Meeting Date:

Nov 20, 2017





David J. Stoldt,




General Manager

Line Item No.:


Prepared By:

Stephanie Kister and

Stephanie Locke

Cost Estimate:



General Counsel Review:  N/A

Committee Recommendation: N/A

CEQA Compliance: This action does not constitute a project as defined by the California Environmental Quality Act Guidelines section 15378.


SUMMARY: Recently submitted business plans raised the question as to whether the District’s restaurant/bar factor is appropriate for a standalone bar business.  A standalone bar is a business where the sale of beverages (not food) is the main product and there is no connected “bona fide public eating place[1]” and full meals are not served.  Restaurants/bars are listed in Rule 24, Table 2: Non-Residential Water Use Factors Group III, and the Water Use Capacity is based on the number of seats (Exhibit 2-A). Water use at a bar that is part of a restaurant is different and includes water use associated with the kitchen and other uses. 

The Water Use Factor for standalone “bars” has been reviewed to determine if a separate factor from the current restaurant/bar factor is appropriate.  For this review, staff focused on bars not associated with food service.  Staff believes there is a distinct difference between the two types of use and that the Group II factor should be used for “bars.”

DISCUSSION:  Staff reviewed the water use history, business square footage, and seat counts for eight businesses that met these criteria (no full meals) and found that the average water use was equivalent to that of the current Group II factor (0.0002 AF/SF).  The amount of water needed for a bar associated with a restaurant is different due to the amount of water used in a full-service restaurant kitchen and laundry.  Staff is requesting the Committee support the addition of “Bar” (with the restricted food element) to the Group II commercial water use category.  Staff further proposes that the area shown on the ABC license be used to calculate the Estimated Annual Water Use Capacity.  The following ABC license types would be appropriate for this category with the food service restriction:  01, 02, 23, 40, 42, 48, 51, 52, 57, and 61.

Staff is also requesting direction on the appropriate category for “Wine Tasting Rooms.”  With the relatively recent explosion of tasting rooms on the Peninsula, there are clearly two types of Wine Tasting Rooms: (1) The small retail tasting room that does not sell glasses or bottles for on-site consumption and that offers very small (usually 2 oz.) pours as a taste sample, and (2) the tasting rooms that sell bottles and glasses of wine for on-site consumption and that often have comfortable outdoor areas and snack foods (or that allow food to be brought in from another location).  Staff recommends that the latter be placed in the Group II category as they are essentially the same type of use as a “bar.”  This information would be communicated to the business when the Water Permit is issued and restrictions on the Group I use could be recorded on the property.  Changes in business practices that result in the more intensive use would require a Water Permit, and all Capacity calculations should include the area shown on the ABC license.

RECOMMENDATION: Staff recommends the Committee support an amendment to Rule 24, Table II to add “Bar” and “Beer/Wine Tasting Room with on Site Consumption” to Group II, and to specify that “Tasting Room” in Group I is restricted to small samples with no on site consumption of retail sales and that the area included in the licensed premises diagram (liquor license) be used to calculate the business area.  The amended Water Use Factors would apply to future Water Permit applications and modifications to existing business operations.  Existing businesses will be assigned the appropriate category based on their current business model.

Staff will be reviewing the restaurant/bar factor and the fast food factor for discussion at a future meeting.


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





[1] "Bona fide public eating place" means a place which is regularly and in a bona fide manner used and kept open for the serving of meals to guests for compensation and which has suitable kitchen facilities connected therewith, containing conveniences for cooking an assortment of foods which may be required for ordinary meals, the kitchen of which must be kept in a sanitary condition with the proper amount of refrigeration for keeping of food on said premises and must comply with all the regulations of the local department of health. "Meals" means the usual assortment of foods commonly ordered at various hours of the day; the service of such food and victuals only as sandwiches or salads shall not be deemed a compliance with this requirement. "Guests" shall mean persons who, during the hours when meals are regularly served therein, come to a bona fide public eating place for the purpose of obtaining, and actually order and obtain at such time, in good faith, a meal therein. Nothing in this section, however, shall be construed to require that any food be sold or purchased with any beverage.  Source:  California Business and Professions Code Section 23038.