Does the City of Livermore currently permit medical or recreational cannabis dispensaries, commercial cultivation, and/or manufacturing of cannabis product within City limits?
No. Presently, medical and recreational cannabis dispensaries, commercial cultivation, and manufacturing of cannabis products are not allowed within the City limits.
What is the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA)?
In October 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA) into law to oversee the medical cannabis industry in California. MCRSA became effective January 1, 2016.
MCRSA permits individuals who are 21 years or older to possess and grow small amounts of cannabis for personal use. The City cannot prohibit personal cultivation and use of small amounts of medical cannabis. However, large scale medical cannabis cultivation and sales are currently prohibited per Section 5.80.020 of the City’s Municipal Code.
What is the current status of cannabis regulations in the City of Livermore?
The City of Livermore staff is currently researching and gathering feedback about the prospect of permitting a medical cannabis dispensary in the City limits. After the public outreach phase, City staff will present the results of the public outreach to the City Council at a meeting in fall of this year. City Council will then decide whether to maintain the current prohibitions on medical cannabis dispensaries or direct staff to begin the process of amending the City’s regulations.
What is the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (Proposition 64)?
The Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) (Proposition 64) was a 2016 voter initiative to legalize cannabis in California. The initiative passed with 57% voter approval and became law on November 9, 2016.
When does the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) take effect?
The AUMA took effect on November 9, 2016. As of this date, individuals who are 21 years and older may grow up to six recreational cannabis plants for personal use within a private residence. However, state regulations do not permit commercial recreational cannabis activity until the state begins issuing licenses on or about January 1, 2018.
Can the City control commercial cannabis operations in Livermore, in light of the passage of Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA)?
Yes, the AUMA prohibits the state from issuing a license to a commercial recreational cannabis business if that would violate a local ordinance of the jurisdiction in which the business will operate. This means that if the City of Livermore wishes to adopt regulations regarding commercial recreational cannabis business, it should adopt an ordinance prior to January 1, 2018. These regulations may include reasonable restrictions on personal indoor and outdoor cultivation of recreational cannabis plants.
What is the City Council’s direction regarding cannabis operations in the City of Livermore?
On December 12, 2016, City Council directed staff to begin public outreach on the prospect of permitting a medical cannabis dispensary in the Heavy Industrial (I-3) zoning district on the east side of Livermore. See the “Eligible Parcels” in green on this Medical Cannabis Dispensary Map. Public outreach thus far has included an online survey, conducted February 13th to March 7th, and a public workshop that was conducted on June 21. Results of the online survey can be found here. The Council is expected to review the survey results and provide additional direction this fall.
Is the City of Livermore considering fees on medical cannabis products to cover City costs?
Applying a tax on medical cannabis is not permitted under Proposition 64. Additional fees to cover City costs will be considered and decided upon by the City Council.
Will people be able to smoke cannabis in public places in Livermore?
No. If amended, the ordinance would prohibit consumption of cannabis in a public place that is unlicensed for use, including near child day care centers, schools, nursing homes and other sensitive areas. The City’s smoking ordinance, which currently prohibits smoking in enclosed public places within City limits, including parks, restaurants, and retail areas may also apply to cannabis.
What is the status of Alameda County’s medical cannabis ordinance amendment?
Alameda County is currently updating their medical cannabis and cultivation ordinance to permit up to five medical cannabis dispensaries, two of which could be located in East Alameda County. The Alameda County Board of Supervisors approved the ordinance on August 1, 2017. If the Board of Supervisors confirm the approval on September 12, 2017, then the new ordinance will be in effect beginning October 12, 2017. Additional information can be found on the County’s Medical Cannabis webpage.
Does the approved Downtown Plan provide adequate parking?*
Yes. The approved plan provides 1,358-1,448 total public parking spaces (not including parking for the residential units, which is provided underground), including:
Replacement of run-down asphalt and gravel parking areas with surface parking and a parking garage;
Public parking spaces distributed in a new garage at South L Street, a ground level expansion of the existing garage at I Street, and underground parking for the hotel;
Two new drop-off areas, on the east and west sides of the Bankhead Theater;
Significant expansion of accessible parking (ADA), from 3 spaces to 16-18 spaces, adjacent to the Bankhead Theater and the two new drop-off areas; and
Diagonal parking spaces provided along the length of the new east/west street, slowing vehicle traffic, providing an inviting pedestrian experience, and giving visitors and residents convenient access to the park and nearby retail businesses.
