Zoning Code Update

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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.

Upcoming Joint Study Session - October 8

A joint study session on the Zoning Code update for the City Council and Planning Commission is tentatively scheduled for October 8, 2019 prior to the City Council's regular meeting in the Council Chambers. Topics for this study session include potential short-term rental regulations and occupancy criteria in single-family residences.

Past Joint Study Sessions:

September 4, 2019 - regulation of assisted living facilities and safe parking, which enables property owners to utilize their parking lots for overnight parking with the appropriate security and sanitary provisions  

August 20, 2019 - comprehensive overview of the Zoning Code Update as well as proposed single-family development standard changes and new regulations to streamline placemaking and live entertainment.

Community Meeting on Single-Family Development Standards

On August 5, 2019, Community Development staff held a community meeting at the Senior Center for the Old Quad neighborhood. This meeting was follow-up to a series of meetings held in 2018 seeking input on potential changes to the Zoning Code related to design criteria and development standards for single family residences. Topics discussed at the meeting did not include short-term rentals or overcrowding in residences.

Meeting Presentation (PDF)

Community Meetings on Potential Zoning Code Changes to Occupancy Criteria in Single-family Districts

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.

Meeting Presentation - May 16 and May 29, 2019 (PDF)
Meeting Presentation - April 29, 2019 (PDF)

Community Workshops

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:

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. 

Email:  JDavidson@santaclaraca.gov

Phone: (408) 615-2454

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