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Design Review

The design review procedure is intended to encourage quality design and to mitigate adverse visual impacts of development. The procedure most commonly applies to residential development in specified areas deemed visually sensitive.

 

 

Master Application Form

 
Application Thumbnail 

Checklist (updated 2021 September 8​)

Helpful Links for some c​hecklist items

 

Additional Information and Materials that May be Required (consult staff for accurate determination)

Preliminary Landscape Plan
Landscape plan normally required as condition of approval, but preliminary plan may be required upon application submittal for significant, high-visibility projects.  Shall include existing and proposed on-site landscaping, hardscape and fencing. The zoning administrator shall have the discretion to require a preliminary landscape plan upon application submittal.

Color Samples
Normally required as condition of approval, but may be required upon application submittal for significant, high-visibility projects.  The zoning administrator shall have the discretion to require color samples upon application submittal.

Perspective Views
Illustrates how the development relates to the topography and how it will be viewed from specific vantage points.  The zoning administrator shall have the discretion to require profile views.

Floor Area Ratio (FAR) Calculation (-n1)
If the proposed project is located in the –n1 zoning district, a floor area ratio calculation is required to be shown on the submitted site plan as defined in Chapters 1.30 and 3.40 of the Zoning Ordinance. The computation must be calculated, verified, signed and stamped by either a registered civil engineer, a licensed land surveyor or a licensed architect.

Early Notification and Outreach Policy
Certain types of projects are subject to the Department's Early Notification and Outreach Policy based on project scope. If the project is subject to the Policy, outreach tools such as signs and mailed notices will be required. For certain projects a community meeting may also be required.

Identification of Potential Historic Resources (Part I and Part II forms)
If the project includes demolition of structures 50 years or older, submit a completed and signed Identification of Properties for Potential Historic Significance forms, a copy of the Santa Clara County Residential Unit Property Record (available from the County Assessor’s Office, 5th Floor) for the subject property and photographs of each elevation of the subject structure and any related structures or associated features. Please note that the 50-year age reference is a discretionary guideline; there are circumstances where a property less than 50 years old may be potentially significant.

Geologic Report (2 copy, plus pdf)
Consult with County Geologist prior to filing application to determine whether a geologic report will be required.  Submittal must include one wet-signed paper document and one electronic document in Adobe pdf format (on CD or DVD).  An additional fee is required for geologic report review.  See also geologic hazards page.

Septic System Plan
If a septic system is proposed, the site must be field-evaluated by a Department of Environmental Health (DEH) representative.  One copy of the site plan should be stamped and signed by the DEH representative.  See also 
DEH site.

Williamson Act Compatible Use Determination
If the subject property is restricted by a Williamson Act contract, file for and obtain a Compatible Use Determination prior to filing the application for Building Site Approval. Refer to the Williamson Act Compatible Use Determination checklist for more details.

Santa Clara Valley Habitat Plan-Coverage Screening Form
If the subject property is located within the Habitat Plan Permit Area​, submit a completed Coverage Screening Form. The Coverage Screening Form will assist in determining if the proposed project is classified as a “covered project” under the Plan. If the project is identified as a “covered project” per the Screening Form, submit the Fees and Conditions Worksheet with the application.

Other Reports and Studies
Depending on location, development intensity and site characteristics, additional reports (e.g. arborist, biology, archaeology, noise) may be required.

 

Design Review Exemption

  • Site Plans
    Existing and Proposed Floor Plans and Elevation for all structures
  • Copy of Assessor's Parcel Map
  • Floor Area Calculation
  • Color Samples and/or Product Specifications
  • Grading Quantities
  • Retaining Walls
  • Santa Clara Valley Habitat Plan-Coverage Screening Form

 

 

Ordinance Thumbnail
Ordinance Provisions

Fees Thumbnail
Fee Schedule


 


Green Building




 

 

Design Review Guidelines

Integrated Landscape Guidelines

Story Pole Requirements

Notice of Permit and Conditions of Approval

"-d" Combining District Regulations


 

 

Design Review House Image 


 

 

 

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Last updated: 9/9/2021 10:09 AM