Albany Zoning Districts and Permitted Uses

20.12.020   Designation of Zoning Districts. 

The several classes of zoning districts into which the City may be divided are as follows:

Section Zoning District Designation
20.12.050.B.1 Residential Single Family R-1
20.12.050.B.2 Residential Medium Density R-2
20.12.050.B.3 Residential High Density R-3
20.12.050.B.4 Residential Towers R-4
20.12.050.B.5 Residential Hillside Development RHD
20.12.060.B.1 Solano Commercial SC
20.12.060.B.2 San Pablo Commercial SPC
20.12.060.B.3 Commercial Mixed Use CMX
20.12.070.B.1 Public Facilities PF
20.12.070.B.2 Waterfront WF
20.12.080.B.1 Hillside Overlay District H
20.12.080.B.2 Commercial Node Overlay District CN
20.12.080.B.3 Planned Residential/Commercial Overlay District PRC
20.12.080.B.4 Professional  Overlay District P
20.12.080.B.5 Residential-Commercial Transition District RCT
20.12.080.B.6 Watercourse Overlay District WC



20.12.040          Permitted Land Uses by District.

Key to Table:

P = Permitted

UP = Use Permit Required

UP-M = Minor Use Permit Required16, 17

–  = Not Permitted

Limits on authority for UP-M are indicated by * and  **16

Land Use1 R-1 R-2 R-3 R-4 RHD SC SPC CMX PF WF11
Single Family Dwelling P P P P P2 P3
Two-Family Dwellings P P UP P2 P3
Multi-Family Dwellings P P UP UP P2 P3
Live/Work Space P2 UP UP-M**
Rooming or Boarding House P
Bed and Breakfast UP UP UP UP
Care Facility, Residential
 a) Small P P P P P P P
 b) Large UP UP UP UP UP UP4 UP4
Day Care Home, Residential
a) Small family P P P P P
b) Large family19 UP-M UP-M UP-M UP-M UP-M
ResidentialSecondary Unit P P
Public and Quasi-Public
CommunityAssembly UP UP UP UP UP
Clubs and Lodges UP UP UP UP UP UP
Cultural Activities/Institutions UP UP UP UP UP UP
Day Care Center(Non-Family) UP UP UP UP UP UP UP UP-M* UP
Homeless Shelter UP
Hospitals and Clinics UP UP UP UP UP UP
Medical Marijuana Dispensary
Park andRecreation Facilities UP UP UP UP UP UP UP UP P UP
Public Admin. Offices/Facilities P P UP P
Public Maintenance Facilities UP UP
Religious Institutions UP UP UP UP UP
Schools, public or private UP5 UP5 UP5 UP5 UP5 UP5 UP5
Social Service Facilities UP UP UP
U.S. Post Office P P UP
UtilitiesMajorMinorUnderground -UP5P UP5UP5P UP5UP5P UP5UP5P UP5UP5P UP5PP UP5PP UP5PP UP5PP UP5UP5UP5
Adult entertainment establishment UP UP
Animal Sales and Services
 a) Animal Boarding UP UP-M UP-M
 b)Animal Grooming P P UP-M
 c)Animal Hospitals P P UP-M
 d)Animal Sales P P UP-M
Automobile/Vehicle Sales and Services
a)Automobile/ vehicle/ equipment  sales and/or rental UP UP
b)Automobile service station (including fueling station) UP UP
c)Automobile/vehicle/ equipment repair UP UP
d) Automobilewashing UP UP
Building materialssales and service
a) Within an enclosed building UP-M* UP-M*
b) Open storage area UP6 UP6
Land Use1 R-1 R-2 R-3 R-4 RHD SC SPC CMX PF WF11
CommercialRecreation/Entertainment UP7 UP UP
CommercialRecreation/Entertainmentin WaterfrontDistrict UP
CommunicationFacilities UP UP UP
Construction services (contractors) UP6 UP6
Dry Cleaner (retail) P P UP-M
Financial institutions P P UP-M
Funeral and interment services UP UP
Gyms and Health Clubs     UP     UP UP-M*
Hotels and motels UP8 UP UP
Laboratory, limited UP UP-M
Laundry, large scale UP UP
Laundry, self-service P P UP-M
Liquor Store UP UP UP
Offices, general and professional P P UP-M*
Marinas and boat launching ramps UP
Parking facility,Nonresidential UP9 UP9 UP9 UP9 UP P UP-M UP
Pawn shops       – UP UP
Printing (retail) P P UP-M
Printing (industrial) UP
Repair Services(non-auto) P P UP-M
Research andDevelopment(Commercial) UP UP UP-M*
Research and Development(Educational) UP-M* UP10
Restaurant P12, 13 P12, 13 UP-M12, 13 UP12, 13
a)with live entertain-ment UP12, 13 UP12, 13 UP12, 13
b.1.) with take- out (walk-up) P12, 13 P12, 13 UP-M12, 13
b.2.) with take-out (drive- through) UP12, 13 UP12, 13
Retail, food and beverage sales P P UP-M*
Retail nurseriesand gardensupplies P P UP
Retail sales
a)Neighbor-hood Retail UP18 P P UP-M*
b)CommunityRetail UP-M* P UP-M*
c) RegionalRetail UP-M*
Services, ambulance P UP-M
Services, business P P UP-M
Services, catering UP P UP-M
Services, instructional P14 P14 UP
Services, massage UP UP UP-M
Services, personal P P UP
Significant20Tobacco Retailer UP UP UP
Waterfront and Waterfront-Sports-relatedCommercial sales and service UP
Industry, limited UP
Industry, general UP
Truck terminal UP
Warehousing and storage
 a) indoor UP
 b) outdoor UP
Wholesaling and distribution UP
Notes, Table 1.A:
1.       All construction may be subject to design review and development standards.
2.       Use Permit is required if located on the ground floor; on the 2nd floor or above, the use is permitted.  Off-street parking in support of residential use is not permitted to occupy ground floor building frontage along Solano Avenue.
3.       Ground floor building frontage along San Pablo Avenue is reserved for commercial activity, except for any necessary access to residential facilities; residential use is permitted elsewhere on the ground floor, and above the ground floor.  Off-street parking in support of residential use is not permitted to occupy building frontage along San Pablo Avenue.
4.       Not permitted on ground floor.
5.       Except where preempted by State or Federal law.
6.       Projects may be subject to screening requirements.
7.       Limited to uses within a building, not to exceed five thousand (5,000) square feet.
8.       If 10 or fewer hotel/motel rooms, otherwise not allowed.
9.       Requires Use Permit in residential zoning districts on sites that abut commercial zoning districts, otherwise not allowed in residential zoning districts. Parking facilities shall be designed to meet all applicable screening and landscape standards stated in subsection 20.24.110. See subsection 20.28.050.B for additional design standards for parking facilities.
Notes, Table 1.A, continued:
10.     If governmental or educational related.  Otherwise, not allowed in public facilities zoning district.
11.     Waterfront – List of uses is intended to remain unchanged from those uses authorized by the Zoning Ordinance for the Waterfront District as of the effective date of Measure “C”.*
12.     A supplemental business license may be required where alcohol is consumed.
13.     Alcohol beverage service requires a major or minor use permit. See 20.20.070.B.1.
14.     A Use Permit will be required if the proposed use has a potentially significant impact upon surrounding development in terms of light, glare, noise, odor, parking, traffic, or hazardous materials, as determined by the Community Development Director.
15.     [not used]
16.     See subsection 20.100.030 for description of distinctions between Major and Minor Use Permits.  Authority to grant Minor Use Permits is Limited to maximum 2500 square feet (nonresidential), or 6 dwelling units (residential), unless marked with asterisk(s):  * = maximum 5,000 square feet;  ** = maximum 10 dwelling units.  A Major Use Permit is required for any project that exceeds these thresholds.
17.     References to “use permit” shall be presumed to mean “major” use permit unless otherwise noted.
18.     Limited to serving the convenience of the residential development in the R-4 District.
19.     Refer to Section 20.20.020.B.2.d. for special process of notice and hearing.
20.     Refer to Section 20.20.120 for Location and Operation Standards.

