SANTA CLARA – A small inn with a historic theme may soon be the latest addition to downtown Santa Clara’s commercial district.
The project was approved by the planning commission with one stipulation and is expected to come before the City Council in August, City Manager Ed Dickie said.
“The planning commission recommended that the developer meet with the homeowners that have some concerns,” Dickie said. “We just wanted them to talk and see if they can resolve it.”
The proposed 0.6-acre project is located at 1190 Heights Drive, which is the southeast corner of Santa Clara Drive and Heights Drive directly east of the Santa Clara City Hall. The property is currently vacant and consists of two lots.
Four properties directly abut the project, and at a public hearing in April, concerns were raised about noise from the outdoor pool and increased traffic in the area.
Plans for the inn have been amended to add a privacy wall on the south and east sides of the easternmost structure to reduce noise and help with privacy concerns from the adjoining neighbor; however, the developer is still being asked to meet with the homeowners, Dickie said.
Property owner Richard Kohler has requested a zone change and an amendment to the city’s general plan to change the property from low density residential to neighborhood commercial, Dickie said.
Currently, the master plan designation of neighborhood commercial ends at Heights Drive, across the street from the proposed project.
The inn’s buildings are designed to resemble single-family homes typical of the early 20th century with “Dixie dormers” and historical exteriors.
“I think it would be a nice fit with the historic district and everything downtown,” Dickie said.
The proposed inn will have 18 rooms among four buildings plus a farm-style 24-foot silo structure with one guest room.
The project consists of two buildings that are two-stories and two that are one-story, with a small outdoor lap pool on the roof of one of the buildings.
The inn will be separated into several structures “in keeping with the small scale and character of homes and businesses in Santa Clara’s historic center,” the zoning application states, and the project would be about the same size, bulk and square footage as two single-family homes.
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