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Chapter 18.76


18.76.010  Intent.

18.76.020  Architectural review process.


18.76.010 Intent.

The City Council of the City of Santa Clara finds, determines and declares that in order to encourage the orderly and harmonious appearance of structures and property; maintain the public health, safety and welfare; maintain the property and improvement values throughout the City and to encourage the physical development of the City as intended by the general plan; there is hereby established the architectural review process. (Zoning Ord. § 38-1).

18.76.020 Architectural review process.

(a) Architectural review shall be the responsibility of the architectural committee composed of a member appointed by the City Council and two members of the Planning Commission appointed by the chairman of said Commission. The appointments shall be made on a rotating basis.

(b) Before action is taken on an application for the issuance of a permit for any sign, building, structure, or alteration of the exterior of a structure in any zone district, plans and drawings of such sign, building or alteration shall be submitted, in such form and detail as the Director of Planning and Inspection may prescribe, to the architectural committee for approval.

(c) In order to grant architectural approval, the findings and determinations of the architectural committee shall be that the proposed development, as set forth in such plans and drawings to be approved, is based on the following standards of architectural design:

(1) That any off-street parking areas, screening strips and other facilities and improvements necessary to secure the purpose and intent of this title and the general plan of the City are a part of the proposed development.

(2) That the design and location of the proposed development and its relation to neighboring developments and traffic is such that it will not impair the desirability of investment or occupation in the neighborhood, will not unreasonably interfere with the use and enjoyment of neighboring developments, and will not create traffic congestion or hazard.

(3) That the design and location of the proposed development is such that it is in keeping with the character of the neighborhood and is such as not to be detrimental to the harmonious development contemplated by this title and the general plan of the City.

(4) That the granting of such approval will not, under the circumstances of the particular case, materially affect adversely the health, comfort or general welfare of persons residing or working in the neighborhood of said development, and will not be materially detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to property or improvements in said neighborhood.

(5) That the proposed development, as set forth in the plans and drawings, are consistent with the set of more detailed policies and criteria for architectural review as approved and updated from time to time by the City Council, which set shall be maintained in the planning division office. The policies and criteria so approved shall be fully effective and operative to the same extent as if written into and made a part of this title.

(d) The architectural committee may require the applicant or owner of any such proposed development, as a condition to the approval of any such proposal, to modify buildings, parking areas, landscaping, signs, and other facilities and improvements as the architectural committee deems necessary to secure the purposes of this title and general plan of the City, and may require guarantees and evidence that such conditions will be complied with by the applicant.

(e) If the architectural committee is unable to make the findings and determinations prerequisite to the granting of architectural approval pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, the application shall be denied.

(f) The architectural committee shall render a decision on any application for architectural approval within forty (40) days following filing of said application with the planning division office, except where the applicant consents to an extension of time. Failure of the architectural committee to render a decision within said period of forty (40) days and said period of extension consented to by applicant shall be deemed to be a decision of denial.

(g) The granting of any architectural approval, when conforming to the provisions of this section is hereby declared to be an administrative function, the authority and responsibility for performing which is imposed upon the architectural committee, and the action thereon by said architectural committee shall be final and conclusive, except in the event of an appeal and referral as hereinafter provided.

(h) In the event the applicant or others affected are not satisfied with the decision of the architectural committee, he may within seven days after such decision appeal in writing to the Planning Commission. Said appeal shall be taken by the filing of a notice in writing to that effect with the City Planner. The Planning Commission actions are appealable to the City Council in accordance with the procedures set forth in SCCC 18.108.060. The architectural committee may refer any application for architectural consideration to the Planning Commission for its decision with the same effect as if an appeal had been taken.

(i) No permit shall be issued, and no structure, building, or sign shall be constructed or used in any case hereinabove mentioned until such plans and drawings have been approved by the architectural committee, Planning Commission when there is no appeal or review of its decision pursuant to SCCC 18.108.060, or the City Council, and no appeal or review is pending and the time to appeal has expired. In the event of an appeal by the applicant or others affected, or action to review is taken by the City Council, no such permit shall be granted until the matter has been finally acted upon and final approval has been received. All signs, buildings, structures, and grounds shall be in accordance with the plans and drawings as finally approved.

(j) Said approvals shall be on file with the City planning division office.

(k) Any architectural review approval granted in accordance with the terms of this title shall be automatically revoked and terminated if not used within two years of original grant or within the period of any architectural committee-authorized extensions thereof. (Zoning Ord. § 38-2).

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The Santa Clara City Code is current through Ordinance 1941, passed through June 16, 2015.

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