Zoning Code Update
The City of Santa Clara is updating its Zoning Code. The City’s existing code was developed in March 1969 and does not reflect the recently adopted Santa Clara 2010–2035 General Plan. This update will make the code consistent with state and federal law and the direction provided in the 2010–2035 General Plan. The General Plan was developed with broad input from the community and provides tools for Santa Clara to achieve the vision outlined in the plan. The Zoning Code must adequately address relevant community issues, and updating it will help to achieve this. The update will be a simplification of the existing code, not a radical change, and will improve ease of use through a new format.
Community Meetings on Potential Zoning Code Changes to Address Overcrowding in Residences
On April 29, May 16 and May 29, 2019, Community Development staff held community meetings at the Senior Center and City Council Chambers to receive input on some potential approaches to modifying the Zoning Code to provide clearer regulations and tools for enforcement to address overcrowding in residences.
Potential approaches shared include:
- Replacing the term “boarding house” in the Zoning Code and more precisely creating limits on the number of individuals that can occupy a residence in addition to the main household.
- Creating a minimum required percentage of total common habitable area, which could be in the form of living room, kitchen, dining room or other space that is accessible to all individuals in a residence.
On February 13 and February 28, 2019, staff provided the following DRAFT preliminary research/information and received input on these potential topics for the Zoning Code Update:
- Creation of new districts that align with the General Plan
- Modifications of parking standards
- Creation of regulations for short term rentals and long term rentals
- Single family design standards
How Can I Learn More?
There will be a number of opportunities for you to get involved and talk with the staff working on this update. Email the project planner with your contact information to receive project notices, meeting announcements, and updates, check the City's event calendar or sign up for e-notify and select the Planning Community Meetings category. Tell us what you think by attending a community open house or contacting City staff via e-mail or phone.
Phone: (408) 615-2454
What is the Zoning Code?
The City’s Zoning Code regulates land uses within the boundaries of Santa Clara. The Code establishes zoning districts (e.g., Single-Family, General Office, Downtown Commercial) that are applied to individual properties consistent with the General Plan land use designations. For each of the zone districts in the city, the Code identifies land uses that are permitted, conditionally permitted, and not permitted. It also establishes standards such as minimum lot size, maximum building height, and the minimum distance buildings must be set back from the street. Provisions for parking, landscaping, lighting, and other rules that guide the development of projects in the city are also included.
Zoning Code Goals
The overall goals of the Zoning Code are to promote the city’s growth in an orderly manner and to promote and protect the public health, safety, peace, comfort, and general welfare in conformance with the 2010–2035 General Plan (PDF, 50 MB).
To access the City of Santa Clara's Zoning Code, click on the following link: Zoning Code.
What is Your Zoning?
To find out zoning information for your property you may do one of the following:
- Search by property address or Assessor's Parcel Number (APN) using our interactive map: MAP Santa Clara.
- Contact the Planning Division at (408) 615-2450 or Planning@santaclaraca.gov.
Once you identify your zoning designation, continue to the links below for the corresponding zoning ordinance and webpages. If your zoning designation does not appear below, please contact the Planning Division for more information.
Residential Zoning Districts
- R1-8L – Single-Family, Larger Lot Area Zoning Districts
- R1-6L – Single-Family Zoning Districts
- R2-7L – Duplex Zoning Districts
- R3-18D – Low-Density Multiple-Dwelling Zoning Districts
- R3-25D – Moderate-Density Multiple-Dwelling Zoning Districts
- R3-36D – Medium-Density Multiple-Dwelling Zoning Districts
Non-Residential and Other Zoning Districts
- A – Agricultural Zoning Districts
- R3-M – Mobile Home Park Zoning Districts
- R3-RV – Recreational Vehicle Park Zoning Districts
- OA – Professional Office Zoning Districts
- OG – General Office Zoning Districts
- CN – Neighborhood Commercial Zoning Districts
- CC – Community Commercial Zoning Districts
- CT – Thoroughfare Commercial Zoning Districts
- CD – Downtown Commercial Zoning Districts
- CP – Commercial Park Zoning Districts
- CR – Commercial Recreation Zoning Districts
- MP – Planned Industrial Zoning Districts
- ML – Light Industrial Zoning Districts
- MH – Heavy Industrial Zoning Districts
- B – Public, Quasi-Public, and Public Park or Recreation Zoning Districts
- PD – Planned Development and Combined Zoning Districts
- HT – Historic Combining Districts