Chapter 8.65

8.65.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this Chapter is to provide for the establishment of Cottage Food Operations, where specific food products that do not require refrigeration are made or repackaged for sale to consumers, as an incidental and subordinate use within a lawfully established residential dwelling. Ord. 25-14 (December 2014)

8.65.020 Intent.

The intent of this Chapter is to:

A.    Establish a ministerial process for the review and approval of Cottage Food Operations.

B.    Establish development standards and regulations for Cottage Food Operations within the City.

C.    Ensure that Cottage Food Operations are compatible with surrounding residential uses and do not change the character of the surrounding residential area by generating more traffic, noise or visual impacts than would normally be expected in a residential zoning district. Ord. 25-14 (December 2014)

8.65.030 Permitting Procedure.

Any proposed Cottage Food Operation shall conform to the Development Standards and Regulations contained in this Chapter (Section 8.65.040) and shall be subject to a Zoning Clearance to be reviewed by the Community Development Director and processed in accordance with Chapter 8.116 (Zoning Clearance). Ord. 25-14 (December 2014)

8.65.040 Development Standards and Regulations.

An application for a Zoning Clearance to establish a Cottage Food Operation shall demonstrate compliance with the following development standards and regulations:

A.    Permitted within a Residential Dwelling. A Cottage Food Operation may be established within a residential dwelling as an accessory use that is incidental and subordinate to the residential dwelling. All activities associated with the Cottage Food Operation shall be conducted entirely within the dwelling.

B.    Appearance of the Residence. The Cottage Food Operation may alter the exterior appearance of the residence so long as the alterations do not change the residential character of the home.

C.    Codes/Laws/Regulations. The Cottage Food Operation shall conform to all applicable codes, laws and regulations of the City, County, State and Federal governments.

D.    Employees. The Cottage Food Operation may have one full-time equivalent employee, excluding individuals who reside in the home. A maximum of one employee, full-time or part-time, excluding individuals who reside in the home, may be employed on-site at the residence of the Cottage Food Operation at any given time.

E.    On-Site Direct Sales to Customers. A Cottage Food Operation may conduct on-site direct sales to customers from within the dwelling. A maximum of one (1) customer may be on site at any given time during the permitted hours of operation for on-site direct sales (refer to subsection F of this section). Direct sales shall not take place within an attached garage, detached accessory structure or outside of the dwelling.

F.    Hours of Operation for On-Site Direct Sales. A Cottage Food Operation may only conduct on-site direct sales between the hours of 7:00 am and 9:00 pm.

G.    On-Site Dining. No on-site dining shall be permitted in conjunction with a Cottage Food Operation.

H.    Parking. The Cottage Food Operation shall provide the amount of off-street parking required in Section 8.76.080 (Parking Requirements by Use Type) of the Off-Street Parking and Loading Regulations.

I.    Company Vehicle. One company vehicle (a truck, van or automobile only) no larger than 3/4 ton in capacity, unless otherwise approved by the Community Development Director, and used in conjunction with the Cottage Food Operation, may be parked at the residence. A company vehicle shall not occupy a required parking space for the dwelling unless it also serves as the occupant’s personal vehicle.

J.    Minimum Separation. Except as otherwise stated below, a minimum 300-foot radius separation is required between all Cottage Food Operations. For single-family detached dwellings, accessory dwelling units and duplexes, the separation shall be measured from the property lines. For townhomes, apartments and condominiums, where the units are dispersed among multiple buildings, the separation shall be measured from the exterior walls of the building in which the Cottage Food Operation is proposed to be located. Rev. Ord. 17-20 (November 2020)

For apartments and condominiums with a High Density Residential General Plan Land Use Designation, the total number of Cottage Food Operations shall not exceed 2% of the total number of units within the development. No minimum separation shall be required. A fraction of .5 or greater shall be rounded up to the nearest whole number.

Exceptions to the required minimum 300-foot radius separation or the 2% maximum may be granted pursuant to a Minor Use Permit if it can be demonstrated that the exception will not be contrary to Section 8.65.020.C.

K.    Fire Safety/Occupancy. Activities conducted and equipment or material used as part of a Cottage Food Operation shall be restricted to residential occupancy classifications as set forth in the Building Code. The Cottage Food Operation shall not reduce the fire safety classification of a residence, or employ the storage of flammable, explosive, or hazardous materials unless specifically approved by the Alameda County Fire Department.

L.    Nuisances. No Cottage Food Operation shall create or cause traffic, noise, or other nuisances beyond those normal for a residential area or which may be perceptible at or beyond the lot line as determined by the Director of Community Development.

M.    Outdoor Storage/Display. There shall be no outdoor storage or display of merchandise, equipment, appliances, tools, materials, or supplies associated with the Cottage Food Operation.

N.    Signs. There shall be no advertising sign, window display, or other identification of the Cottage Food Operation on the premises other than a house number and nameplate as permitted by Section 8.84.140.D (House Numbers and Name Plates).

O.    Delivery Trips. No Cottage Food Operation shall generate more than two delivery trips per day. No deliveries shall be made between the hours of 9:00 pm and 8:00 am.

P.    Business License. A Business License is required and shall be obtained prior to establishing a Cottage Food Operation. The Business License shall remain current and valid throughout the life of the Cottage Food Operation.

Q.    Rented Property. If the Cottage Food Operation is to be conducted on rental property, written authorization from the property owner or property manager shall be obtained and submitted to the City when applying for a Business License. Ord. 25-14 (December 2014)

8.65.050 Violation.

Any violation of the regulations of this Chapter is subject to enforcement pursuant to Chapter 8.144 (Enforcement) and Chapter 4.04 (Business Registration). Any violation is cause for revocation of the Zoning Clearance pursuant to Chapter 8.96 (Permit Procedures). Ord. 25-14 (December 2014)