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NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
Public Notice

Relative to Zoning

City of Cambridge, Massachusetts

Office of the City Clerk

The Ordinance Committee, comprised of the entire membership of the City Council, will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, October 10, 2023 at 3:00 p.m., on a Zoning Petition by the Cambridge City Council to amend the Zoning Ordinance of the City of Cambridge by amending Articles 2.000, 4.000, 5.000, and 23.000 of the Cambridge Zoning Ordinance for the purpose of allowing henkeeping as a permitted accessory use to principal residential (excluding transient accommodations as defined in Section 4.31.i), religious, and educational uses; with limitations and subject to regulation and permitting by the Cambridge Public Health Department.

This public hearing will be hybrid allowing participation in the Sullivan Chamber, City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA and remotely via ZOOM. The ZOOM URL to view the meeting is https://cambridgema.zoom.us/s/97895847144.  If you would like to speak at this Public Hearing, please register to do so using this URL: https://www.cambridgema.gov/Departments/CityCouncil/PublicCommentSignUpForm. You may also email comments to the [email protected].

To request a copy of the amendment in full, e-mail City Clerk, Diane LeBlanc at [email protected].  Copies are also available at the Office of the City Clerk, City Hall, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and online at www.cambridgema.gov/cdd/zoninganddevelopment/zoning/amendments.

The City of Cambridge will provide reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities upon request.  Please contact the City Clerk at 617-349-4260 or at [email protected].

For the Committee,

Councillor Marc McGovern, Co-Chair

Councillor Quinton Zondervan, Co-Chair


ORDINANCE NO. 2023-4 – FINAL PUBLICATION

CITY OF CAMBRIDGE

In the Year Two Thousand and Twenty-three

AN ORDINANCE

That the Zoning Ordinance of the City of Cambridge be amended on a Zoning Petition by the City Council to amend Article 4.30 and Article 11.800 as follows:

Amend Article 4.30 of the Zoning Ordinance as follows:

Amend Article 11.800 of the Zoning Ordinance as follows:

11.800 CANNABIS USES

11.801 Statement of Purpose. The purpose of this section is to provide for the limited establishment of Registered Marijuana Dispensaries for the medical use of cannabis products and Cannabis Establishments for the non-medical use of cannabis products, as they are authorized pursuant to applicable state laws and regulations. 

11.802 General Requirements 

11.802.1 Allowed Cannabis Uses. 

(a) Cannabis Retail Stores, Cannabis Delivery Operator Establishments, and Cannabis Production Facilities shall be allowed as set forth in the Table of Use Regulations (Section 4.30 of this Zoning Ordinance), subject to the requirements set forth in this Section 11.800, et seq. 

(b) Cannabis Retail Stores, Cannabis Delivery Operator Establishments, or Cannabis Production Facilities, as defined in Article 2.000 of this Zoning Ordinance, may be established to provide cannabis products for medical or non-medical use, or both, in accordance with applicable state laws and regulations. 

 (c) A Cannabis Establishment that is licensed as a Cannabis Independent Testing Laboratory or Cannabis Research Facility pursuant to applicable state laws and regulations, but is not authorized to sell or otherwise transfer Cannabis Products to consumers or to cultivate, manufacture, or otherwise produce Cannabis Products that are intended to be sold or otherwise transferred to consumers, shall be regulated within the Table of Use Regulations in Section 4.30 of this Zoning Ordinance as a Technical Office (Section 4.34, Item “f”) or, if such establishment is noncommercial, a Noncommercial Research Facility (Section 4.33, Item “c”). Such establishment shall comply with all state and local laws and regulations, including regulations promulgated by the Cambridge Public Health Department, where applicable. 

11.802.2 Licenses and Registration. A Special Permit (where applicable), Building Permit or Certificate of Occupancy issued pursuant to this Section shall be conditioned on the Permittee maintaining all required state and local licenses and/or registrations and complying with all applicable state and local public health regulations and all other applicable laws, rules and regulations at all times. No Building Permit or Certificate of Occupancy shall be issued for a Cannabis Use that is not properly licensed and/or registered with the applicable state and local agencies. 

11.802.3 Limitation of Approval. A Special Permit (where applicable), Building Permit or Certificate of Occupancy authorizing the establishment of a Cannabis Use shall be valid only for the licensed or registered entity to which the permit was issued, and only for the site on which the Cannabis Use has been permitted. If the license or registration for a Cannabis Use has not been renewed or has been revoked, transferred to another controlling entity, or relocated to a different site, a new special permit and/or building permit, where applicable, shall be required prior to issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy. 

