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File #: 2019-7228   
Type: Regular Agenda Item
Body: Planning Board
On agenda: 9/9/2019
Title: PLN19-0330 - 1205 Park Street - Use Permit for Use of an Outdoor Patio - Applicant: Mike Yakura. Consideration of a Use Permit to allow outdoor restaurant seating in an existing 480 square foot patio with a maximum capacity of 15 seats. The proposed hours of outdoor seating will be 11:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M., seven days a week. The project is located within the C-C-T (Community Commercial, Theater Combining) Zoning District. The project is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15301 - Existing Facilities
Attachments: 1. Exhibit 1 Project Plans, 2. Exhibit 2 Photos of Patio Area, 3. Exhibit 3 Public Correspondence as of September 9, 2019, 4. Exhibit 4 Draft Resolution

Title

 

PLN19-0330 - 1205 Park Street - Use Permit for Use of an Outdoor Patio - Applicant: Mike Yakura.  Consideration of a Use Permit to allow outdoor restaurant seating in an existing 480 square foot patio with a maximum capacity of 15 seats.  The proposed hours of outdoor seating will be 11:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M., seven days a week.  The project is located within the C-C-T (Community Commercial, Theater Combining) Zoning District.  The project is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15301 - Existing Facilities

 

Body

 

To:                     Honorable President and

                     Members of the Planning Board

                     

From:   David Sablan

                                Planner II

                  

Date:                     September 9, 2019

 

BACKGROUND

On July 18, 2019 the applicant submitted an application for a Use Permit to allow outdoor seating for a new restaurant “Spinning Bones” at 1205 Park Street within the Park Street Business District (Exhibit 1).  The tenant space is 1,700 square feet, and has been vacant since early 2018, most recently occupied by a photography studio.  The applicant has obtained building permits for restaurant tenant improvements which are currently underway.  Restaurants are a permitted use within the C-C-T (Community Commercial, Theatre Combing) Zoning District. Per Alameda Municipal Code (AMC) Section 30-4.9A, any permitted use which is not conducted within an enclosed structure requires the approval of a Use Permit. 

The applicant is requesting a Use Permit to allow use of a 480-square-foot rear patio as outdoor seating for up to 15 restaurant customers. The restaurant is located on the ground floor of a mixed use building.  The other ground floor commercial unit currently has a beauty salon and above the commercial spaces are 4 residential units on the second floor.  The adjoining property to the west (behind the building) is a multifamily dwelling with 9 residential units. 

There is an approximately 1,225 square foot patio behind the building.  The applicant will occupy approximately 480 square feet of this patio located directly behind the restaurant space for outdoor seating. The applicant will also build a forty-inch (40”) tall fence to partition off this area from the rest of the property.  The plans for use of the patio include dining tables that serve up to 15 customers. 

The proposed hours of operation for the outdoor seating will be 11:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M., seven days a week.  Within the C-C-T Zoning District restaurants the standard hours of operation are 7:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M.

ANALYSIS

Use permits of this nature are often approved by the Zoning Administrator, but in instances where an application generates neighborhood controversy or significant public interest, the Zoning Administrator may refer the matter to the Planning Board for consideration.  With this current Use Permit, several residential neighbors have expressed concerns about noise and other disturbances in anticipation of the restaurant’s proposed use of the rear patio.

Use Permit Conditions of Approval

Under the use permit process, the Planning Board can impose conditions on the use permit that ensure the proposed use relates favorably to other property and uses.  Based on a review of the proposal and understanding of the neighbors’ concerns, staff proposes conditions of approval relating to hours, noise, and lighting to ensure the outdoor patio operates harmoniously within the existing neighborhood.

Patio Hours

To minimize impacts to adjacent residents, the proposed hours of operation, 11:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M., are more restrictive than the standard hours of operation for the C-C-T Zoning District, which are 7:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M.  Staff believes that the proposed hours are reasonable and will minimize conflicts between the patio and surrounding residences.  Therefore, staff recommends a condition of approval that limits use of the patio from 11:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M. 

