This webpage describes the application of the 2000 GUP Condition O relating to cultural resources to Stanford San Juan Residential District (“SJRD”) and the permitting process for residential building projects.
Members of the SJRD community have asked the Department to clarify how the 2000 GUP Condition O applies to the SJRD due to the ownership structure of residential properties within the SJRD:
This webpage provides information regarding:
- Application of the 2000 GUP Condition O to the existing permitting process;
- Potential changes to the permitting process following completion of the SJRD Historic Survey.
The Stanford General Use Permit (GUP) was adopted in 2000 by the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors and covers all Stanford University lands within the unincorporated county, including the SJRD. Therefore, the 2000 GUP Condition O applies to the SJRD. Following the adoption of the 2000 GUP, the SJRD was rezoned from a General Use Zoning District (A1) to a Residential Zoning District (R1E). This rezoning created a misunderstanding that Condition O(2)(b) (see box below), was not applicable to the SJRD. Although the County clarified in a 2004 memorandum that the 2000 GUP conditions of approval are applicable to the SJRD, the misunderstanding persisted, and the Department did not fully apply Condition O(2)(b) to building projects within the SJRD.
As part of the Department of Planning and Development’s work on the San Juan Residential District Historic Survey & Development Standards Study, the Department recognized that Condition O(2)(b) (see box below) applies to the SJRD residential building projects. For residences that are 50 years or older and not listed on the County’s Historic Resources Inventory (HRI), Condition O(2)(b) requires the applicant to submit a historic assessment along with the permit application to the County Planning Office. County staff reviews the assessment to determine if the residence is eligible for listing on the Federal, State or Local (including the County’s HRI) register. This assessment must be prepared by a qualified architectural historian in accordance with the Secretary of Interior’s Standards (SIS).
Application of the 2000 GUP Conditions to the existing permitting process.
- For most permit applications involving demolition, alteration, and remodeling, located in the SJRD, the permitting process will not change.
- For maintenance, repair, and minor demolition, alteration, or remodeling (see Small Project definition below for minor projects) of structures 50 years or older, the permitting process includes:
- Stanford Faculty Staff Housing (FSH) Office reviews demolition, alteration, and remodeling projects located in the SJRD to determine if the proposed development is consistent with the Secretary of Interior’s Standards (SIS). If the proposed design meets the SIS, Stanford provides a letter in support of the project (which is included in the County building permit submittal packet) and a FSH Office stamp on building plans that are submitted to the Department of Planning and Development.
- Department staff confirms if the Stanford letter supporting the project is present and the FSH Office stamp is on the project plans and if these are provided, the project proceeds as a regular building permit application (If necessary, the Department may require a peer review).
The Department has created a Small Project classification for minor single-family residential building (50 years or older) projects that are unlikely to have any historic resource impacts. The Small Project classification is modeled off the County’s small project definition for Landmark Alteration Permits (typically required for designated landmark buildings and for demolition of buildings on the HRI list) within the County’s Historic Ordinance. A Small Project includes:
- Demolition or removal of non-contributing features, including, but not limited to, non-contributing additions, garages, accessory structures or incompatible, previously replaced windows, doors, or siding material;
- Any undertaking that does not change exterior features, including but not limited to, re-roofing if the roofing material is compatible in appearance, color and profile to the existing or original roofing material;
- Replacement of windows and doors if the proposed replacements match the existing or original windows and doors, and;
- Addition of less than 500 square feet proposed for side or rear elevations.
A Small Project will require the Stanford FSH Office review, letter of approval and stamp on the submitted project plans. For any demolition and addition categorized under the Small Project, County staff will confirm if the project meets these criteria.
- Permit applications for large partial/complete demolitions of buildings 50 years or older that do not qualify as a Small Project will require submittal and review of a historic assessment by a qualified architectural historian.