How will the existing 63 space parking lot next to the Bankhead Theater be replaced?*
A new street will wrap around the hotel and provide a drop-off area for the Bankhead Theater and adjacent businesses with 24 parking spaces, 10 of which will be accessible (ADA).
A new parking area with 6-8 accessible (ADA) parking spaces will be provided on the east side of the Theater.
A surface lot with 57 parking spaces will be provided adjacent to the existing parking structure (referred to as the I Street parking expansion) on land currently owned by the City.
The hotel will provide 100 underground spaces, open to the public on a fee basis.
What is the overall traffic circulation plan like?*
A new east/west street with diagonal parking allows efficient vehicle circulation through the site, while providing convenient access to nearby businesses, housing, and Stockmen’s Park.
Delivery and service access is provided behind existing First Street businesses.
Delivery, service access, and a drop-off area is provided wrapping around the hotel for adjacent businesses and the Bankhead Theater.
Delivery, service access, and a drop-off for the cultural facilities, new retail, and Stockmen’s Park is provided via a north/south extension of K Street
How much open space does the plan provide?*
The approved plan provides 3.5 acres of publicly accessible open space, which is 44% of the site. Included in the open space is Stockmen’s Park, which is approximately 1.5 acres (roughly the same size as the 1.65 acre Carnegie Park).
Will all of the plan’s open space areas be integrated in a comprehensive design?*
Yes. A Request for Proposals (RFP) has been issued for a landscape architect to design all of the open space areas, which includes the overall design of Stockmen’s Park, the tree-lined path that stretches from South L to South Livermore, and the park-like green space connection through the housing from South L to South Livermore.
Can Stockmen’s Park be modified?*
No. The City Council has entered into a contract with the Stockmen’s Association, which cannot be unilaterally modified by the Council. Also, the Stockmen’s Association has noted they are satisfied with the current park size, location, and design elements.
Why was the east side chosen for the hotel location?*
There was considerable discussion regarding the best location for a downtown hotel. The Council decision accomplished the competing interests of the protection of Blacksmith Square and the wide support for a hotel presence on South Livermore Avenue. Ultimately, based on feedback from hotel experts and community comments, the Council chose the parcel next to the Bankhead Theater, on the east side of South Livermore Avenue. This site provides the best opportunity for synergy between the hotel, surrounding restaurants, and the Bankhead Theater. The Council concluded that it is important to have a hotel at this very visible site, rather than housing or a parking garage.
How was the size of the meeting space in the hotel determined?*
Experts studied our market and found that the market will support a 125-135 room hotel. Studies show that 1,000-1,500 square feet of meeting space would best match a 125 room hotel. The terms sheet between the hotel builder and the City, approved by Council in February 2018, includes a meeting space of 1,500-2,000 square feet within the hotel.
What is the origin of the affordable housing obligation on the site?*
The affordable housing obligations for the site originate from the funding sources used to purchase various parcels on the site, as well as the state’s determination that the site is a housing asset.
The Downtown Specific Plan (DSP) developed in 2004 included housing on this site as part of the overall revitalization strategy. Beginning in 2005, the City’s former Redevelopment Agency used a total $14.5 Million of affordable housing funds from both City and State sources to acquire the site.
During the process to dissolve the former Redevelopment Agency of the City of Livermore, both the California Department of Finance and the California Secretary of State allowed most of the parcels to be transferred to the City as housing assets.
A portion of the housing obligation originating with the City’s Inclusionary Housing Fund will be satisfied by the affordable housing opportunity on the Civic Center campus that was made possible by the Livermore Stockmen’s Rodeo Association.
The State loan programs used for a part of the total funding requires that affordable housing be placed on the site. Those obligations were reinforced by the State’s determination during the RDA dissolution process that the parcels are housing assets.
Does the approved plan meet the affordable housing obligations?*
Yes, both the number of affordable housing units and the financial obligations originating from the funding sources used to purchase the site are fully satisfied by the combination of 130 affordable workforce housing units on the downtown site and at least 75 units of affordable senior and veterans housing on the Civic Center site enabled by the Stockmen’s deal.
How does the total of 130 approved housing units on the downtown site compare with prior expectations?*
In 2005 plans for the site included over 400 housing units. In 2016 the City issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for up to 260 units.
How was the housing unit size and mix determined?*
The approved plan provides a net average unit size of 650 square feet. This average size allows for a variety of unit types, including studios, one and two bedroom units. This mix will implement Council direction that the units be affordable workforce rental units (as opposed to senior units, which would be a mix of studios and one bedroom units).
