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REPORT TO THE

CITY COUNCIL
City of Salinas, California
DATE:

May 26, 2015

FROM:

Alan Stumpf, Interim Community and Economic Development Director

THROUGH: Courtney Grossman, Planning Manager


BY:

Bobby Latino, Assistant Planner

SUBJECT:

APPEAL OF PLANNING COMMISSION DECISION


CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT 2014-025 (CUP 2014-025)

TO

DENY

RECOMMENDATION:
It is recommended that the City Council deny the appeal and affirm the decision of the Planning
Commission denying Conditional Use Permit (CUP) 2014-025, a request to establish and operate an
alcohol related use consisting of an off-sale beer and wine license (type 20) at an existing retail sales
use (Walgreens).
DISCUSSION:
BACKGROUND
Walgreens Co., (Applicant) is requesting approval of a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to authorize an
alcohol related use consisting of an off-sale beer and wine license (Type 20) at an existing retail sales
use (Walgreens). For purposes of the off-sale Type 20 alcohol license, per Salinas City Code Section
37-50.030(c), a CUP is required for all alcohol-related uses, with a limited exception for cases as
provided in Section 37-50.030(g), none of which are applicable here. If the Conditional Use Permit is
approved by the City, the Applicant would be required to obtain a Type 20 (Off-Sale Beer and Wine)
Alcohol License from the State Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). Walgreens
previously had a license to sell alcohol at this location; however, they discontinued alcohol sales and
the license was surrendered/sold to another alcohol-related use at a different location.
On March 18, 2015, after public review and comment, the Planning Commission voted 5:2 to deny
Conditional Use Permit 2014-025 (See attached Planning Commission minutes dated March 18, 2015.)
Commissioners Huerta and Ibarra moved and voted to deny the Conditional Use Permit application.
Commissioners Hill, Meeks, and Bakker supported the motion to deny. Chairperson Nohr and
Commissioner Araujo did not support the motion to deny. On March 30, 2015, the Community and
Economic Development Department received a timely appeal letter in accordance with Zoning Code
Section 37-60.1290, from Dan Kramer (authorized representative of Walgreens) requesting to appeal
Planning Commissions decision to deny the Conditional Use Permit (CUP).
The property is located in the Commercial Retail Base Zoning District and the Harden Ranch Specific
Plan Overlay Zoning District. The following provides an overview of the land uses and zoning
districts adjacent to the project site:

North:
South:
East:
West:

Harden Ranch Shopping Center / CR - SP-1 (Commercial Retail Harden Ranch


Specific Plan Overlay)
Harden Ranch Shopping Center / CR - SP-1 (Commercial Retail Harden Ranch
Specific Plan Overlay)
Medical Offices / CO SP-1 (Commercial Office Harden Ranch Specific Plan
Overlay)
Harden Ranch Shopping Center /CR - SP-1 (Commercial Retail Harden Ranch
Specific Plan Overlay)

ANALYSIS
Analysis of the Appeal:
Stated below are the Appellants reasons along with staff responses for appealing the Planning
Commission denial of Conditional Use Permit 2014-025. Per Zoning Code Section 37-60.1280(a)(4),
the Appellant suggests the decision is not supported by the record.
The Sale of Beer and Wine at the Store will not be Detrimental to the Public Health, Safety or Welfare
of Persons residing or Working in the Neighborhood. It is Appropriate to Have Undue Concentration
in the Harden Ranch Specific Plan Overlay Zoning District. The Sale of Beer and Wine at Walgreens
Provides a Convenience to the Thousands of Customers who Shop at the Store Each Week.
Staff Response: Per Zoning Code Section 37-50.030(d)(2), the Planning Commission (not Planning
staff) shall have the authority to grant a Conditional Use Permit for an alcohol-related use in an area of
undue concentration. Per Zoning Code Section 37-50.030(e)(1-2), the Planning Commission shall
establish two alcohol-related use findings for the approval of a Conditional Use Permit for an alcoholrelated use located in an area of undue concentration; however, these two findings were not
established by the Planning Commission. Per Zoning Code Section 37-60.250, the Planning
Commission shall establish three Conditional Use Permit findings prior to the approval of a
Conditional Use Permit; however, these three findings were not established by Planning Commission
(See attached Planning Commission Resolution No. 2015-003 and Planning Commission Minutes
dated March 18, 2015).
Conditional Use Permit Process:
Under the Citys Zoning Code, a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) is generally required for alcoholrelated uses (Salinas City Code 37-50.030). The City may lawfully regulate through its land use and
zoning authority the potentially negative social and environmental effects of alcohol serving
businesses. In this regard, the Citys Zoning Code imposes a variety of specific requirements for
alcohol-related uses and for all alcohol-related uses located in areas of undue concentration. The
Conditional Use Permit (CUP) process is designed to provide flexibility in the application of land use
regulations and to ensure that alcohol related operations receive special consideration and are
compatible with adjoining properties and uses per Zoning Code Section 37-60.450. Zoning Code
Section 37-50.030(c) stipulates that an off-sale alcohol related use must obtain a Conditional Use
Permit, with approval authority vested with the Planning Commission for such uses located within an
area of undue concentration.

