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ORDINANCE NO. 2023-8A –  FINAL PUBLICATION

CITY OF CAMBRIDGE

In the Year Two Thousand and Twenty-Three

AN ORDINANCE

In amendment to the Ordinance entitled “Cambridge Municipal Code”

That the Municipal Code of the City of Cambridge be amended in Chapter 2.76 entitled “Human Rights Commission” and in Chapter 2.119 entitled “Domestic Partnerships”. 

In City Council November 20, 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

NOTE: Pursuant to the provisions of General Laws, Chapter 40, Section 32A, Tercentenary Edition, the ordinance as aforesaid which exceeds in length eight octavo pages of ordinary book print may be summarized for publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the city with the further provision that said Ordinance may be examined and obtained at the City Clerk’s Office during office hours and that any objection to its invalidity by reason of any defect in the procedure of adoption may only be made within ninety days after the posting or the second publication.


LEGAL NOTICE

CITY OF CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS

CONSERVATION COMMISSION

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING

Public notice is hereby given that the Cambridge Conservation Commission will hold a public hearing on Monday, December 18, 2023, at 7:00 P.M. via zoom webinar for a Notice of Intent (NOI) associated with the redevelopment of 89 Blanchard Road adjacent to the Alewife Brook in accordance with the provisions of the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act, (M.G.L. c. 131, s. 40).

A copy of the submittal is on file at the Conservation Commission office at 147 Hampshire Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts and may be reviewed by calling (617) 349-4680 or emailing [email protected]. Interested persons may appear at the public meeting to be heard.

Jennifer K. Letourneau

Conservation Commission Director


ORDINANCE NO. 2023-6 –  FINAL PUBLICATION

CITY OF CAMBRIDGE

In the Year Two Thousand and Twenty-Three

AN ORDINANCE

In amendment to the Ordinance entitled “Cambridge Municipal Code”

That the Municipal Code of the City of Cambridge be amended in Chapter 5.50 entitled “CANNABIS BUSINESS PERMITTING” as follows:

Sections:

5.50.010 Purpose.

This ordinance is intended to create a separate local permitting requirement for Cannabis Retail Store, Cannabis Cultivator, Cannabis Product Manufacturer, Cannabis Microbusiness, Cannabis Courier Establishment, Cannabis Delivery Operator Establishment, or any other Cannabis Business as defined herein (collectively “Cannabis Business”) applicants to certify compliance with certain conditions in the public interest prior to being permitted to operate a Cannabis Business in the City. The City deems it to be in the public interest to give initial permitting preferences for Cannabis Businesses to Priority A Applicants, as defined herein. 

( Ord. No. 2021-19 , 9-13-2021; Ord. No. 1409 , 9-23-19)

5.50.020. Definitions.

“Cannabis Business.” A Cannabis Retail Store, Cannabis Cultivator, Cannabis Product Manufacturer, Cannabis Microbusiness, Cannabis Courier Establishment, Cannabis Delivery Operator Establishment, or any other entity licensed by the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission to produce, transport or sell marijuana in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

“Cannabis Cultivator.” An entity licensed by the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission as a Marijuana Cultivator to cultivate, process and package cannabis or marijuana, and to transfer cannabis or marijuana to other cannabis or marijuana establishments, but not to consumers. A craft marijuana cooperative is a type if Marijuana Cultivator, pursuant to 935 CMR 500.000. 

“Cannabis Product Manufacturer.” An entity licensed by the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission as a Marijuana Product Manufacturer to obtain, manufacture, process and package cannabis or marijuana products and to transfer these products to other cannabis or marijuana establishments, but not to consumers. 

“Cannabis Retail Store.” An establishment authorized to sell or otherwise transfer cannabis or marijuana products to consumers for use off the premises, but not to cultivate, manufacture, process, or package cannabis or marijuana products, in accordance with applicable state laws and regulations. A Cannabis Retail Store may be licensed to operate as a Cannabis or Marijuana Retailer or registered as a Medical Marijuana Treatment Center, formerly known as a Registered Marijuana Dispensary (RMD) (hereafter “MTC”), or both, in accordance with applicable state laws and regulations. 

“Cannabis Courier Establishment.” An establishment licensed as a Marijuana Courier by the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission that is authorized to operate pursuant to that license, including to deliver cannabis or marijuana products, accessories and branded goods from a Cannabis Retail Store to consumers, in accordance with applicable state laws and regulations, but not authorized to sell cannabis or marijuana products directly to consumers. 

