Placer supes act on hazardous vegetation ordinance

Board learns about plan to regulate cottage food industry
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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The Placer County Board of Supervisors has approved the permanent expansion of the county's hazardous vegetation abatement ordinance to all of the county's unincorporated areas.

The abatement effort started as a pilot program in fire-prone parts of the Lake Tahoe basin in 2007 and was later extended to communities in unincorporated areas on the western side of the county.
With the ordinance now permanently in place, owners of unimproved parcels that have no structures can be required to remove brush and trees that create a hazard to adjacent improved parcels.
Approved this past Tuesday, the ordinance encourages property owners to meet state and county requirements through the use of inspections, public education and, initially, cooperation. Before compulsory abatement is ordered and billed to the property owner, the ordinance has a process involving inspections and cooperative efforts.
Also Tuesday, the board reviewed plans for enforcing a new state law that allows home-based businesses to sell some types of food to the public, restaurants and stores.
Known as the California Homemade Food Act, the state law seeks to encourage community-based food production known as "cottage food operations."
Supervisor Jack Duran said the new program will help stimulate sales of the county's agricultural products.
All cottage food operators will be required to prepare foods on a state-approved list, complete a food-processor training course, create labels that comply with federal and state rules, and operate within established limits on gross annual sales.
Operations that sell directly to the public or at community events will be charged an annual $80 fee. Sellers of products through restaurants or markets will be required to pay $240 a year.