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Santa Clara Planning Commissioners Consider Quality of Life Impacts from Construction

Dec. 12 deliberations by Planning Commissioners resulted in the approval of a rezoning from Medium Density Multiple Dwelling to Planned Development to allow for three new single family homes in the Old Quad neighborhood.

The project site is located at 1444 Madison St. and 1411 Lewis St., which is comprised of a parcel that would be subdivided into three lots. The site currently has a duplex, a single family home and a detached garage that would be demolished to make way for the new construction.

The proposal was found by Planning staff to be consistent with the General Plan and an historical survey determined that the current structures lacked the characteristics to qualify as Historic Resources. Planning Commission Chair Suds Jain requested that the project’s architect retain the flavor of the historic styled houses that are common to the Old Quad.


A member of the public who owns a rental property nearby the project site spoke at the meeting to voice ardent concern over potential construction impacts to his tenants. According to his statement, his tenants have endured eight years of construction from other nearby projects that resulted in damage to vehicles and significant dust covering the vicinity, among other complaints. He said he’s lowered the rent several times to retain the tenants but is worried about further construction exacerbating issues.

The Commissioners’ approval of the project came with the conditions that regular street sweeping be conducted to manage dust and that the site be monitored periodically by City staff to ensure no nuisances result from the construction.

Homestead Road McDonald’s

A McDonald’s located at 3905 Homestead Rd. will be getting a second drive-thru lane after Commissioners approved the project that will also involve additional bike parking spaces. Jain questioned why three trees were being added to the rear of the property but not to the frontage, and requested canopy trees for shade purposes. The project applicant agreed to comply with the request.


Other Business

The next Planning Commission meeting scheduled for Jan. 9, 2019 will have an earlier start time of 6 p.m., as will subsequent meetings. The upcoming meeting will include a study session about housing legislation as well as a vote on who will succeed former Commissioner Raj Chahal as Planning Commission Vice Chair. Chahal has now joined the City Council. An advertisement process for the appointment of a new Commissioner to fill the empty seat will commence soon.

The first meeting of the Downtown Precise Plan Task Force will be held on Dec. 20 in the City Council Chambers. A new appointment had recently been a made to the long roster of task force members.

Amendments that had been approved by the Planning Commission allowing Accessory Dwelling Units in multi-family zoning districts if placed on a property with a single family home, recently passed through City Council.


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