11.802.4 Building. A Cannabis Establishment shall be located only in a permanent building and not within any mobile facility. All sales, cultivation, manufacturing, and other related activities shall be conducted within the building, except in cases where home deliveries are authorized in accordance with 935 CMR 500.000 and other applicable state and local regulations. 

11.803 Location Standards. 

11.803.1 Cannabis Retail Stores. 

(a) Cannabis Retail Stores shall be allowed only in those districts set forth in the Table of Use Regulations (Section 4.30 of this Zoning Ordinance) and special districts and overlay districts whose use regulations are based on those districts, subject to any limitations set forth in the regulations of those districts. In the Business A-1 district, only applicants that have been designed as Economic Empowerment Applicants or certified as eligible to participate in the Social Equity Program by the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission may be permitted and such designation or eligibility shall be maintained. 

(b) A Cannabis Retail Store shall not be permitted within one thousand and eight hundred (1,800) feet of another Cannabis Retail Store, except if the applicant has been designated as an Economic Empowerment Applicant or certified as eligible to participate in the Social Equity Program by the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission and maintains that designation and/or certification. 

(c) All products offered to consumers shall be pre-packaged off-site, and no packaging or repackaging of cannabis or marijuana products shall take place on the premises of a Cannabis Retail Store unless it is also meets the requirements for a Cannabis Production Facility. 

11.803.2Cannabis Delivery Operator Establishments shall be allowed only in those districts set forth in the Table of Use Regulations (Section 4.30 of this Zoning Ordinance) and special districts and overlay districts whose use regulations are based on those districts, subject to any limitations set forth in the regulations of those districts and provided that the establishment is not greater than 10,000 square feet in Gross Floor Area and that no packaging or repackaging of cannabis or marijuana products shall take place on the premises. 

11.803.3 Cannabis Production Facilities shall be allowed only by Planning Board Special Permit in those districts set forth in the Table of Use Regulations (Section 4.30 of this Zoning Ordinance) and special districts and overlay districts whose use regulations are based on those districts, subject to any limitations set forth in the regulations of those districts and provided that the establishment is not greater than 10,000 square feet in Gross Floor Area. 

11.803.4 Buffer Zones. 

(a) A Cannabis Retail Store or Cannabis Production Facility shall not be permitted within 300 feet of a pre-existing public or private school providing education in kindergarten or any of grades one through 12, except where the Planning Board, in issuing a special permit, approves a reduced distance upon finding that the location will cause no substantial adverse impact due to site-specific factors or other mitigating efforts agreed to in writing by the permittee and made conditions of the special permit. 

(b) A Cannabis Retail Store or Cannabis Production Facility shall not be permitted within 300 feet of a pre-existing public children’s playground, public youth athletic field, or public youth recreation facility, except where the Planning Board, in issuing a special permit, approves a reduced distance upon finding that the location will cause no substantial adverse impact due to site-specific factors or other mitigating efforts agreed to in writing by the permittee and made conditions of the special permit. 

11.804 Parking and Transportation. 

(a) Any Cannabis Courier Establishment, Cannabis Delivery Operator Establishment, or other Cannabis Establishment shall park and store all delivery vehicles off-street. Such requirement may not be reduced or waived. Delivery vehicles shall not be parked on-street except for authorized active loading/unloading activities. Delivery vehicles may be parked in facilities that are accessory to the Cannabis Use or in authorized principal use parking facilities. 

(b) All parking spaces to be used by customers, employees, visitors, or delivery vehicles shall be registered with the Cambridge Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department (TPTD), including a parking layout plan, in accordance with Chapter 10.18 of the City of Cambridge Code of Ordinances, and shall comply with all other applicable state or local laws, regulations, and ordinances. 

(c) All Cannabis Retail Stores, Cannabis Courier Establishments, Cannabis Delivery Operator Establishments, and Cannabis Production Facilities shall submit an Operations and Logistics Plan to the Cambridge TPTD and Cambridge Police Department before applying for a special permit (where applicable), building permit or certificate of occupancy. Such plan shall include the following information using narratives and graphics: 

(1) hours of operation and anticipated numbers of employees and consumers on-site during operating hours; 

(2) expected frequency of loading/unloading trips by delivery and service vehicles; 

(3) access and egress routes for customers and employees; 

(4) locations of parking and bicycle parking areas for customers and employees; 

(5) number of delivery vehicles, where applicable, and locations where they will be stored on-site; 

(6) locations where loading/unloading and service activities will take place and a description of how such activities will be conducted; 

(7) a description of transportation options for customers and employees, including public transportation services, on-site and off-site parking facilities, transportation demand management measures to encourage and support sustainable forms of travel for employees and customers, and short-term and long-term bicycle facilities; 

(8) specific measures that will be employed by the Cannabis Use to prevent adverse impacts on the public way including but not limited to sidewalk crowding, blocking of vehicular or bicycle travel lanes, potential safety hazards, and other issues identified by City departments; and 

(9) a specific plan for the initial opening period that includes measures to identify and respond to unexpected impacts. 