How does the housing fit into the overall approved plan for the downtown site?*
Overall, housing comprises less than 9% of the site (open space is the most dominant use, at 44% of the site area). The housing is located at the northwest corner of the site, at South L Street and Railroad Avenue. Housing in this location will allow for a transition from the four story residential units planned on the west side of South L Street, on the former Groth site, with four stories at South L Street and then three stories adjacent to Stockmen’s Park.
Housing is distributed among four buildings with appropriate setbacks from the sidewalk and a wide community green space connection through the middle, from South L Street to Stockmen’s Park and ultimately out to South Livermore Avenue.
How do I get on the list for the housing downtown?
The City currently has not chosen a developer for the new rental housing project. For other Affordable Housing Opportunities please click below.
Studies show that retail is most successful when located next to busy streets and next to other businesses. The approved plan provides new single-story retail uses connected to retail uses in Blacksmith Square and Stockmen’s Park.
What happens if there is no funding for the cultural facilities shown on the approved plan?*
If no private funding is secured, the area planned for the Science and Society Center would be a surface parking lot, and the area planned for the Black Box Theater would be incorporated into Stockmen’s Park as green space.
Where will the Senior Housing be on Pacific Avenue?
I would like to install/replace a fence at my home. What do I need to do?
Although permits are not required for fences up to 7 feet tall, there are required setbacks and height limitations for fences. Typically a fence of not more than 6 feet in height is allowed to the sides and rear of a residence. Fences in the front of a home are limited to 3 feet in height. There are special considerations for corner lots, lots that back up to major streets like Portola Avenue, as well as homes in the South Livermore Valley Specific Plan (please see page 9-26). General fencing guidelines can be found here.
Who can obtain a building permit?
The building owner or owner's representative with written authorization and a completed Owner Builder Declaration signed by the property owner, or a contractor licensed by the State of California to perform the work being permitted can obtain a building permit.
Do I need a permit for flat concrete work in my backyard?
No you do not need a permit for flat concrete work in your backyard.
Do I need a permit for a yard or garage sale?
No you do not need a permit. There are limitations to the number of days, hours and the location of signage.
Do I need a permit to replace my windows or my front door?
Yes, both replacement of windows whether retrofit or new construction style require a permit. Replacement of glass only does not require a permit. A permit is required for the replacement of a pre-hung front door. A permit is not required if the frame of the door way will remain and a new door will be set on existing hinges. Window Replacement handout.
Who do I contact about abandoned or inoperable vehicles?
I would like to put up a shed, patio cover, or arbor. Do I need a permit?
Sheds, patio covers or arbors over 120 square feet or attached to a building, require a permit. If the structure is under 120 square feet and detached from a building a permit is not required. Any electrical or plumbing work associated with the structure will require a permit.
Regardless of the need for a permit, the structure will need to meet the required set backs to the property line and from the house. Accessory Structure Guidelines
Who do I call about the weeds all over a property?
To report unsightly weeds on a residential or commercial lot, please contact the City of Livermore Neighborhood Preservation Division either by completing the online Complaint Form or by calling 925-960-4444.
To report overgrown weeds on an open/vacant lot, which is considered a fire hazard, please contact the Livermore Pleasanton Fire Department - Fire Prevention Office at 925-454-2362.
Property (Owning & Renting)
Can I still submit an application if I don’t meet all of the program guidelines (i.e. FICO score, down payment, etc.) at the time the application is due?
Yes, you may still submit an application, but if you are selected you must meet all of the program guidelines at the time you are contacted.
What is the Inclusionary Housing Program?
The Inclusionary Housing Program was created through the City Council’s adoption of an ordinance that requires residential developers to provide either 10% or 15% of their units at an affordable price. There is a high demand for this housing, so the City has started a program to identify first-time homebuyers that may be eligible to participate. The program is available to first-time homebuyers whose income does not exceed 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) or, in some programs, 120% of the AMI. Buyers are chosen through a City-administered selection process with preferences given to persons who live and/or work in Livermore.
Do I get to keep the equity in a Below Market-Rate (Inclusionary) home?
How long do I have to live in the Below Market-Rate Inclusionary home before I can sell it?
There is no minimum or maximum time limit for home ownership before sale.
What is the minimum income needed to qualify for the Below Market-Rate (Inclusionary) Housing Program?
