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Unincorporated Santa Clara County Building and Remodeling Information

Some properties in Santa Clara County are not part of a town or city. While a property has a city or town address, public services are actually provided by Santa Clara County, including services such as planning, development review and building permits. The zoning rules and building procedures are different between unincorporated county lands and their respective cities.

Santa Clara County has a goal to incorporate urban islands into their respective cities. Urban unincorporated islands are unincorporated lands located within a city’s Urban Service Area (USA) that have not yet been annexed into the surrounding city. These unincorporated parcels include portions of Cupertino, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Saratoga, and Sunnyvale. Here is a map of Santa Clara County Urban Islands. Before embarking on planning for your home remodel or new home, you should also find out whether your property is about to be annexed and be subject to a new set of rules.

To determine whether your property is located in unincorporated Santa Clara County, you can either inquire with your local city building or planning division or check online with the Santa Clara County Department of Planning and Development Online Property Profile Application. You can either enter the assessor's parcel number (APN) or the street address of the property.

Santa Clara County Planning Office for Unincorporated Properties

70 West Hedding Street East Wing, 7th Floor
San Jose, CA 95110
Telephone Planning: 408.299.5770
Telephone Building: 408.299.5700

Because Stanford encompasses such a wide area Santa Clara County has a planning and building department on the Stanford campus.

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