“Cannabis Transporter.” An entity, not otherwise licensed by the Cannabis Control Commission, that is licensed to purchase, obtain, and possess cannabis or marijuana, or cannabis or marijuana products, solely for the purpose of transporting, temporarily storing, selling and distributing them to cannabis establishments, not for selling to consumers. Local Sales Taxes. Taxes imposed by the City upon the sale or transfer of marijuana or marijuana products by a Cannabis Retail Store pursuant to Section 3 of M.G.L. Chapter 64N.” 

“Cannabis Delivery Operator Establishment.” An establishment licensed as a Marijuana Delivery Operator by the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission and authorized to purchase at wholesale and warehouse on the site cannabis or marijuana products acquired from a Cannabis Cultivator, Cannabis Product Manufacturer, Cannabis Microbusiness or Craft Marijuana Cooperative, and to sell and deliver cannabis or marijuana products, accessories and branded goods directly to consumers in accordance with applicable state laws and regulations, but not authorized to repackage cannabis or marijuana products or to sell cannabis or marijuana products to consumers on-site. 

“Cannabis Microbusiness.” A co-located Cannabis or Marijuana Establishment that can be either a Tier 1 Marijuana Cultivator or a Product Manufacturer or both, pursuant to 935 CMR 500.00, in compliance with the operating procedures for each license and, if in receipt of a Delivery Endorsement issued by the Cannabis Control Commission, may deliver Cannabis or Cannabis Products produced at the licensed location directly to Consumers in compliance with established regulatory requirements for retail sale as it relates to delivery. A Microbusiness that is a Cannabis Marijuana Product Manufacturer may purchase no more than 2,000 pounds of marijuana per year from other Cannabis or Marijuana Establishments, pursuant to 935 CMR 500.000. 

“Priority Applicant.” A person, corporation, or other legal entity applying for a Cannabis Business permit pursuant to this Chapter to operate in the City who is: 

A. Group A Priority Applicant. An Economic Empowerment Applicant certified as such by the Commonwealth’s Cannabis Control Commission; or a Social Equity Program Applicant certified as such by the Commonwealth’s Cannabis Control Commission; or Women or Minority Owned business as certified by the Commonwealth and /or by the City; or a Cambridge resident for at least the three previous years prior to application earning less than fifty percent (50%) of Area Median Income (AMI) in the three previous tax years prior to application —to be known as Group A Priority Applicants. 

B. Group B Priority Applicant. A MTC within the City that was licensed or registered by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health not later than July 1, 2017 to sell cannabis products in a Cannabis Retail Store pursuant to the Commonwealth’s medical use of marijuana laws, which seeks to operate as a licensed marijuana retailer pursuant to the Commonwealth’s adult use of marijuana laws – to be known as Group B Priority Applicants. Those who qualify as Group B Priority Applicants cannot also qualify as a Group A Priority Applicant. 

( Ord. No. 2021-19 , 9-13-2021; Ord. No. 1409 , 9-23-19)

5.50.030 Applicability.

This Chapter shall apply to any proposed Cannabis Business that is seeking licensure from the Cannabis Control Commission on or after the effective date of this Chapter. This Chapter shall not apply to MTCs that have already been permitted in the City and are not seeking licensure as a Cannabis Retail Store for retail cannabis sales prior to the effective date of this Chapter (“Existing MTC”). 

( Ord. No. 2021-19 , 9-13-2021; Ord. No. 1409 , 9-23-19)

5.50.040 Permitting Preferences for Priority Applicants.

The City shall issue a Cannabis Business Permit pursuant to this Chapter only to Priority Applicants. For the first five years after the Effective Date of this Chapter as stated in section 5.50.100 below, the City shall issue a Cannabis Business Permit to operate a Cannabis Retail Store only to Group A Priority Applicants. The effect of this provision is to extend the preference period for Economic Empowerment Applicants from three years to five years, and to provide a three year preference period for all other Group A Priority Applicants to run concurrently with the third, fourth and fifth years of the preference period for Economic Empowerment Applicants. 

For the first year after the expiration of the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission’s exclusivity period for Marijuana Courier Licenses and Marijuana Delivery Operator Licenses, as set forth in 935 CMR 500.050(10) and (11), the City shall issue a Cannabis Business Permit for a Cannabis Courier Establishment or Cannabis Delivery Operator Establishment only to Group A Priority Applicants. 

