Potential Recommendations Regarding Viewshed Protection Measure Potential Recommendations Regarding Viewshed Protection Measures


County of Santa Clara
Environmental Resources Agency
Planning Office
bounty Government Center. East Wing, 7ih Floor
70 West Hedding Street
San Jose. California 95 1 10-1705

(408) 299-5770 PAX (408) 288-91 98


Date: June 29, 2004

Morgan Hill Urban Limit Line/Greenbelt Advisory Committee

From: Bill Sh^^^incipa ^Planner

Potential Recommendations Regarding Viewshed Protection Measures
Deriving from Morgan Hill Viewshed Analysis

This report outlines potential recommendations for the Committee's consideration on

the subject of County policies and regulations for minimizing the visual impacts of
hillside development within the viewshed area of the City of Morgan Hill. It is based

on previous reports provided for the April 12 and May 10, 2004.

Each of the potential recommendations will require some degree of evaluation. If policy
changes and/or ordinance amendments are involved, the work effort will require a

significant amount of time spent coordinating with affected agencies and in actual draft
ordinance development. Such projects will also require review and approval by the
County Planning Commission, the HLUET (Housing, Land Use, Environment &
Transportation) Committee of the Board of Supervisors, and adoption by the full Board
of Supervisors.

In reviewing potential recommendations with City of Morgan Hill staff, city staff
expressed concerns regarding the level of detailed information available regarding

these potential recommendations, and whether the Committee will have adequate

information on which to decide if it concurs or not with these proposals. County staff
expects that the most significant and effective recommendations among those listed will
take a significant amount of staff time to develop, at the same time that staff resources
are being reduced and assignments increase. Furthermore, the Board of Supervisors
has directed that work related to the countywide viewshed analysis. Item 10-19 of the

work program, of which the Morgan Hill viewshed analysis is but one part, be a higher
priority for the coming months. How County staff will proceed with potential specific
ordinance revision efforts will need to be determined.

Attached is a one-page tabular summary of potential recommendations by County staff
for further implementing County and City goals and policies regarding visual impacts
of development within the viewshed area. These are based on the evaluations and

information provided in a report dated May 4, 2004 for the Committee's May 10, 2004
meeting. That report is also attached for your convenience.

Board of Supervisors: Donald F. Gage, Blanca Alvarado. Pete McHugh, James T Beall, Jr. Liz Kniss
County Executive: Peter Kutras. Jr.



W.T. Chow,Director, Environmental Resources Agency

Board of Supervisors' Land Use Policy Aides:
Rachael Gibson, District 1

Javier Aguirre, District 2

Daniel Murillo, District 3

Jean Cohen, District 4
Aaron Starr, District 5

File: 7-12-04 MH ULL Report.doc


County of Santa Clara Planning Office: Potential Recommendations for Morgan Hill Viewshed Protection,June 2004
General Direction or Strategy

Update and augment County policies,
if necessary, and development


regulations for individual lot


Evaluate existing County
developrnent regulations

Amend existing ordinance standards,
procedural requirements, and/or

zoning ordinance,do reduce visual

degree of terrain alteration allowed.

governing individual lot

criteria/findings to provide improved
development in hillsides generally, basis for review and conditioning of
.including single building site
hillside development. Address location
approval, grading ordinance, and
of building envelopes, length of access.

residential site development. For sites
within designated city viewshed areas,
ensure that both review procedures
and standards provide appropriate
incentives and adequately control for

and other impacts-of development

potential environmental and visual
impacts of development.

due to building location, access,

Alternative: Possibly develop new

and terrain alteration factors.'

alternative permit and review
procedures based on research and

Develop and enact process

requirements and standards .

evaluation of methods used by other

■ specifically for lot development in
viewshed areas to control

jurisdictions to regulate hillside

'* ^

adequately for visual impacts. '
Require the colors or light reflectivity

Evaluate and enact color (light

designated viewshed areas to blend
with natural appearance of Irillsides.

construction independent of DesignTj,

values of new structures within

reflectivity value standards)for new^'

Review permit requirements

Zoning Ordinance amendment
imposing LRV standard of 60 or less

for exterior surfaces of new

construction in viewshed areas


Improve implementation of current

policy to minimize visual impacts of
subdivision proposals, including
discouraging ridgeline lot locations

Improve coordination with existing
City programs and requirements such

as Morgan Hill's TDC, Transfer of

Development Credits program

File: 7-12-04 Vushed Rees Table.doc

^Require visual impact analysis for any Enact procedural requirement for
subdij^sion.applicationin.designated''- evaluation of subdivision applications

viewshed areas as'a basis forp'rojecti
as part of environmental assessment
review, conditions, or reduced density * under CEQA or as part of staff review.
Collaborate with City staff to facilitate

Priority-setting, educational outreach,

Aseloi-’lCity_^s^,'roG or sirnilar prograihs
to achieve"wewshe'd‘'afi.d greenbelt

preservation objectives and high

and other facilitation of use of


purchase of open space easements as
part of City's TDC program

Report detailing potential recommendations regarding viewshed protection measures deriving from Morgan Hill viewshed analysis.


James T. Beall, Jr.

Content Type


Resource Type





District 4


Bill Shoe, Planner




Morgan Hill


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