I am happy to live in a county pocket and not willing to be incorporated with San Jose.
Permits through County take 1/5 th time, and are less stringent in applying the many city codes, sometimes
Quite meaningless and expensive.
Also, taxes and fees overall are slightly less.
Also, if one wanted to have live stock one can.
The incorporated parts are more rural in feel.
Hope this helps.
To be frank, I've racked my brains all weekend trying to think of advantages for living in an unincorporated section of Santa Clara versus living in areas that have been annexed by a city, and I can't really think of many. Aside from having less city intervention and "supervision" of the home, homeowners in unincorporated sections tend to have an easier time with permits and changes to the home that's definitely true. The City of San Jose's Planning Department is one of the toughest in the area. On the other hand, I think both permit fees and inspectors are more "friendly" at the County level compared with the City. I think--but you'll have to confirm this--that the property taxes for unincorporated sections may actually be a tiny bit less because there is no apportionment back to the City. Also, of course, the police for the county is the sheriff's department and not the City of San Jose Police.
On the other hand, having a section annexed by any city is usually pretty expensive, and results in increased property taxes and special assessments, and also additional and more stringent regulations regarding land use and maintenance services.
Having less intervention from the County regarding land use is a double-edged sword., obviously, since it allows homeowners more freedom on what can be done on the property, but also encourages wanton abuse of the same property by other homeowners. So, it's something to keep in mind.