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File #: 2022-2062   
Type: Regular Agenda Item
Body: City Council
On agenda: 6/21/2022
Title: Public Hearing to Consider Introduction of Ordinance Amending Alameda Municipal Code Section 30-10 (Cannabis) to Add the North Park Street Maritime Manufacturing (MM-NP) District as a Location Where Cannabis Industry (Manufacturing) is Conditionally Permitted, as Recommended by the Planning Board. (Planning, Building and Transportation 20962710)
Attachments: 1. Exhibit 1 - Letter from Kiva, 2. Ordinance, 3. Correspondence - Updated 6/20

Title

 

Public Hearing to Consider Introduction of Ordinance Amending Alameda Municipal Code Section 30-10 (Cannabis) to Add the North Park Street Maritime Manufacturing (MM-NP) District as a Location Where Cannabis Industry (Manufacturing) is Conditionally Permitted, as Recommended by the Planning Board.  (Planning, Building and Transportation 20962710)

 

Body

 

To: Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

The proposed zoning text amendment would make property within the Maritime Manufacturing District, which currently permits light industrial manufacturing by right, eligible for Cannabis Industry with approval of a Conditional Use Permit.  On May 23, 2022, the Planning Board unanimously recommended approval.  Staff is also recommending approval of the zoning text amendment.  If approved, the zoning change will make it possible for Kiva Confections to apply for a conditional use permit to move their manufacturing operations from Oakland to Alameda.  

 

BACKGROUND

 

In December of 2017, the City Council adopted Alameda Municipal Code (AMC) Section 30-10 (Cannabis) which includes regulations governing the commercial cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, delivery, testing, and sale of cannabis and cannabis products.

 

Kiva Confections (Kiva) would like to relocate all of their cannabis edibles manufacturing facilities from Oakland to Alameda, but until now the company has been unable to identify an adequate site that also meets the locational limitations of AMC Section 30-10.   Kiva has identified a vacant site at 2421 Everett Street (located approximately 200 ft. west of Everett Street and the terminus of Everett Street at Blanding Avenue), which would meet their needs, but the site is located in the North Park Street Maritime Manufacturing District, which is not identified as a permissible location under AMC Section 30-10.  Kiva is requesting amendment of AMC Section 30-10 to conditionally permit Cannabis Industry uses in the North Park Street Maritime Manufacturing District.  If approved, an applicant would have the opportunity to apply for a conditional use permit for Cannabis Industry (Manufacturing) in the MM-NP Zoning District.  Exhibit 1 includes a letter from Kiva describing their interest in the zoning amendment and their plans for the site. 

 

On May 23, 2022, the Planning Board held a public hearing and recommended by motion that the City Council adopt an ordinance amending AMC Section 30-10 to allow manufacturing within the MM-NP Zoning District.

 

DISCUSSION

 

Section 30-10 of the AMC establishes regulations governing cannabis uses, and Section 6-59.4 establishes permitting requirements for cannabis businesses.  Kiva would like to conduct a “Cannabis Industry” at 2421 Everett Street, which is currently zoned MM-NP, North Park Street Maritime Manufacturing District.  Pursuant to Section 30-10, “Cannabis Industry” means:

 

the possession, manufacture, distribution, processing, storing, laboratory testing, labeling, or transportation of cannabis or cannabis products, or some combination of the foregoing in accordance with State law, by any person, business, or organization for commercial purposes, whether for profit or not. This use also includes the production, preparation, or compounding of cannabis or cannabis products either directly or indirectly or by extraction methods, or independently by means of chemical synthesis, or by a combination of extraction and chemical synthesis at a fixed location that packages or repackages cannabis or cannabis products or labels or relabels its container by any person, business, or organization.”

 

Pursuant to Section 30-10, Cannabis Industry may be conditionally permitted in the following zoning districts and locations:  C-M, Commercial Manufacturing District (which allows manufacturing of food and other products); AP-E1, Alameda Point, Enterprise District 1, AP-E2, Alameda Point, Enterprise District 2, and AP-AR, Alameda Point, Adaptive Reuse subdistricts (which allow manufacturing of food and other products);  and   Office, Research and Development, and Light Industrial zones in the Marina Village Master Plan area (which allow manufacturing of food and other products).  Section 30-10 does not conditionally permit Cannabis Industry in the North Park Street Maritime Manufacturing District.  

