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Mike Zubinat…,  in Redwood City, CA

What are the advantages of homes located in "unincorporated" areas of San Jose.?

Asked by Mike Zubinatosi, Redwood City, CA Sun Dec 19, 2010

Have a client who is considering a home in an "unincorporated" areas of San Jose.

I have already obtained a city of San Jose document outlining the advantages of being incorporated versus being unincorporated.

But I have not found any information about the advantages of being "Unincorporated".

I did hear from a friend that when going through the permit process, county inspectors (who are used in unincorporated areas) tend to be less challenging than San Jose city inspectors. Is this true?

Are there any other advantages of being unincorporated?

Help the community by answering this question:


I am living in an "unincorporated" area of San Jose so I can answer your question. Some of benefits: 1. You are in Santa Clara County Libraries serving area. You can borrow books from San Jose Public Libraries without any restriction but only unincorporated area of San Jose can borrow books form Santa Clara County Libraries without paying extra fee. 2. San Jose is short of police force but unincorporated area is manged by county sheriff which offers frequent patrolling.3. Less restrictions in permitting, for example, in San Jose, you need cost and efforts to remove a tree but no permit required in County pockets. 4. Faster service, I applied extending electricity to my storage shed, I got it inspection done quickly and friendly.

I am happy to live in a county pocket and not willing to be incorporated with San Jose.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 27, 2016
What are the advantages of homes located in "unincorporated" areas of 14601 bellaire blvd huoston tx 77083?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 23, 2016
I live in an unincorporated area called “ Fruitdale”, just west of Bascom Avenue near Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. I am happy with all services offered by the county. I frequently meet Sheriff’s patrol cars in this area, I applied permit for adding electricity to the storage shed, and it was efficient and friendly. All streets in this county pocket have been upgraded last year, I feel safe and I don’t want this county pocket be annexed into City of San Jose.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 14, 2012
Hi Mike

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.
Happy Holidays.

Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 26, 2010
Hi Mike and thanks for your post.

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.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 20, 2010
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