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Pending / Future Amendments
Municipal Code Amendments

Community Meeting
A community meeting on proposed changes to the City of San José Municipal Code is scheduled for Monday, August 22, 2016, starting at 7:00 p.m. The meeting will be held in City Hall Wing Room 120 at 200 East Santa Clara Street, San José.

The following Zoning Code amendments are targeted for Planning Commission and City Council consideration in 2016.

California State Housing Density Bonus and Incentives Law:
  • Add a new chapter to the Zoning Code to implement the California State Housing Density Bonus and Incentives Law and provide affordable housing incentives consistent with the Envision San José 2040 General Plan. Consider reducing setbacks and parking as incentives for providing affordable housing in compliance with State Density Bonus law. 

Residential Zoning Standards:
  • Reduce Setbacks and Parking for Residential Zoning Districts
  • Maintain Maximum Allowable Height and eliminate Maximum Allowable Stories for R-M Multiple Residence Zoning District – To allow more feasibility to align with Urban Residential and Transit Residential land use designations in the General Plan.
  • Modify Requirements for Secondary Units – Reduce setbacks and minimum lot size, and allow secondary units in the R-2 Two-Family Residence Zoning District.
  • Expand Provisions for Uses related to Urban Agriculture – including Aquaculture/Aquaponics and Plant Nurseries if approved with a Special Use Permit. 

The following item is scheduled for City Council consideration on August 23, 2016.

Riparian Corridor Policy and Ordinance:
The City is proposing amendments to the Zoning Code, and adoption of a new City Council Policy to implement the policies of the General Plan related to protection of riparian corridors.
  • Zoning Code - Amendments and additions to the Zoning Code would require findings of consistency with the General Plan, and other City Council adopted policies and design guidelines, including a new City Council Policy; and require any proposed single-family house development that involves ground-disturbing activity within one hundred (100) feet of a riparian corridor to obtain approval of a Single-family House Permit. 
  • New City Council Policy - The new City Council Policy would provide guidance for riparian corridor protection for: 1) protecting, preserving, or restoring riparian habitat; 2) minimizing urban runoff to creeks, rivers, and streams; 3) controlling erosion; and 4) encouraging bird-safe design within the area north of State Route 237. 

The Planning Commission hearing was held on May 25, 2016. The City Council hearing is scheduled for August 23, 2016. Here are links to the City Council Memorandum, Supplemental Memorandum, Draft Ordinance, and Draft Council Policy.

Future Municipal Code Amendments and Policy Changes

Per prioritization established by the City Council, the City is also working on possible Municipal Code and/or policy changes to address the following topics:  
  • Zoning Ordinance Quarterly Modification - Minor changes to the Zoning Code conducted as part of ongoing maintenance of the Code on a regular basis.
  • Development Agreement Policy - Update criteria
  • Procedures for closure of mobilehome parks
  • Safe overnight parking in the parking lots of assembly spaces
  • Temporary homeless shelter in assembly spaces
  • Modernize provisions for Single-Room-Occupancy (SRO) Living Unit Facilities and SRO Hotels.

Zoning Code and Title 6 (Business Licenses and Regulations) - Offsale of Alcoholic Beverages:
  • Currently, a full-service grocery store that applies for an offsale alcoholic beverage license from the State Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control must go through the process of obtaining a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) approved first by the City of San José Planning Commission and then the City Council. Full service grocery stores must also obtain a determination of public convenience or necessity (PC or N) for offsale of alcohol. The City is considering simplifying this process by allowing the issuance of a Special Use Permit (SUP) and determination of PC or N as approved by the Planning Director, in conformance with State laws that regulate the concentration in neighborhoods of the number of businesses selling alcoholic beverages for off-site consumption.


Jenny Nusbaum, Supervising Planner, Ordinance and Policy Team
Email or (408) 535-7872