

The city has become the latest of many nationwide to pass land use laws meant to promote food production in urban areas.

— On Tuesday, the San Diego City Council voted unanimously to allow chickens, bees and goats as backyard pets, making San Diego the latest of many cities nationwide to pass laws promoting urban agriculture.

Advocates asked the Council to allow the animals so residents could supply their own food - eggs from chickens, honey from bees, milk and cheese from goats.

The council also allowed two new types of businesses: produce stands and small neighborhood farms where owners can grow and sell produce on site.

Dan Joyce is the city planner who drafted the law changes.

"Access to local food is important to the city," he said. "It's important for stabilizing our food resources, it's important for cutting down on our carbon. There are so many benefits that can come from having local sources of food."

But if you're worried your neighborhood will be overrun by farm animals, you can take solace in a few rules.

On most properties only two beehives are allowed. Roosters are banned. Only miniature goats are allowed as long as they're de-horned. And you can have no more than two goats, but no fewer either. Goats are social creatures, and they can get a little destructive if they get too lonely.

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