County Administrator's Office
For Immediate Release

Board Adopts Urgent Ordinance to Provide Housing Solutions for Kincade Survivors

Santa Rosa, CA  –  November 7, 2019 at 3:20 PM  –  On November 5, 2019, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors took action to meet the urgent housing needs of Kincade Fire survivors. The Kincaid Fire destroyed or damaged 434 structures, 209 of which are residential. In response to this fire, the Board of Supervisors adopted the Urgency Ordinance to add a new code, Kincade Fire Disaster Recovery (Chapter 40A), to Sonoma County Code.

“The County is committed to a full recovery for our community after the Kincade Fire,” stated Sonoma County Board of Supervisor Chairman David Rabbitt. “This Urgency Ordinance is one step toward recovery, creating immediate housing options for fire survivors.”

The Chapter 40A urgency ordinance is similar to the Sonoma Complex Fire Disaster Recovery code (Chapter 40), which the Board added to County Code in response to the 2017 fires. Both chapters focus on immediate and interim housing solutions for those that have been displaced by the fires. Chapter 40A reflects limited changes to the already existing Chapter 40 that are based on lessons learned in the ongoing process of recovery from the 2017 wildfires as well as the different circumstances stemming from the Kincade Fire. Key components of Chapter 40A include:

  • Permitted use of recreational vehicles (defined to include motor homes, travel trailers, truck campers, camping trailers, and similar vehicles as temporary emergency housing in residential and agricultural zoning districts outside the coastal zone, subject to specified standards. 
  • Year-round occupancy of RVs, tent camps and campgrounds in K zoning districts, subject to specified standards and with a zoning permit.
  • Temporary use permits for RV groups -- Allowing groupings of RVs and manufactured homes as temporary emergency housing in Public Facilities, M1, M2, and MP zoning districts outside the coastal zone, subject to temporary use permit.
  • Removal of seasonal restrictions from farmworker housing. 
  • Allowing existing guest houses, pool houses, and other habitable residential accessory structures, as well as marketing accommodations, farmstays, bed and breakfast inns, resorts, retreats, camps and similar uses, to be used as temporary housing.
  • Allowing temporary housing use and rental of existing dwellings and RVs on agricultural lots, subject to specified limitations. 
  • Prohibiting establishment of new vacation rentals within the Kincade Fire burn area. 
  • Waiving permitting fees for accessory dwelling units constructed along with a reconstructed primary dwelling within the Kincade Fire burn area. 


Staff will return to the Board at a later date with proposed amendments to Chapter 40A to address additional immediate, interim, and long-term needs stemming from the Kincade Fire. In particular, due to the large destruction of prime agricultural lands damaged in the Kincade Fire, staff is gathering data and looking at potential additional proposed changes to facilitate recovery specific to these lands.

Find more information on this action and view the ordinance

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