 

Pursuant to 30-4.25, the North Park Street Maritime Manufacturing (MM-NP) district preserves lands for maritime, light industrial and larger scale commercial and office employment uses.  Light industrial uses are generally permitted by right in the MM-NP district unless specific activities are called out as conditionally permitted.  Per Section 30-2, Light Industrial uses are defined as “an establishment or activity conducted primarily within an enclosed building that includes research and development, manufacturing, fabrication, or processing of any article, substance, or commodity and includes storage areas, truck access and loading areas, warehouses, and other similar activities and facilities that do not produce off-site external effects such as smoke, noise, odor, vibration.”

 

The North Park Street Maritime Manufacturing zoning district only applies to three sites on the north side of Blanding Avenue, including the subject site, Rhythmix Cultural Works, and the former Stone Boat Yard property.  The subject site is the largest of the three properties at approximately 2.7 acres in size, including buildings, parking lot and open yard.  There is a large industrial building on the site that is approximately 43,500 square feet in size, which was previously occupied by a company that manufactured concrete counter tops and related concrete products.  Kiva wishes to occupy the site in the future for manufacturing cannabis edibles. 

 

Apart from ensuring zoning compliance, all businesses seeking a use permit for Cannabis Industry must obtain a regulatory permit and meet the general conditions, including ensuring that the site meets the operational radius requirements - i.e., ensuring that the site is located more than 600 feet away (measured by door-to-door walking distance per AMC Section 6-59.10(e)) from a sensitive use (e.g., Youth Center, Tutoring Center, or Day Care Center.

 

Staff recommends approval of the zoning amendment, which would allow Cannabis Industry (manufacturing) as a conditionally permitted use in the MM-NP district, for the following reasons:

 

                     The zoning amendment provides the City an opportunity to review new Cannabis Industry uses under the Use Permit process.   

                     The MM-NP district is an industrial zone that already allows Light Industrial uses, including uses such as food and beverage manufacturing.

                     The MM-NP district is confined to a small area including just three sites along the estuary.  The proposed amendment would expand opportunities for a large, vacant site to be re-occupied with an active employment use as originally envisioned in the North Park Street Zoning District.

                     Light Industrial is defined in the AMC to include “processing of any article, substance, or commodity” [emphasis added].  The definition does not distinguish between the types of materials or ingredients used in manufacturing processes.  From a land use perspective, for example, there is no difference between a business that manufactures candy with cannabis ingredients and another business that makes candy but with other ingredients. By adding the MM-NP district as a zoning district where Cannabis Industry is conditionally permitted, this amendment brings consistency to the regulation of uses in the MM-NP district and ensures the same types of industrial businesses are treated equitably.

                     The proposed amendment may facilitate the possibility for Kiva, a growing employer, to locate its candy manufacturing operations in Alameda, providing needed jobs and skilled labor opportunities for Alameda residents, while reactivating an underutilized property.    

 

ALTERNATIVES

 

The City Council may:

 

                     Approve the first reading of the ordinance, in which case Kiva will continue to pursue Blanding Avenue as a home for their manufacturing activities. 

                     Take no action on the ordinance, in which case Kiva will reconsider relocation to Alameda,  or

                     Return the issue to the Planning Board for further discussion and consideration of any specific issues identified by the City Council. 

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT

 

Adoption of the ordinance will have no financial impact on the General Fund or other funds. Adoption of the draft ordinance could increase General Fund tax revenue by reactivating an underutilized property. 

 

MUNICIPAL CODE/POLICY DOCUMENT CROSS REFERENCE

 

The proposed amendment to the Zoning Code is consistent with and supports General Plan economic development policy objectives to increase access to services and products on-island for Alameda residents.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW

 

The proposed amendments are exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15061(b)(3), where it can be seen with certainty that there is no possibility that the proposed amendments would have a significant effect on the environment, and Section 15183, projects consistent with a community plan, general plan or zoning, each of which provides a separate and independent basis, and when viewed collectively provide an overall basis for CEQA clearance.  No further environmental review is needed.

 

CLIMATE IMPACT

 

There are no identifiable climate impacts or climate action opportunities associated with the subject of this report.

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

Hold a public hearing to introduce an ordinance to amend Alameda Municipal Code Section 30-10 to add the MM-NP, North Park Street Maritime Manufacturing Zoning District, as a location where Cannabis Industry is conditionally permitted.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Andrew Thomas, Planning, Building, and Transportation Director.

 

Financial Impact section reviewed,

Margaret O’Brien, Finance Director

 

Exhibit: 

1.                           Letter from Kiva

 

cc:                     Dirk Brazil, Interim City Manager