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ABC Licensing:
Concerning issuance of a license in an area of undue concentration, the ABC shall deny an
application, except if the local governing body such as the City Council or Planning Commission
determines that the public convenience or necessity would be served by the issuance [Cal. Business
& Professions Code Sections 23958, and 23958.4(b)(2)]. Based on the number of existing alcohol
licenses and crime statistics in the vicinity of the proposed location and public testimony at the public
hearing on March 18, 2015, support for the finding of public convenience or necessity could not be
established by the Planning Commission (see attached Planning Commission Resolution No. 2015003).
Alcohol-Related Use Findings:
Per Zoning Code Section 37-50.030(e)(1-2), two alcohol-related use findings shall be established prior
to the approval of a Conditional Use Permit for an alcohol-related use located in an area of undue
concentration as follows:
1. The alcohol-related use will neither adversely affect the welfare of the area nor of surrounding
residentially zoned neighborhoods, giving due consideration to the distance of the proposed use
from other alcohol-related uses, residentially zoned property, public schools, public
playgrounds, and other similar uses; and giving further consideration to crime rates, calls for
emergency services, and residential densities in the surrounding area; and
2. Although the proposed Off-Sale Alcohol-Related use is located within an area of undue
concentration (as defined by Business and Professions Code Sections 23958.4, 23817.5, and
23817.7, and administered by the State Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control), pursuant
to Business and Professions Code Sections 23858.4, 23817.5, and 23817.7, the public
convenience or necessity would be served by the issuance of the alcohol license by the ABC.
However, the two alcohol-related use findings were not established by the Planning Commission (See
attached Planning Commission Resolution No. 2015-003 and Planning Commission Minutes dated
March 18, 2015).
Conditional Use Permit Findings:
Per Zoning Code Section 37-60.520, three Conditional Use Permit findings shall be established prior to
approval of the Conditional Use Permit as follows:
1. That the proposed location of the use is in accordance with the objectives of the Salinas general
plan, this Zoning Code, and the purposes of the district in which the site is located;
2. That the proposed location of the conditional use and the proposed conditions under which it
would be operated or maintained are consistent with the Salinas general plan and will not be
detrimental to the public health, safety, or welfare of persons residing or working in or adjacent
to the neighborhood of such use, nor detrimental to properties or improvements in the vicinity
or to the general welfare of the city; and
3. That the proposed conditional use complies with the provisions of this Zoning Code, including
any specific conditions required for the proposed use.

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However, the three Conditional Use Permit findings were not established by Planning Commission
(See attached Planning Commission Resolution No. 2015-003 and Planning Commission Minutes
dated March 18, 2015).
ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW:
The environmental impacts of the project have been analyzed in accordance with the California
Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The project has been determined to be exempt from the
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) under Section 15061(b)(3) of the CEQA Guidelines.
The proposed project is exempt because the activity is covered by the general rule that CEQA applies
only to projects which have the potential for causing significant effect on the environment. The
proposed project can be seen with certainty that there is no possibility that the activity in question may
have a significant effect on the environment; the activity is therefore not subject to CEQA.
Additionally, the project is exempt from CEQA under Section 15301 Existing Facilities, because there
is negligible expansion of the existing retail sales use.
ISSUE:
Shall the City Council affirm the Planning Commission decision to deny Conditional Use Permit 2014025?
FISCAL IMPACT:
Fiscal impacts to the City are not expected to be significant whether the Conditional Use Permit is
denied or approved.
TIME CONSIDERATIONS:
Per Zoning Code Section 37-60.1300(a), an appeal shall be scheduled for a hearing before the
appellate body within 60 days of the Citys receipt of an appeal unless both applicant and appellant
consent to a later date. On March 30, 2015, the City received the applicants appeal of the Planning
Commissions denial of Conditional Use Permit 2014-025, accordingly, the deadline for consideration
of the appeal is May 29, 2015.
ALTERNATIVES/IMPLICATIONS:
The City Council has the following alternatives:
1. Reverse the Planning Commissions denial of Conditional Use Permit 2014-025, make
appropriate findings regarding public convenience or necessity, find the project exempt from
the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and direct staff to prepare a Conditional
Use Permit to authorize the proposed use based on the City Councils action.
2. Reverse the Planning Commissions denial of Conditional Use Permit 2014-005, make
appropriate findings regarding public convenience or necessity, find the project exempt from
the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and direct staff to prepare a Conditional
Use Permit with the modifications directed by the City Council; or
3. Otherwise direct staff how to proceed.
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CITY COUNCIL GOALS:


Denial of the CUP promotes the Councils goals for a more safe and livable community and
enhances the quality of life. Approval of the CUP may promote the City Councils economic
diversity and prosperity goal for the City.
CONCLUSIONS:
The applicant has appealed the denial of the Conditional Use Permit request to establish and operate an
alcohol related use consisting of an off-sale beer and wine license (type 20) at an existing retail sales
use (Walgreens) at the proposed location in an area of undue concentration. Based on the number of
existing alcohol licenses and crime statistics in the vicinity of the proposed location and public
testimony at the public hearing on March 18, 2015, the finding of public convenience or necessity
was not established by the Planning Commission.
Distribution:
City Council
City Manager
City Attorney
Department Directors

Back Up Pages:
Proposed City Council Resolution
Planning Commission Resolution 2015-003
Planning Commission Staff Report dated March 18, 2015, including the following exhibits:
Proposed Planning Commission Resolution
Draft Conditional Use Permit (CUP 2014-025), including the following exhibits:
Exhibit "A"
Vicinity Map
Exhibit "B"
Site Plan
Exhibit "C"
Floor Plan
Exhibit "D
Police Department Memorandum, dated November
25, 2014
Exhibit "E"
Map of Areas of Undue Concentration in Salinas
prepared in March 2011
Letter from Applicant dated November 12, 2014
Map of Off-Sale Alcohol Licenses near 1532 North Main Street
California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control List of Off-Sale Licenses in
Census Tract 1.03 and 2 dated February 4, 2015
California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Number of Licenses Authorized
by Census Tract
Planning Commission Minutes March 18, 2015
Appeal of March 18, 2015 Planning Commission Denial of Conditional Use Permit 2014-025
(Received March 30, 2015)

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