The Council shall review this provision of the ordinance again no later than September 1, 2022 

(Ord. No. 2022-19 , 9-19-2022; Ord. No. 2021-19 , 9-13-2021; Ord. No. 1409 , 9-23-19)

5.50.050 Permitting Requirements.

A. In order to obtain a Cannabis Business permit pursuant to this Chapter, an applicant must certify that: 

1. It will comply with employee pay standards set out in the City’s Living Wage Ordinance; 

2. It will hire at least 51% of minority, women and/or veterans as employees; 

3. If applicant has a Board of Directors, the board makeup will be at least 51% minority, women and/or veterans; 

4. It consents to unannounced, periodic compliance inspections by City officials of its Cannabis Business, including any Cannabis Business activities it conducts off-site; 

5. It will comply with all State and local laws and regulations regarding its Cannabis Business operations; 

6. No person under the minimum legal sales age shall be permitted to enter the Cannabis Business site unless such person possesses a state-issued registration card demonstrating that the person is a registered qualifying medical marijuana (cannabis) patient and the Cannabis Business site is, or is co-located with, a MTC; 

7. It will work with the Cambridge Public Health Department to create and distribute educational materials to its customers as directed by the Cambridge Public Health Department; 

8. It will sell only cannabis and cannabis accessories, and not other products, including tobacco products or alcoholic beverages of any kind; 

9. It will comply with directives of the Police Commissioner and of the Director of Traffic Parking and Transportation, or their designees, regarding traffic measures to be taken at and near the Cannabis Business site; 

10. It has received a special permit from the Planning Board for its Cannabis Business if required pursuant to the Cambridge Zoning Ordinance, and has entered into a Host Community Agreement with the City through the City Manager’s Office; and 

11. It is a business in good standing with no outstanding federal, state or local investigations or judgments pending against it. 

B. No discretionary permit conditions may be imposed by the permit issuing authority pursuant to this Chapter. 

C. A Cannabis Business permit shall be valid only for the applicant to which the Cannabis Business permit was issued, and only for the use and for the site approved in the permit. A proposed change of ownership or control that would require notification to the Cannabis Control Commission pursuant to the Adult Use of Marijuana Regulations 935 CMR 500.000, change of use, or change of site shall require a new Cannabis Business permit. As part of the Cannabis Business permit application process, the City shall require the applicant to disclose all individuals and legal entities who are a Person or Entity Having Direct Control or a Person or Entity Having Indirect Control pursuant to the Adult Use of Marijuana Regulations. 

D. A Cannabis Business that is licensed to conduct cannabis delivery shall submit an Operations and Logistics Plan for approval by the Cambridge Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department and Cambridge Police Department annually prior to issuance and renewal pursuant to Section 5.50.070 below. 

( Ord. No. 2021-19 , 9-13-2021; Ord. No. 1409 , 9-23-19)

5.50.060 Permitting Procedure.

This Chapter shall be administered by the City’s Inspectional Services Department, except that Priority Applicant status shall be certified by the Director of the Economic Opportunity and Development Division of the Community Development Department, or their designee. Applications for Cannabis Business permits shall be obtained from and submitted to the Inspectional Services Department. If permit applications are properly completed and certified, and the conditions of this Chapter are met, the Commissioner of Inspectional Services (the “Commissioner”) shall issue a Cannabis Business permit to the applicant. No public hearing process on individual applications shall be conducted. A Host Community Agreement shall be negotiated with the City Manager. 

( Ord. No. 2021-19 , 9-13-2021; Ord. No. 1409 , 9-23-19)

5.50.070 Permit Expiration and Renewal.

The Cannabis Business permit issued pursuant to this Chapter shall be subject to renewal annually. If the applicant fails to timely renew or fails to meet the requirements of this Chapter at the time of each renewal, including the Permitting Requirements in section 5.50.050 above, the Cannabis Business permit issued hereunder shall expire. A Cannabis Business permit will not be renewed if the permit holder has failed to pay all fines issued pursuant to this Chapter. 

( Ord. No. 2021-19 , 9-13-2021; Ord. No. 1409 , 9-23-19)

5.50.080 Enforcement.

A. Failure to comply with this Chapter, including a failure to maintain the status of a Priority Applicant, failure to obtain or to comply with the provisions of a Planning Board special permit if required pursuant to the Cambridge Zoning Ordinance, or State license to operate a Cannabis Business, or failure to comply with any applicable laws, may result in revocation by the City, through the Commissioner, of the Cannabis Business permit granted pursuant to this Chapter. Failure to meet the annual Cannabis Business permit renewal requirements will result in the expiration of the Cannabis Business permit. If a permit holder’s State license is revoked, then the Cannabis Business permit issued by the City shall be revoked. A Cannabis Business permit may be revoked or not renewed if the permit holder has sold a cannabis product to a person under the minimum legal sales age three times or more, or if the permit holder has failed to pay to the City all outstanding fines issued pursuant to this Chapter. 

