Please read carefully.  Your License Agreement obligates you to abide by these Rules and Regulations.


The Community Gardens have been established to insure an opportunity for active participation in the Community Gardens Program for residents of the City of Santa Monica.

The Community Gardens Advisory Committee serves in an advisory role to assist with the operations of the gardens.  The Community Gardens are managed by the City of Santa Monica’s Community and Cultural Services Department, Community Programs Division.

Garden plots may be reserved under a License Agreement for a period of up to twelve (12) months at an annual fee established by the City, commencing on January 1st of each year or as a plot becomes available throughout the year. All License Agreements expire on December 31st. 

All interested Santa Monica residents will be assigned plots within the garden area when available on a one plot per household basis.

Plots are available to Santa Monica residents only.

Commercial use of plots is not allowed.

Gardening hours are from sunrise to sunset.

No licensee shall enter a garden plot, other than his/her own, without that licensee’s permission.

Licensee may not assign his or her garden plot to another individual.  Doing so will result in immediate loss of license for that plot.

A license agreement will be entered into between the licensee and the City.


  1. Licensees must show proof of City of Santa Monica residency (valid California Identification and/or California Driver’s License and a residence utility bill).

2. A gardening plot license will be issued to Santa Monica residents only with a     maximum of one plot per household.

  1. Garden plots will be assigned to eligible Santa Monica residents on a first come, first served basis.


  1. Current licensees (original gardeners) as of January 1, 2006, will have the ability to renew their license agreement for calendar year 2006.
  2. All subsequent vacated plots will be filled from the existing Community Gardens waiting list (replacement gardeners).  Replacement gardeners will be allowed to complete the current calendar year ending December 31st and have the opportunity to renew their gardening license for seven full calendar years.
  3. Near the end of 2006, all remaining original gardeners will be entered into a random drawing to determine the number of additional years each will be allowed to renew their license agreement, effective January 1, 2007.

a. The 1st 23 gardeners randomly drawn may renew their license agreement for 9 additional years.

b. The next 23 gardeners randomly drawn may renew their license agreement for 8 years.

c. The remaining original gardeners may renew their license agreement for 7 years.

  1. Licensees eligible to renew their plot assignment for the following calendar year may do so by applying prior to December 31st.
  2. Commencing January 1, 2006, at the conclusion of a gardeners license agreement term limit, licensees are not eligible for reapplication for 1 calendar year unless there is no waiting list.


During calendar year 2006, the Advisory Committee will work with City staff to determine guidelines which will allow for a reasonable number of plots to be divided in half  as they are vacated, or at the request of current gardeners, in an effort to enable  gardening by persons desiring smaller sized plots.    


City’s Responsibilities

  1. City will provide water to within ten (10) feet of each garden plot.
  2. Refuse collection will be provided at the gardens based on the collection schedule of the Solid Waste Management Division.

3. The structure of the pathways and exterior perimeter fences will be maintained by

    the City.

4. City will conduct inspections and issue non-compliance notices to gardeners not properly maintaining their gardens.

  1. The City has no other responsibilities except those stated above.

Licensee’s Responsibilities

1. Licensees may not apply any materials or substances to the pathways without City approval.

  1. The Community Gardens is a year round activity. All gardens must be actively planted and gardened on a year round basis.  Contact the City for referrals for assistance if extenuating circumstances temporarily prevent a licensee from fulfilling his/her gardening responsibilities.

3.  At least one person named on the license agreement must be present when gardening is occurring. Persons named on the license agreement must perform the majority of work except during vacation or short term illness for which the licensee must notify the City.  Licensees may name one person not living with them on the license agreement as a Gardening Assistant.

4.   Each licensee will provide his/her own tools, supplies, seeds, etc.

5.   New licensees must have their plots cleared and cultivation started within one month of the plot assignment.

6. Invasive plants, weeds and grass, including but not limited to:  morning glory, palm, bamboo, kudzu vine, mallow, horsetail, false garlic must be removed.

7. The following guidelines must be observed in order to protect the open space and access to sunshine:

a.   All growth and property must remain within plot boundaries. All vegetation, structures, frames, etc., must not shade other gardens. 

b.   Plants that create thickets, such as bougainvillea must be trimmed and thinned regularly to allow sun flow and prevent shading.

c.  No trees of any size may be planted in the ground. Dwarf trees, less than five (5) feet in height, are allowed if contained in a pot above ground.

d.   Stagnant water is not allowed. Ponds must have mosquito fish or some form of mosquito preventative. Garden furniture is restricted to two (2) chairs, one (1) table (not larger than four (4) feet round or square, one (1) umbrella, and one (1) eight (8) foot bench.

f.    Plant growth on fences, interior and exterior must not extend through or over the fence onto public access areas or neighboring plots. Trimming on the exterior of fences is the responsibility of the licensee.

g.   Licensee shall make a best effort not to create habitats which attract rodents.

8.   Only materials needed for gardening may be stored in the plot. All storage must be orderly.

9.  No fertilizer may be used that in any way detrimentally affects adjacent gardens.  No herbicides may be used.  Only botanical insecticides   may be used.

    10.  No animals are permitted off-leash in the garden area.  No licensee may allow her/his animal to enter into another licensee’s plot without             his/her permission.

    11.  All gate keys are the property of the City of Santa Monica and must be returned upon conclusion of the licensing agreement.

   12.   Repeated violations of these Rules and Regulations will result in termination of the privilege to retain a garden plot.

a.   City staff will conduct inspections at least once per month and notify gardeners in writing of rule violations. Violations must be corrected within three weeks of the date of notification. If the violation is not corrected within three weeks, another violation notice will be issued. A maximum of three violation notices will be allowed within twelve consecutive months. If a fourth violation occurs within the 12 month period, the license will be terminated and the gardener will have 14 days to clear and vacate the plot. Any plants, supplies or other materials left in the plot after the expiration of that period will become the property of the City.

b.   Three volunteer gardeners approved by attendees at a noticed Advisory Committee meeting shall walk the gardens on an every other week basis (no less than once/month) to identify situations where the Rules and Regulations are not being followed. A report of the findings will be provided to City staff within three days to aid City staff in conducting inspections. The volunteer gardeners performing this function will rotate every 6 months.


An annual Community Garden license fee shall be charged to partially off-set City maintenance expenses related to the operations of the gardens.  The fee will be revised and established annually by the City Council.


The Community Gardens Advisory Committee has been established to insure the proper operation of the Community Gardens and to insure opportunity for active participation in the Community Gardens Program.  The Advisory Committee is comprised of all currently licensed and waitlist gardeners.  Licensees and people on the wait list are encouraged to attend the Committee meetings to discuss operational issues, present new ideas and suggestions to improve the garden operation, and to discuss other garden related matters.

For information on the Committee meetings contact the City of Santa Monica’s Department of Community and Cultural Services, Community Programs Division at (310) 458-8300.