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“I Saw the Sign” Planning Commission Approves Signage Variance

Santa Clara’s Planning Commission tackled an application regarding signage at The Quad at Tasman during a short meeting on Sept. 21. The applicant, represented by Andrew Thomas, asked the commission to approve a variance that would increase the total amount of signage allowed at 2962 Bunker Hill Lane in Santa Clara.

According to City staff, current City code restricts the amount of signage allowed for the large property because it is considered one tax parcel. Both City staff and the applicant pointed out that if the lot were divided into several tax parcels, the applicant’s signage proposal would more than conform to City code.

While commissioners were concerned about turning the Santa Clara into one giant billboard, they also understood that in this instance, additional signage would help people with “wayfinding.”

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For its part, the applicant made an effort to keep signage to a minimum.

“In summary, we tried to take an efficient look at our campus. By no means are we looking to create a visual blur of signage and billboards or anything along those lines,” said Thomas. “We’ve really been considerate, thinking and working with [city staff] on scale. On dealing with the setbacks that we have on the streets.”

Before voting, commissioners wanted to confirm that any approval would not set a standard for signage moving forward. They also wanted to know if this signage proposal would fit into the zoning code updates City staff are currently working on.

Santa Clara city staff says no matter what the changes in the zoning code, a decision would not set a standard and would be grandfathered in. What’s more, the signage conforms with the proposed zoning code updates.

The variance and architectural review of the signage plan were both unanimously approved by the Planning Commission.

Consent Calendar and Other Planning Commission Business

The Planning Commission unanimously approved the consent calendar which included two items:

  • Approve the meeting minutes from Aug. 24, 2022;
  • Approve a plan to reopen the public hearing on Oct. 26, 2022 for a use permit to allow the on-site sale and consumption of beer and wine at Swaraj India at 1855 El Camino Real.

The Oct. 12 Planning Commission meeting was canceled because there were no items on that agenda.

The next Planning Commission meeting is Oct. 26. City staff is working on a possible study session with Silicon Valley Power during that meeting.

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