B. An applicant must cease to operate if it does not hold and maintain a valid Cannabis Business permit pursuant to this Chapter. Prior to revoking a Cannabis Business permit issued hereunder, the Commissioner will notify the Cannabis Business permit holder in writing and allow the Cannabis Business permit holder at least fourteen (14) days to submit written information to the Commissioner establishing that the Cannabis Business permit holder is in compliance with the terms of this Chapter. The Commissioner shall make a final determination on the Cannabis Business permit expiration or revocation thereafter. If a permit holder requests, the Commissioner in his discretion may hold a hearing before deciding whether to revoke a Cannabis Business permit. 

C. Any violation of this Chapter by a permit holder shall be subject to a fine of up to $300 for each violation. Each day a violation exists shall constitute a separate violation. 

D. Fines pursuant to this Chapter may be issued pursuant to the non-criminal ticketing procedure in G.L.c.40, § 21D. The Commissioner of Inspectional Services, the Police Commissioner, and the Commissioner of Public Health, or their designees shall be the enforcement officials for this Chapter. 

( Ord. No. 2021-19 , 9-13-2021; Ord. No. 1409 , 9-23-19)

5.50.090 Regulations.

The Commissioner of Inspectional Services, as well as the Assistant City Manager for Community Development, with the approval of the City Manager, are authorized to promulgate regulations and to create the necessary application and permit forms, to implement this Chapter with respect to their respective responsibilities pursuant to this Chapter. Regulatory requirements implementing this ordinance may differ for Priority Applicants and non-Priority applicants, such that the regulatory burden for Priority Applicants is less burdensome. 

( Ord. No. 2021-19 , 9-13-2021; Ord. No. 1409 , 9-23-19)

5.50.100 Effective Date.

This Chapter shall take effect on September 23, 2019. 

( Ord. No. 2021-19 , 9-13-2021; Ord. No. 1409 , 9-23-19)

5.50.110 Severability.

The provisions of this Chapter are severable, and if any part of this Chapter should be held invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, such invalidity shall not affect the remainder of the Chapter, and the remainder of the Chapter shall remain in full force and effect. 

( Ord. No. 2021-19 , 9-13-2021; Ord. No. 1409 , 9-23-19)

In City Council November 20, 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


ORDINANCE NO. 2023-9 – FINAL PUBLICATION

CITY OF CAMBRIDGE

In the Year Two Thousand and Twenty-three

AN ORDINANCE

To amend Articles 2.000, 4.000, 5.000, and 23.000 of the Cambridge Zoning Ordinance as follows for the purpose of allowing henkeeping, with limitations and subject to regulation and permitting by the Cambridge Public Health Department, as a permitted accessory use to principal residential (excluding transient accommodations as defined in Section 4.31.i), religious, and educational uses.

Amendments to Article 2.000 – Definitions

Add the following definitions:

Apiary.  A location or structure on a lot containing one or more beehives and associated beekeeping equipment.

Bee.  Any life stage of the common domestic honey bee, Apis mellifera.

Bee Colony.  An aggregate of worker bees, drones, a single queen, and brood living together as one social unit.

Beekeeping.  The housing of one or more bee colonies on a lot for the purpose of collecting products including honey, beeswax, propolis, pollen, and royal jelly, and/or to support the ecological benefits of pollination.

Beehive.  A structure intended for the housing of one Bee Colony.

Chicken.  Any breed of the domestic species Gallus gallus domesticus.

Hen.  A domestic female chicken.

Hen Run or Pen.  An outdoor structure for the containment of hens that is enclosed on all sides and top by any material preventing contact with pests, predators, and other bird species but remaining open to the outside air.

Henkeeping.  The housing of female chickens (i.e., hens) on a lot.

Henhouse or Coop.  An enclosed, weather-protected structure for the shelter of hens and their nests.

Rooster.  A domestic male chicken.

Amendments to Article 4.000 – Use Regulations

Add the following paragraph “p.” to Section 4.21, Accessory Uses:

p. Henkeeping, conducted in conformance with the Standards for Urban Agriculture set forth in Article 23.000 of this Zoning Ordinance and all other applicable laws, rules, and regulations, shall be considered an allowed accessory use when conducted on the lot of and in conjunction with one of the following principal uses:  residential (Section 4.31 a.-h., excluding transient accommodations), any religious use (Section 4.33 a.), and any educational use (Section 4.33 b.).