It varies depending on the purchase price of the home, the amount of down payment, personal debt, and other associated costs/payments for the unit (i.e. Homeowners Association dues, mortgage insurance, etc.) For more details, please contact the Housing & Human Services Division.
Can a friend or family member who is not a First Time Homebuyer (FTHB) purchase the home with me even if I am a FTHB?
No. All parties must be FTHB. (See Program Guidelines for a definition of a FTHB.)
How do you define household?
A household includes all persons who reside in a housing unit. Persons included in the household must have lived together in one location for a minimum of six months prior to the initial date of the application.
What is a FICO score?
A FICO score is another name for a credit score.
How much are closing costs?
Usually between 3% and 5% of the purchase price of the home.
What is included in total household income?
Total household income is the total gross income of all adult members of the household, including undocumented income and temporary disability income. It does not include income earned by a dependent of a household member who is a full time student under 24 years of age.
Can I fax or email my application to the City?
No, the City needs the original application with a wet signature.
My neighbors always park in front of my house. Can the City paint red curb in front of my house to eliminate parking?
No. On-street parking is considered public parking, and is available for parking of any legal vehicle.
My streetlight is not functioning. Can the City fix it?
The City maintains public streetlights. Contact the Maintenance Department at 960-8020 or fill out the maintenance request form.
I have to wait a long time at a traffic signal, even when there is no one in the opposite direction. Can the City fix this?
This condition could be an indication of a signal malfunction. However, if it occurs on a major street during commute hours it could be the result of coordinating the traffic signals to favor major street traffic. Please call Transportation Engineering at 960-4500 to report the problem.
I ride a motorcycle/bicycle and I have problems getting the traffic signals to change for me. Can the City help me?
Motorcycles/bicycles should wait in the center of the traffic lane or bike lane if provided at a traffic signal about 3 feet behind the limit line in order to be detected. If the traffic signal still does not change, report the problem to the Maintenance Department.
Who do I call if I want to discuss how a traffic signal functions?
For more information on traffic signal operations, call Transportation Engineering at 960-4500.
Can I have a stop sign installed, speed bump installed, "Slow Children at Play" sign installed, or have the speed limit lowered in my neighborhood to slow down traffic?
How do I get a copy of traffic counts or a speed survey?
For a copy of traffic counts or a speed survey, call Transportation Engineering at 960-4500.
Why doesn't the City paint the curb red in front of fire hydrants?
The public is expected to know that parking is not allowed within 15 feet of a fire hydrant. It is the City's policy not to paint red curb in front of the hydrants, unless it becomes a repetitive problem of enforcement by the Police Department.
How do I go about getting a crossing guard in my neighborhood?
Crossing guards are primarily used to assist elementary and middle school students across the street on an identified route to school. The City of Livermore uses City-adopted guidelines to evaluate the needs for adult school crossing guards. State guidelines are based on the results of extensive research. All requests for new adult crossing guards should be directed to Transportation Engineering at 960-4500. Staff will thoroughly study the location. If it is determined that a crossing guard is warranted, a request will be forwarded to the Police Department to budget funds and hire a new crossing guard.
How do I get a crosswalk in my neighborhood?
Crosswalks are not safety devices. They are used to guide pedestrians into a preferred path and should not be used indiscriminately. Crosswalks are marked at intersections where there is substantial conflict between vehicles and pedestrians, where significant pedestrian concentrations occur, where pedestrians could not otherwise recognize the proper place to cross, and where traffic movements are controlled. When a crosswalk is requested, a traffic study will be conducted to determine if a crosswalk is appropriate. If you have any questions, please call Transportation Engineering at 960-4500.
Am I allowed to ride my bicycle against the flow of vehicular traffic?
No. Bicyclists are required to obey the same traffic laws as vehicles, including riding in the same direction as the flow of vehicular traffic, stopping at stop signs and red lights and all other traffic laws. Riding with the flow of traffic is for the safety of the bicyclists because it increases the motorist's ability to see bicyclists. Motorists are not expecting traffic (autos or bicycles) coming from the opposite direction of traffic and therefore, may not see a cyclist riding in the wrong direction. Most collisions involving bicycles are caused by bicyclists riding the wrong way on a street.
Am I allowed to ride my bicycle on the sidewalk?
It is against the law to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk except in residential areas and where a sidewalk is specifically designated as a bike route. When riding a bicycle on a sidewalk where permitted, the bicyclist must yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian, and must give an audible signal before overtaking and passing a pedestrian.
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