Can my house be rebuilt if it is destroyed by fire or flood?
Yes, any legal dwelling unit destroyed by fire or flood can be rebuilt. Current building code requirements would be applied and the septic system may need to be brought into compliance with current codes.
- Non-conforming dwellings (those built legally but which do not meet current setbacks or density) can generally be rebuilt.
- Houses that meet the allowable density but do not meet the setbacks may be rebuilt on the original footprint (i.e. same size and location) and can be expanded in size provided that the improvements do not increase the non-conforming portion of the structure, such as encroaching further into the setback.)
- Houses destroyed by fire that exceed the allowable density may also be rebuilt at the same size and location, but expansion is limited to a maximum of 10% of the original floor area.
When a home is rebuilt, must it be built in compliance with current building codes?
Yes, the code in effect now is the 2016 California Residential Code, as amended and adopted by Sonoma County. For more information, visit 2016 California Residential Code
What type of contractor can perform repairs on private bridges?
Can I rebuild a garage or other accessory structure or continue an accessory use prior to rebuilding my home?
Yes. The County can authorize reconstruction of an accessory structure on a case-by-case basis. In most cases all proposed structures should be submitted with the Site Plan required with any building plan sets. The site plan and building permits for all associated structures can then be approved at the same time.
Can I rebuild my home on its original footprint even if it would not meet the current Riparian Corridor setbacks?
If your original home was legally constructed before the Riparian Corridor regulations went into effect, your replacement home may be constructed on the same footprint as the original house. However, you are encouraged to locate your replacement home further away from the river or stream if feasible. No planning permit is required as long as the replacement home is not any larger than the original house.
Will I need to upgrade my driveway entrance when rebuilding after the fire?
We will not require driveway entrance upgrades for rebuilds due to the Sonoma Complex Fire. This policy modification only applies to rebuilds destroyed by the Sonoma Complex Fire. Current policy is still in effect for everything else.
When rebuilding, do I need to do Energy Calculations and comply with the provisions of CALGreen??
Yes, you will need to do Energy Calculations and you will need to comply with the provision of CALGreen. For more information, visit Residential Plan Checklist
If a home that burned down had an EPA compliant wood stove in it, can another be reinstalled?
Can a house be rebuilt on a fire-damaged foundation?
Applicants who wish to use the existing foundation systems must have a “suitability analysis” of the existing foundation performed by a registered civil or structural engineer. This analysis shall state that the engineer has visited the site and investigated the condition of the existing building elements. It shall also state that the remaining foundation is suitable for the support of the new structure, and that all under-slab utility systems (such as drain, waste, vent, water, mechanical, electrical, etc.) are suitable for continued use. Electrical conduits may remain but all under-slab electrical conductors must be replaced.
Can I leave my damaged foundation in place and enclose my old foundation with a new foundation?
Yes, provided the new foundation does not rely on the structural integrity of the old foundation. If you go with the public debris removal option, the Army Corps of Engineers will remove the foundation.