Lompoc residents who make their own non-perishable food will now be able to profit from their goods as the Lompoc City Council unanimously approved the cottage food operator ordinance Tuesday night….

Lompoc residents who make their own non-perishable food will now be able to profit from their goods as the Lompoc City Council unanimously approved the cottage food operator ordinance Tuesday night.

The ordinance, which the Planning Commission approved in August, allows citizens to apply for a home use permit in order to create low-cost goods and operate a business out of their home. The California law allowing the operation of cottage food industries was enacted in January. Cottage food operators have already started their businesses in other areas of Santa Barbara County, according to the county’s Public Health Department website.

Planning Manager Lucille Breese said approval of the ordinance required the city to update the home use permit to simplify the process for cottage food operator applicants. The Planning Commission provided a section in the ordinance in which a cottage food operator can obtain a permit, Breese said. The permits cost $92.80 and restrictions include a maximum gross sales amount of $35,000 in 2013. Applicants must also take a food processing class offered by the county.

Jenelle Osborne, vice chair of the Economic Development Committee, said during the public hearing that cottage food operators benefit businesses outside of their own.

“These cottage food businesses buy raw supplies to make their goods that they pass on to local businesses,” Osborne said. “They profit as well.”

Local cottage food operators also approached the council to comment on the ordinance. Dulcie Sinn, president of the Cha Cha Cooking Club, said she had been hoping to start her own cottage food operation before, but she thought California took a long time to adopt the ordinance.

“I am really excited about the people I am connecting with who are

artisan food makers, and I am looking forward to expanding a great deal,” Sinn said.

Mayor John Linn later read the list of non-perishable foods, including cookies, dried fruit and dried pasta, that cottage food operators can make. He also suggested creating a co-op in the future for local operators to come together and sell their goods.

Councilman DeWayne Holmdahl said Lompoc residents have been making their own food with intent to sell for years.

“I am real pleased to see this happen because there have been people in town doing this, even though the laws in town didn’t allow them to do it,” Holmdahl said. “We’ve been looking at this for 20 to 30 years.”

Kate Rounds, a Lompoc resident who initiated contact with the Planning Commission and worked to legalize the ordinance in Lompoc, said the opportunity was perfect for her to start a business that could lead to a larger, more successful operation.

Rounds and her husband Gale make a spice mix called Biker Spice that they already distribute to local stores. She said she plans to market her mix to San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties now that the ordinance has passed.

“We are looking forward to starting up something quick,” she said. “We just wanted to make sure everything was OK with the city before we moved forward.”

Also Tuesday night, the Library Foundation presented a $285,000 check to the Lompoc Public Library to fund the construction of the Charlotte’s Web Children’s Library Project bookmobile.

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