(Material summarized from California Homemade Food Act, AB 1616)
Cottage Food Operations may be subject to various local requirements. CFO operators need to consult their local planning department to learn requirements and permits required.
A city, county, or city and county shall not prohibit a CFO in any residential dwellings but shall do one of the following:
a) Classify a CFO as a permitted use of residential property for zoning purposes.
b) Grant a nondiscretionary permit to use a residence as CFO that complies with local ordinances.
c) Require any CFO to apply for a permit to use a residence for its operation.
Therefore, CFOs may be subject to various local requirements, such as:
Planning and zoning: All CFOs need to obtain approval from their local planning department. AB 1616 gives planning departments several options to consider; therefore, planning department requirements may vary between jurisdictions.
Environmental Health: “Class A” CFOs must register with the local enforcement agency and submit a completed “self-certification checklist” approved by the local environmental health agency. “Class B” CFOs must obtain a permit from the local environmental health agency.
Other requirements: Check on other state or local requirements that may be applicable, such as a business license, provision of parking spaces for customers.
Local Environmental Health Department Links (California Department of Public Health) (PDF 308 KB)