Amendments to Article 5.000 – Dimensional Standards

Amend Section 5.22.1 to read as follows:

5.22.1 Private Open Space. Private Open Space shall be open and unobstructed to the sky, except that up to fifty (50) percent of the total Private Open Space may be Shaded Area. Trees, plantings, arbors, fences, flagpoles, sculpture, fountains and recreational and drying apparatus and similar objects shall not be considered obstructions when located within a private open space. Objects or structures intended exclusively for bicycle parking, designed and located in accordance with Section 6.100, which may be uncovered, partially covered or fully enclosed, shall not be considered obstructions provided that such objects or structures are not used for motor vehicle parking, general storage or any other use, and further provided that any such structure exceeding six feet (6’) in height conforms to the requirements for an accessory building in Section 4.21. Beehives, apiaries, henhouses, and hen runs conforming to the Standards for Urban Agriculture in Article 23.000 of this Zoning Ordinance shall not be considered obstructions. Structures or features that are necessary for a building to comply with the Flood Resilience Standards in Section 22.80, such as stairs, ramps, or window wells, shall not be considered obstructions. To the extent permitted in this Ordinance, balconies and roof areas may also be considered as Private Open Space.

Amend Section 5.24.1 to read as follows:

5.24.1 Every part of a required yard shall be open to the sky and unobstructed, except that the following features may be located within a required yard:

(a) Awnings, arbors, fences, flagpoles, recreational, and laundry drying equipment and similar objects;

(b) Objects or structures intended exclusively for bicycle parking meeting the requirements of Article 6.000, which may be uncovered, partially covered or fully enclosed, provided that such objects or structures are not used for motor vehicle parking, general storage or any other use, and further provided that any such structure exceeding six feet (6’) in height conforms to the requirements for an accessory building in Section 4.21;

(c) Beehives, apiaries, henhouses, and hen runs conforming to the Standards for Urban Agriculture in Article 23.000 of this Zoning Ordinance;

(d) Objects or equipment located in a required yard that are necessary for or appurtenant to a Public Bicycle-Sharing Station;

(e) Open or lattice-enclosed fire escapes for emergency use only;

(f) Projecting eaves, chimneys, bay windows, balconies, open fire escapes and like projections which do not project more than three and one-half (3½’) feet and which are part of a building not more than thirty-five (35’) feet in height;

(g) Shade Canopies as defined in this Zoning Ordinance, provided that any Shade Canopy exceeding seven feet (7’) in height shall be set back at least five feet (5’) from a side or rear lot line in a residential district; and

(h) Exterior steps, ramps, elevated walkways, porches, window wells, flood barriers, and other elevated features that provide protection or resilience from flooding on the lot, provided such features do not project more than twelve (12’) feet beyond the line of the foundation wall of a building, are open to the air and are either unroofed or covered only by a Shade Canopy, and are not elevated higher than four (4’) feet above Grade or the 1%-Probability Long Term Flood Elevation as determined by the Flood Resilience Standards in Section 22.80 of this Zoning Ordinance, whichever is higher

Amendments to Article 23.000 – Standards for Urban Agriculture

Delete Section 23.20 (Urban Agriculture Definitions)

Create New Section 23.50 – Standards for Henkeeping

51. General Standards for Henkeeping.

a. Henkeeping is allowed as an accessory use pursuant to Article 4.000 of this Zoning Ordinance, according to the standards herein. 

b. A permit must be obtained from the Cambridge Public Health Department for all keeping of hens, and permit-holders must be in compliance with all local public health regulations and state public health laws in order to keep hens.

c. Only female chickens (i.e., hens) may be kept. No male chickens (i.e., roosters) are allowed.

d. Care and disposal of hens must be in accordance with all local public health regulations and state public health laws.

52. Number of Hens.  No more than six (6) hens may be housed on a lot unless a permit issued by the Cambridge Public Health Department explicitly authorizes a greater number, but in no case shall more than twelve (12) hens be permitted.

53. Enclosures.

a. Hens must be kept within an enclosure consisting of a henhouse and a hen run.

b. All hen enclosures shall be located at least five (5) feet from a property line, or may be closer to the property line if there is a solid wall, fence, or similar opaque barrier visually screening the enclosure from an abutting property.

c. A hen enclosure shall not be located in a front yard.

d. Freestanding henhouses shall not be more than eight (8) feet in height above the mean grade of the ground adjoining the henhouse and shall cover no more than fifty (50) square feet of lot area.

e. Freestanding henhouses shall be designed, constructed, and managed in accordance with any additional design standards required by the Cambridge Public Health Department.

f. A hen enclosure shall be built in conformance with all other applicable building, health, and safety laws, rules, and regulations.

In City Council November 20, 2023.

Ordained as amended 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