(d) The Cambridge TPTD and Cambridge Police Department shall approve a final Operations and Logistics Plan prior to issuance of a certificate of occupancy for a Cannabis Use, and may require operational practices to prevent or correct adverse impacts of the operation of the Cannabis Use on the public way, including but not limited to crowding on the public sidewalk, blocking of travel lanes by vehicles, or hazardous conditions. Such practices may include, but are not limited to, restrictions on the use of the public way, required pre-purchase and/or appointment-only customer service for a period of time, restrictions on the location and/or timing of loading/unloading activities, or similar measures. When granting a special permit, where applicable, the Planning Board may also include conditions pertaining to the Operations and Logistics Plan. 

11.805 Application Requirements. An application to the Planning Board for a Cannabis Production Facility shall contain, at a minimum, the following information: 

(a) Description of Activities: a narrative providing information about the type and scale of all activities that will take place on the proposed site, including but not limited to cultivating and processing of Cannabis Products, on-site sales, off-site deliveries, distribution of educational materials, and other programs or activities. 

(b) Context Map: A map identifying, at a minimum, the location of the proposed establishment, the locations of all other Cannabis Uses in the vicinity, the locations of all public or private schools providing education in kindergarten or any of grades one through 12, and the locations of all children’s playgrounds, youth athletic fields, or other youth recreation facilities, with measured distances provided to demonstrate whether the location complies with the standards of Section 11.803 above. 

(c) Site Plan: A plan or plans depicting all existing and proposed development on the property, including the dimensions of the building, the detailed layout of automobile and bicycle parking, the location of pedestrian, bicycle and vehicular points of access and egress, the location and design of all loading, refuse and service facilities, the location, type and direction of all outdoor lighting on the site, and any landscape design. 

(d) Building Elevations and Signage: Architectural drawings of all exterior building facades and all proposed signage, specifying materials and colors to be used. Perspective drawings and illustrations of the site from public ways and abutting properties are recommended but not required. 

(e) Initial Operations and Logistics Plan: Containing the information set forth in Paragraph (d) of Section 11.804 above. 

(f) License or Registration Materials: Copies of all materials submitted to applicable state and local agencies for the purpose of licensing and/or registration, and any certification or license issued by any such agency, excluding any information required by law to be kept confidential. 

11.806 Special Permit Criteria. In granting a special permit for a Cannabis Production Facility Use, in addition to the general criteria for issuance of a special permit as set forth in Section 10.43 of this Zoning Ordinance, the Planning Board shall find that the following criteria are met: 

(a) The site is designed such that it provides convenient, safe and secure access and egress for customers and employees arriving to and leaving from the site using all modes of transportation, including drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and public transportation users. 

(b) On-site loading, refuse and service areas are designed to be secure and shielded from abutting uses. 

(c) The building and site have been designed to be compatible with other buildings in the area and to mitigate any negative aesthetic impacts that might result from required security measures and restrictions on visibility into the building’s interior and/or from restrictions on direct access by consumers.  

(d) If the proposed Cannabis Production Facility is not proposed to include a Medical Marijuana Treatment Center, it will nevertheless provide programs to assist qualifying patients within the city or neighborhood who are registered through the Massachusetts Medical Use of Marijuana Program in obtaining services under that program. 

(Ord. No. 2021-8 , 6-28-2021)

Editor’s note(s)—Ord. No. 2021-8 , adopted June 28, 2021, repealed the former § 11.800, and enacted a new § 11.800 as set out herein. The former § 11.800 pertained to similar subject matter and derived from Ord. No. 1404 , adopted Dec. 17, 2018.

                                                           In City Council September 18, 2023.

Ordained by a yea and nay vote:-

Yeas 9; Nays 0; Absent 0.

Attest:- Diane P. LeBlanc, City Clerk

A true copy;

                                                                ATTEST:- Diane P. LeBlanc, City Clerk