(Ord. No. 04-09; Ord. No. 07-01 §2; Ord. No. 09-03 §3; Ord. No. 09-011 §§2, 3; Ord. No. 2011-08 § 3)

Editor’s Note: Measure C can be found in Appendix B at the end of this Chapter.


20.12.060   Commercial Districts.

A.        General Purposes of Commercial Districts. The City’s commercial districts are intended to:

1.         Provide appropriately located areas for a full range of  retail, office, service and industrial uses needed by the City’s residents, businesses and workers;

2.         Strengthen the City’s economic base, and provide employment opportunities for residents of the city; and

3.         Ensure that the character of commercial buildings and uses is harmonious with the area in which they are located.

B.        Specific Purposes of Individual Commercial Districts.

1.         Solano Commercial District (SC): The Solano Commercial District accommodates commercial uses which supply a wide range of commercial retail and related services both to the adjacent neighborhoods and the surrounding communities, within an attractive pedestrian-oriented shopping environment. The district also provides opportunities for office development and high-density residential development, including mixed-use settings. The district corresponds to the Community Commercial designation in the General Plan Land Use Element.

2.         San Pablo Commercial District (SPC):  The San Pablo Commercial District accommodates commercial and retail businesses serving a citywide or larger market in a boulevard environment, subject to specific standards. The district also provides opportunities for office development and high-density residential development, which may be in mixed-use settings. The district corresponds to the General Commercial designation in the General Plan Land Use Element.

3.         Commercial Mixed Use District (CMX):  The Commercial Mixed Use District provides for a broad range of commercial, service and light industrial uses consistent with the Light Industrial designation in the General Plan Land Use Element. More specifically, the “CMX” district is intended:

a.      To reserve appropriately located land for commercial service uses, light industrial plants and related activities;

b.      To provide opportunities for certain types of commercial services and industrial uses to concentrate in mutually beneficial relationship to each other;

c.      To provide adequate space to meet the needs of commercial and industrial development, including off-street parking and truck loading areas and landscaped areas;

d.      To ensure that light industrial activities are undertaken and maintained in a manner that minimizes fire, health, and safety risks, hazardous materials, and other potentially adverse impacts on surrounding properties and persons;

e.      To minimize traffic congestion;

f.       To avoid the overloading of utilities by preventing the construction of buildings of excessive size in relation to the amount of land around them; and the capacity of the City’s infrastructure to support them;

g.      To ensure that the appearance of industrial structures and uses is harmonious with the visual character of the City.

(Ord. No. 04-09)