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June 2020 Planning Commission Recap: 47th Street Homes Proposal, Cannabis Zoning Amendment, Bike Plan Update

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The Emeryville Planning Commission held two public hearings and a study session at their June 25th meeting. Among these items was a contentious residential in-fill project on 47th Street, amendments to our city cannabis regulations, and a once-a-decade update to the Pedestrian & Bicycle Plan.

47th Street

47th Street Homes (Public Hearing)

The owner of 1034-1042 47th Street were back in front of the commission for a third study session. The proposed residential in-fill project that would remove four existing single-unit homes and replace them with three duplexes, resulting in six total residential units at project completion.

The homes sit on a larger two-parcel property that currently contains 15 single-unit homes with access on three separate streets. This project would affect units facing 47th Street in the city’s Triangle neighborhood.

47th Street
The proposed homes would range between two bedrooms and one bathroom with 798 sq. ft. to two bedrooms and two bathrooms with 1,150 sq. ft. Each home would include one to two parking spaces along with long-term bike storage. The home at 1038 47th Street would also be built with ADA specifications in mind.

Members of the public, during the public comment, questioned how family-friendly these units will be, whether the units could be saved with rehabilitation instead of being demolished, and whether the owner will keep the new homes in better shape than the existing ones.

47th Street

The property owner confirmed the units do meet family-friendly guidelines, although not required to, and that the homes would be cheaper to rebuild than to rehabilitate. The owner also addressed a previous question from the community regarding affordability housing and stated that eight of the existing homes on the property were renting well below market rate with low to very low in come tenants with an average stay of 19 years.

Commissioners expressed concerns with affordability of the homes after being constructed, a point also raised by a member of the public, along with parking and tree removal concerns.

The commission decided in a 4-0 motion with two abstentions and one absence to recommend denial of the project application to the City Council with the commissioner’s concerns being forwarded to the council for their consideration.

View the Entire Staff Report →

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Amendments to Cannabis Regulations (Public Hearing)

Commissioners considered amendments to existing Planning Regulations to allow cannabis manufacturing businesses in additional zoning districts and to reduce the buffer between cannabis sales activities and parks and other sensitive areas.

The proposed changes will allow applicants to operate a cannabis manufacturing business or cannabis sales activity in the Mixed Use with Residential and Mixed Use with Residential South zoning areas with a conditional use permit. The staff report stresses that “compatibility of any particular business with the surrounding area will always be assessed on a case-by-case basis.”

This proposed amendment comes as the Ohana Cannabis (FKA East Bay Therapeutics) dispensary would like to relocate across the street from its existing location, into the space currently occupied by The Broken Rack Sports Bar and Billiards, which is up for sale. However, the new location’s proximity within 250 feet of the Emeryville Greenway would prevent it from operating under existing planning code that establishes a buffer from cannabis businesses around parks.

In addition to the dispensary space, a separate restaurant space would be retained adjacent to the business.

The commission approved the motion to amend the planning code and the recommendation will now move to the City Council for consideration.

View the Entire Staff Report →

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Update to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan (Study Session)

The City is required to provide an updated Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan once every 10 years, by state law. The current plan is due for an update in 2022, so the City has begun the process of updating the plan by first determining the scope of work for the plan consultants.

With input from the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, the scope includes building a map that will show a complete bicycle and pedestrian network in Emeryville, along with recommended policies and programs.

Staff requested input on the scope of work from Commissioners. The Commissioners responded with areas for the plan to focus on. Including wayfinding signage, bicycle connections in the Public Market area, and long-term bike storage.

There was no decision needed by Commissioners on this item.

View the Entire Staff Report →

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Bobby Lee

is a Bay Area native who’s lived in the Christie Core Neighborhood since 2010, Bobby enjoys exploring the far corners of our region, trying the newest restaurants in the area, or relaxing to 80's era television sitcoms and game shows. For the past six years, he's hosted a web video series called 2 Minute Finance teaching basic money management and consumer education.