Noise

The patio where the outdoor seating is proposed is fairly small, only 480 square feet, and will have a low seating capacity of approximately 15 customers, which is an appropriate use within the C-C-T Zoning District and Park Street Business District. The patio is not intended to be a loud activity space, to minimize impacts to neighbors staff is recommending a condition of approval that would prohibit live music and amplified speakers within the outdoor patio.  Recently the Planning Board has approved Use Permits with “Good Neighbor” conditions of approval.  These are measures the applicant can take to proactively address potential conflicts with the surrounding neighborhood.  In this instance staff recommends a “Good Neighbor” condition that requires the applicant post signage at the entrance to the patio, and in the patio itself, informing customer’s to be mindful and courteous of surrounding neighbors.

Previous Noise Violations in Neighborhood

At the June 24, 2019 Planning Board meeting several neighbors addressed the Planning Board during public comment for non-Agenda items to bring attention to noise and quality of life issues raised by a nearby bar’s outdoor patio at 1215 Park Street.  Based on those comments staff determined that the bar’s outdoor patio had never been granted a Use Permit to operate.  Additionally it was discovered that the bar’s ABC license did not permit outdoor consumption.  Both the City and California Department of ABC required the cessation of use of the outdoor patio at 1215 Park Street.

 

The applicant pulled building permits for the interior tenant improvements at 1205 Park Street in March of 2019.  The City received several complaints regarding construction activities taking place after allowable hours.  The City’s Noise Regulations (AMC 4-10) permits noise from construction activities under valid permits between the hours of 7:00 A.M. and 7:00 P.M., Monday through Friday, 8:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M on Saturdays and prohibits noise from construction activity on Sundays.  On May 30, 2019 City staff discussed these complaints with the applicant and reiterated the need to adhere to the allowable construction hours.  Since then there has been two complaints filed for construction activities that took place outside of the allowable hours.  One complaint was for construction activity that took place on a Sunday and one complaint for work done on a weekday after 7:00 P.M., but which ended before 8:00 P.M.  According to the applicant the tenant improvements are anticipated to be completed by the end of September.

Lighting

Lighting for the patio has the potential to impact the neighboring properties if not properly directed and shielded from casting light onto neighboring buildings. The City’s Dark Skies Ordinance (AMC Section 30-5.16.c requires all new exterior lighting be directed downward and fully shielded to eliminate off-site glare.  In addition, light trespass, the amount of light that shines across property lines, is limited 1-foot candle as measured at the property line.  Decorative lights, such as lights on a string or any type of lighting pointed upward, would not be consistent with these standards.  Staff recommends a condition of approval that limits all exterior lighting to only Ordinance-compliant fixtures that are required for applicable health and safety requirements, such as exit lighting required under the Building Code.

Revocation

In the past, the Planning Board has conditioned similar projects to automatically trigger a revocation hearing upon three verified complaints related to approved Use Permits.  At three verified violations a pattern emerges that suggests either a nuisance problem  cannot be properly mitigated through the conditions of approval, or the applicant is failing to adhere to the conditions.  Staff recommends a condition that requires the Planning Board hold a revocation hearing upon three valid complaints related to the use of the patio.

Conclusion

The proposed outdoor seating is an added amenity to a permitted use that actively enacts the General Plan’s guiding policy to make the Park Street Business District Alameda’s downtown.  Staff recommends specific conditions of approval to address the potential for conflict between the outdoor seating and surrounding residences, namely addressing hours, noise and lighting.

PUBLIC NOTICE AND COMMENTS

Property owners and residents within 300 feet of the project’s boundaries were notified of the public hearing and given the opportunity to review and comment on the proposal.  On June 24, 2019, prior to the submittal of this application, several neighbors addressed the Planning Board during public comment about the negative impacts of a neighboring business operating an outdoor patio without proper approvals.  The neighbors also expressed concern on the potential impacts of this application.  Since that meeting staff has discussed these issues and the application with both the neighbors and applicant.  Public correspondence is included as Exhibit 3.

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW

This project is categorically exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15301 - operation, permitting or leasing of existing private structures involving negligible or no expansion of use beyond that which exists.  None of the exceptions to the categorical exemptions apply.  As a separate and independent basis, the project is also exempt from CEQA pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15183 (projects consistent with General Plan and Zoning).

RECOMMENDATION

Adopt the Draft Resolution (Exhibit 4) approving a Use Permit for outdoor seating.

 

Respectfully submitted,

David Sablan, AICP

Planner II

 

Exhibits:

1.                     Project Plans

2.                     Photos of Patio Area

3.                     Public Correspondence

4.                     Draft Resolution