Chapter 18.100


18.100.010    Intent.

18.100.020    Home occupation standards.

18.100.030    Standards – Determination.

18.100.040    Standards – Appeals.

18.100.050    Business licenses.

18.100.010 Intent.

The City Council of the City of Santa Clara finds, determines, and declares that in order to preserve the intended residential character of a neighborhood and/or dwelling as contemplated in the City’s adopted general plan and in this title the following stringent standards must be maintained subject to herein defined home occupation review process. (Zoning Ord. § 50-1).

18.100.020 Home occupation standards.

To be a home occupation, the accessory use of a dwelling must comply with the following standards, which are established to preserve the residential character of the neighborhood and/or dwelling:

(a) The use is conducted entirely within the living unit in an area that does not exceed twenty-five percent (25%) of the dwelling unit’s floor area exclusive of garage floor areas or the floor areas of accessory structures; use of the garage or accessory structures for home occupation activities is not allowed. No outdoor storage may occur;

(b) The entrance to the space devoted to the home occupation shall be from within the main dwelling unit and there shall be no internal or external alternations or construction not customarily found in a dwelling;

(c) The use generates no traffic, parking, refuse, sewage, electrical or water use in excess of what is normal in a similar residential dwelling not having a home occupation;

(d) The use does not create undue (1) noise, (2) vibrations, (3) dust, (4) odors, (5) smoke, (6) television or radio interference, (7) heat, (8) radiation, or other nuisance. The use does not involve the storage of hazardous, flammable, or combustible liquids or materials, other than those customarily found in a dwelling (and of no greater intensity or duration than that customarily associated with a residence);

(e) No article is displayed, sold, or offered for sale on the premises. (Residential garage sales not occurring more often than once in a six-month period are excluded from this restriction);

(f) No mechanical or electrical equipment is installed or maintained other than such as is customarily incidental to domestic use;

(g) Vehicles with commercial signing are prohibited, other than one such vehicle (not a “commercial vehicle”), which is regularly used by the occupant for transportation. If such vehicle is not removed from the residential neighborhood at least once every seventy-two (72) hours, it must be stored within an enclosed structure on the premises. No other commercial equipment may be stored or dispatched from the residence; and for the purpose of this section, a “commercial vehicle” is defined as a vehicle with commercial license plates, which is equipped with dual rear wheels and is not designed and used for recreational housing purposes;

(h) No employee or business associate is engaged for services on the premises or dispatched from the premises;

(i) No signs or symbols identifying the home occupation are allowed, regardless of the zoning district in which the residence is located;

(j) The dwelling is the principal residence of the business license or fire permit applicant and the applicant complies with all City laws and regulations and any other requirements, as determined by the Director of Planning and Inspection or such other person or persons designated by the City Manager (the “Director”). (Zoning Ord. § 50-2).

18.100.030 Standards – Determination.

The Director is responsible to review any use that is claimed to meet the standards set forth in SCCC 18.100.020 and to qualify as a home occupation and to make a determination within twenty-one (21) days, and any extension of that time as consented to by user or proposed user, of receipt of the notice of use and any information and documentation requested by the Director for review in making the determination whether or not the use qualifies as a home occupation. The determination of the Director is final except for an overriding decision of the City Council. The Director may require the user or proposed user to submit to the Director information and documentation from which the determination can be made. If the information or documentation considered by the Director is false or incorrect, the determination at option of the Director is a nullity of no force or effect. The determination of the Director may be conditioned as is deemed necessary to secure the purposes of this title, including receipt of such evidence satisfactory to the Director that such conditions will be complied with so that the use of the dwelling will not expand into other than a home occupation. (Zoning Ord. § 50-3).

18.100.040 Standards – Appeals.

(a) In the event of dissatisfaction with the decision of the Director, the user, or proposed user, within fifteen (15) calendar days after rendition of such decision, may appeal in writing to the City Council. The City Council on its own motion, made within such fifteen (15) days of the decision, may consider the action of the Director the same as if an appeal had been taken.

(b) Said appeal shall be taken by the filing of a notice in writing to that effect with the City Clerk and by the payment of an appeal fee as set forth by resolution of the City Council. At its regular meeting held at least three days after the filing of a notice of appeal, the City Council shall set a date for the hearing of the appeal, and notice shall be given to the user, proposed user, appellant, and to the Director, and by posting as provided in SCCC 18.112.060. The Director shall transmit to the City Council all maps, diagrams, records, papers, and files that constitute the record in the action from which the appeal was taken.

(c) The City Council shall render its decision within forty-five (45) days after the conclusion of said hearing of the appeal. The City Council in its decision, may reverse, affirm, or modify the action of the Director or it may remand such matter to the Director for further study or action. Failure of the Council to render its decision within said period shall be deemed to be an affirmance of the action of the Director. (Zoning Ord. § 50-4).

18.100.050 Business licenses.

No business license shall be issued for a home occupation and no use shall be made of a dwelling as a home occupation for fifteen (15) days after a determination is rendered or deemed rendered or while an appeal is pending before the City Council. (Zoning Ord. § 50-5).