  1. KC / Chicago / Baltimore / Philadelphia / Cleveland / Detroit / Milwaukee have Operation LeGend .... Emeryville needs Operation Patz to eradicate foolishness says:

    47th Street: “Property owners – don’t bother us with plans to improve your property unless it 1) includes affordable housing for low income families with bikes and 2) you guarantee no profit will be made.”

    Cannabis Regulations: “Rules are for our convenience only. Bye-bye 20+ year old Emeryville business. A public bong will be installed next to the public ping pong table. Bike racks will be added so city councilors can pedal over for their recreational products.”

    Bike study: “We will spend hundreds of thousands of tax dollars to pay a consultant to draw a map because bikers are getting lost and can’t read Google Maps. But … since we already know bikers can’t read maps we will spend thousands more on way finding signs.”

    Hopefully – the Emeryville bike registration and mileage fees will be used to initially fund the installation of the rent by the hour long term bike storage lockers necessary to protect residents property from thieves given a free pass by our city councilors.

  2. 47th St. Project: . Planning listened to the neighborhood and realized that those of us who live here and care enough to speak our voice are angry that the LL kicked out our neighbors of 20 yrs and want to gentrify our street with a mini live in prefab strip mall while killing all the trees and what makes the block nice. This story is a bit weak on the facts ..

    Cannabis Regulations:. Bring it on. Just don’t do it in a stupid place. What would that be???

    Bike study: Just make it safe and slow down all the traffic coming from all over the Bay Area to this shopping Meca so people don’t get killed.

    • 47th St.: what fact is missing? That someones fondness for trees in their neighborhood outweighs the improvement of housing? Landlords don’t improve properties without a prospect of payback. Enjoy.
      Cannabis: bring dispensaries to the 47th Street triangle neighborhood? Not a stupid place?
      Bike Safety: Apparently the number of bicyclists killed in Emeryville has spiked? No worries – traffic and tax revenue will be avoiding Emeryville until the socialists are voted out.

  3. Emeryville is a small town with a great tax revenue source sandwiched between two socialist cities who are the highest taxed citizens in America, but especially in Oakland’s situation, one of the worst fiscally run cities in America. Just walk around Lake Merritt and you will understand. There is no “downtown” because in 40 years, the leaders have been and are clueless regarding economic development. All they know to do is put another Parcel tax on the ballot, mismanage that revenue, then place another one on the ballot next year. Example: Athol Tennis courts, paid for by the taxpayers and a city park, has been “converted” to a homeless encampment. The city has done nothing to re-establish the courts or park. But a new tax for park and rec is on the ballot for November, to be used as the city council sees fit. The $ won’t go to upgrade parks, but for homeless projects. Tax and spend. That’s the Oakland government’s mantra. Let’s hope Emeryville voters are smarter and don’t vote for every tax increase for which this city requests. Vote NO on any tax increase on November 3, 2020. Emeryville has a lot of $$$ in its cofers.

    • I’m waiting with bated breath on the 500 units of affordable artist housing as promised in the 2018 $50 million bond issue. Fat chance that will ever be achieved.

    • Emeryville had tax revenue ... but continues frittering what's left on councilor wealth redistribution schemes says:

      Too late …

      June 2018: $50 million bond for housing. Revenues going to the black hole on Park Ave.

      July 2019: increased minimum wage to highest in the nation so councilors can collect kickbacks from unions. (Result: 45+ businesses move out.)

      March 2020: Measure F – sales tax increased to hire more police (so Patz, Bauters and Medina can tie their hands) and fireman – no hires pending.

      March 2020 Measure K – parcel tax to pay for school that will be closed until Trump is re-elected.

      The bills I got this week from Verizon, Netflix, and PGE reflect the higher taxes. Thanks socialists!

  4. What happened to reuse and recycle and what about HISTORY? My great grandparents lived at 1038 47th street back in the early 1900’s and the house it STILL there.

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