Commencing this year new legislation in Civil Code Section 4750 protects the rights of homeowners who wish to use their backyard or exclusive use area for personal agriculture. Personal agriculture is the use of land to cultivate edible plant crops for personal use or donation. A plant crop is any crop in its raw or natural state, which comes from a plant that will bear edible fruits or vegetables. It does not include marijuana or any unlawful crops or substances.
While the homeowners association may not prohibit the use of backyards for this purpose they may impose reasonable restrictions on the use of the yard for personal agriculture. Reasonable restrictions are those that do not significantly increase the cost of engaging in personal agriculture or significantly decrease its efficiency.