LIVERMORE -- Local kitchen entrepreneurs, it's time to break out your best cookie and candy recipes and get cooking.

Livermore became the latest Bay Area city to give the go-ahead to cottage food businesses when the City Council on Monday approved an amendment to the city code allowing permit-holders to sell homemade baked goods and other nonperishable foods from their homes.

The ordinance, passed unanimously by the council, puts Livermore in accordance with AB 1616 -- the California Homemade Food Act -- passed by the state Legislature in 2012 and enacted in January. Other cities, such as Oakland, San Francisco and Berkeley, already have such permits in place, each with their own rules.

"We wanted to give people the opportunity to start a small business while at the same time limiting the impacts to neighborhoods," Livermore Mayor John Marchand said.

Livermore's Home Occupation Permits (HOPs) will have a number of restrictions intended to maintain the character of residential areas, including limiting customers to three in a home at one time, holding operators to business hours from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and banning outdoor sales, according to City Planner Frank Guido. In line with state law, only foods considered to be low health risks -- such as baked goods, candy, dried fruit, pasta and granola -- will be allowed. Producers will also be permitted to hire one full-time employee, Guido said, provided they have a parking space available.

Under state law, producers are limited to annual gross revenues of no more than $35,000 in 2013, $45,000 in 2014 and $50,000 in 2015 and beyond.

Marchand said the city had so far received about a half dozen inquiries about the cottage food permits, which cost $90 and will be valid for three years. Before applying through the city, the operator must obtain an initial permit from the Alameda County Environmental Health Department.

The county has issued dozens of the permits since January, according to department supervisor Jackie Greenwood. The new law, she said, affords producers the chance to open small businesses without the high startup costs associated with renting out large commercial kitchens.

For Class A permits, allowing direct sales to customers, applicants need to pay a consultation fee of $162. Class B permits, allowing direct and indirect sales to retail stores and restaurants, require a $233 fee and an annual home inspection. Applicants are also required to complete food-handling or food-safety classes.

During Monday's meeting, council members also unanimously approved a request by builder Ponderosa Homes for entitlements to 26 single-family lots on more than five acres in the Springtown area of North Livermore. The homes will be one- and two-story units, and will complete Morning Glory Circle north of Wattenburger Park -- at the intersection of Daffodil Way and Honeysuckle Road.

As part of the approval, the developer will be required to make improvements to landscaping and pathways in the park.

Contact Jeremy Thomas at 925-847-2184. Follow him at Twitter.com/jet_bang.