Meeting Date:

March 2, 2016





David J. Stoldt,




General Manager

Line Item No.:


Prepared By:

Gabby Ayala

Cost Estimate:



General Counsel Review:  N/A

Committee Recommendation: N/A

CEQA Compliance: N/A


SUMMARY:  Staff has become aware of instances where Group II uses are “creeping” into the restaurant classification and would like to inform the Water Demand Committee of this issue and foster a discussion.  The Committee should review examples provided by staff at the meeting and provide guidance.

DISCUSSION:  The District’s practice is to describe a Group II use as a business that may sell (primarily) takeout food and other items, but that does not offer full service and serves food on disposable tableware. Several years ago, based on the Water Demand Committee’s recommendation, Group II was allowed to use glassware to serve food with “high moisture content and liquid food.” 

Group II users (bakeries, pizzerias, bistros, sandwich shops, coffee houses) today offer a wider and fresher menu than years ago, when the sale of made-to-order sandwiches and pre-prepared dishes, cold cuts, salads and pizza were the standard. Today, they not only serve the previous items, but may also serve salads, hot foods and drinks and/or prepare party trays to go. Group II establishments vary greatly in size and the ratio of retail sales to food sales. In order to provide an opportunity for a complete meal, Group II users also offer a wide variety of beverages, usually pre-packaged soft drinks, liquor, coffee, tea, milk, etc. Potato chips and similar products are available in some variety – some pre-packaged, others store-made and cellophane wrapped. Interior and exterior seating and tables are also being provided to attract customers.

The business operations of some Group II users have evolved through the years. A business may originally have been a bakery, pizzeria, bistro, sandwich shop, or coffee house. The business may have consisted of mostly retail and take-out sales, including meats, cheeses and coffee, and offered deli items for consumption. After the business had been in operation for some time, the business owner may make improvements to the establishment and included tables and chairs. The owner may have also hired waitresses and expanded the menu as the business developed into more of a full-service eating establishment.

The District relies on the Jurisdiction to send applicants for projects that require Water Permits to the District to obtain a permit prior to issuance of a building permit. In the case of interior/outdoor seating or business name change, there is no requirement by the Jurisdiction for District review. In instances when the District has issued Non-Compliance with Water Permit Requirement Notices, business owners have stated that they were not informed about the allowable services in Group II uses.  Business owners also indicated that they were not specifically notified of the restrictions on providing full service and the use of china and silverware when they took over the business.

RECOMMENDATION:  The Committee should discuss and provide direction to staff.

BACKGROUND:  Group II users’ water use is presently calculated using a “square-footage” factor from District Rule 24, Table 2, Non-Residential Water Use Factors. The factor for Group II uses is 0.00007 Acre-Foot per square-footage. This factor is based on a regional average for Group II uses and was last updated in 1991. The factor was originally used to assess the Water Use Capacity to determine the water demand for new or expanding Group II uses. The District uses water factors based on regional averages for Non-Residential uses to predict water use capacity.  Users in this category prepare and sell food/beverages that are primarily provided to customers on disposable tableware. Food with high moisture content and liquid food may be served on reusable tableware. Glassware may be used to serve beverages.


2-A      Table 2: Non-Residential Water Use Factors