Referral to Administration Regarding Monster Homes from Liz Kniss



Liz kniss, chair
Fifth District Supervisor

FEB 1 5 2005 Item No, _

Supplemental Information No. _3.

Members, Board of Supervisors

From: Liz Kniss, Board Chair, Fifth District S


Date: February 15,2005

Follow-up to December 14, 2004 Referral Regarding “Monster Homes



On December 14‘\ 20041 referred to Administration on off-agenda report back on homes

that are typically referred to as “Monster Homes,” including a definition, the number
built in County pockets in the past ten years, issues surrounding home size, and a
comparison of local cities home size restrictions. I have attached the report prepared by
the Planning Department. Staff is completing a follow-up report as an addendum that will
contain fuitlier results of their research.

The report received January 28*^, outlines the definition of a “Monster Home” or Large

Structure Home as one Chat does not fit within the context of a neighborhood or the

topography of the lot because of its size or architectural character. The number of homes

that would fall under this definition is still being compiled, based upon building permit

data for single-family homes from 1995-2004. Attachment C of the report is a house size
restriction profile for all cities in Santa Clara County.
Current General Plan policies and Zoning Code ordinances do not provide the County
with the necessary tools to adequately address the size of homes,or protect the ridgelines
of Santa Clara County. There is a need for stronger regulations and specific development

While the County has enacted a number of house size regulations that address certain
issues regarding Large Structure Homes,they have been directed at specitic instances
rather than an overall approach to a growing concern in the community.

County csovebnment center

• 70 West Heddins STREET, San Jose, CALIFORNIA 3S150

Tel(408) 299-50SO OR (6SO) 968-8737 • FAX:(408) 260-04.1 S 700 993-6272


Recommended Action

As an extension of my previous referral, I am requesting that staff develop policies and

ordinances to address the following.

1. Direct Staff to develop a draft zoning code ordinance that defines size restrictions
for homes in unincorporated areas of the County. Tliis ordinance should also
address view-shed issues and ridgeline protection as it pertains to home size.

2, Direct Staff to develop a draft zoning code ordinance that ties unincorporated

properties within a city’s sphere of influence to that city’s home size restrictions.

3. Direct Staff to identify how the County can strengthen its existing General Plan so
that development on ridgelines is explicitly prohibited.
4. Direct Staff to determine costs to the County for services or other expenses
related to development in the Foothills.

5. Direct Staff to develop a work plan for the above actions for report to the HLUET
Committee and subsequently, the Board of Supervisors.

The work plan and all subsequent reports related to this referral should be reviewed by
the Housing Land Use Environmental and Transportation(HLUET)Committee for

consideration prior to being forwarded to the Board. Following tire Board policy on
referrals, the work plan should be submitted to the first HLUET Committee after the 45-

day referral period, which would be the meeting of April 21,2005.

Referral asking for an off-agenda report analyzing definitions, number, and effects of "Monster Homes" in county unincorporated areas.


James T. Beall, Jr.

Content Type


Resource Type





District 5


Liz Kniss, Supevisor, District 5




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