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February 2019

Tennis Wick, Permit Sonoma Director Welcome to Permit Sonoma!

In this issue of our e-newsletter we have:

Tennis Wick, AICP, Director

Published: February 26, 2019

Increased Accessory Dwelling Unit Customer Service

accessory dwelling unit cottageThis month Permit Sonoma began offering dedicated staff and customer service hours in our Permit Center to help customers navigate the process of permitting an accessory dwelling unit (ADU). Appointments with a planner are available Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM. You can ask questions and get more information, and if you're ready to apply, staff will review and accept your complete ADU application. Only complete applications will be accepted to help ease processing times. In some situations, applications may be able to be approved over the counter. Find out more

Expanded Support in Evaluating Rebuilding Construction Proposals

Resiliency Permit CenterRe­build­ing in un­incor­porated Sonoma County continues at a steady pace with 42 homes completed and 638 in construction. Permits for 276 more homes have been issued with construction pending and 112 permit applications are currently in review. To further support fire survivors, the County’s Resiliency Permit Center is now offering Bid Proposal Reviews. At these appointments, staff assist fire survivors in reviewing construction bids from potential contractors. These bid reviews are offered at no cost to fire survivors to help you determine whether the scope and pricing of construction bids are appropriate for your rebuilding projects. Contact the Resiliency Permit Center to make an appointment with staff to review your construction bids.

Meet Planning Commissioner Ariel Kelley

Ariel KelleyFor our readers who don’t know you, can you provide a bit of background about yourself and what led you to serve on the Planning Commission?

An attorney by training, Ariel has spent her career as a community organizer and government relations professional. She received both her MBA and Doctor of Jurisprudence degrees from Golden Gate University in San Francisco and after law school, Ariel worked in government relations for the America's Cup in San Francisco. Her passion for land use led her to become immersed in the world of community and urban planning from a very young age. Originally from Eugene, Oregon, Ariel is an alumna of the University of Oregon where she studied business. Growing up on the McKenzie River, Ariel has early memories of observing her parents form a river alliance network to prevent pollution and fight to preserve water quality in for their rural neighbors. Ariel resides in Healdsburg with her husband and two young children ages 5 and 3.

Is the Planning Commission your first position of service to the community?

Ariel spent over a decade as an active community leader in San Francisco. She served as the president of her neighborhood association, often appearing before the City’s planning commission fighting both for and against development projects. Ariel was an active director of the Golden Gate University Alumni Association, Rooms that Rock 4 Chemo Ambassador Board member, and a member of the board of Collective Impact, a non-profit aimed at reducing cycles of poverty for African American youth and families in San Francisco. Today, Ariel serves as the board president of Corazón Healdsburg, a non-profit dedicated to bridging the racial and economic divide in northern Sonoma County.

Can you name a few highlights of your time on the commission?

It has been an interesting time to sit as a planning commissioner. Ariel was appointed by Supervisor Gore after the 2017 Sonoma Complex Fires. While many of her first hearings were regarding winery use permits and events, she has had the opportunity to discuss resiliency, the post-fire rebuild, and our housing crisis. The commission is currently turning its focus on cannabis and Ariel is looking forward to learning more about the intersection of land use planning and cannabis in the coming months.

20 years from now, how do you envision Sonoma County?

In 20 years I envision Sonoma County as a safe and prosperous community that has achieved a balance between agriculture, industry, and thoughtful resilient development. This won’t happen overnight and it won’t be easy but we have the will of our community and the knowledge to get there.

What is your favorite spot in Sonoma County?

It’s so hard to pick just one place. But one of my favorite spots in Sonoma County is the Healdsburg Ridge hiking trail overlooking the Russian River.

Read Interviews with Other Planning Commissioners

Cleaning Up Junkyards

junkyard blight before clean upPermit Sonoma’s Code Enforcement team works with community members to clean up junkyard conditions to improve the quality of life in neighborhoods and the larger community. An example of a recent cleanup took place on River Road just outside of Guerneville. The prominent location of the property resulted in travelers and local residents viewing blight on their way in and out of town.

junkyard after clean upIn response to a complaint about this property, Code enforcement officer Nathan Peacock worked through the County’s administrative enforcement process to get the property owner to clean the property up. In January of 2019, officer Peacock conducted his final compliance inspection. The subject property was cleaned up and penalties were quickly paid to the department, without having to go through the County’s administrative hearing process or County Counsel office. Thank you officer Peacock for your professional work on this case.

Contact Information

Maggie Fleming
Communications Manager
Permit and Resource Management Department
County of Sonoma
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