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June 2018

Tennis Wick, Permit Sonoma Director Welcome to Permit Sonoma!

In this issue of our e-newsletter we have post-fire rebuilding progress, housing for all, increased enforcement for vacation rentals, and a cannabis ordinance update.

Tennis Wick, AICP, Director

Published: June 29, 2018

Rebuilding Progress

Rebuilding TogetherOn June 21, the County issued the certificate of occupancy for the first completed rebuild in unincorporated Sonoma County. This property is located in the Berrybrook neighborhood of Santa Rosa and was destroyed by the devastating 2017 Sonoma Complex Fires. As of today, the County has issued rebuilding permits for 272 homes, 12% of the total homes lost in unincorporated Sonoma County.

Housing for All

Housing Permits DataHousing Dashboard

In January, the Board challenged Sonoma County to produce 30,000 houses by 2023 to address an acute shortage amplified by the fire. It sounds like a lot until you see how many homes we are already producing countywide. Permit Sonoma has a new housing dashboard to measure our success in meeting these housing goals. The County will be partnering with cities to create a community-wide housing dashboard in the coming months.

Code Amendments

Permit Sonoma staff is introducing new legislation, building on those approved by the Board of Supervisors in May, designed to expand opportunities for housing production. These amendments include:

  • Simplifying development standards for multi-family housing projects
  • Establishing a new Workforce Housing Combining Zone to create higher-density housing near jobs and transit
  • Allowing housing types called “Cottage Housing Developments” to provide for higher-density housing that still blends in with lower-density development patterns
  • Use of a new “density units” concept to encourage more, smaller rental units

These changes also include tools to preserve existing rental housing, including codification of existing condominium conversion policy, and better protections for residents in rental mobile home parks. We give thanks to Keith Christopherson and Efren Carrillo for meeting with staff to review the draft and offer constructive changes.

These set of code amendments are anticipated to be heard by the Planning Commission in August, and a public workshop will be held in July. Please visit for up-to-date information or to join the mailing list to be notified of any news and opportunity to provide input.

Increased Enforcement for Vacation Rentals

vacations rentalsThe County of Sonoma will be providing increased enforcement to respond to vacation rental compliance complaints. Coming soon, the County will have a new vacation rental complaint line. This phone line will be staffed by on-call security officers available to provide on-site weekend nighttime vacation rental enforcement.

Phone line hours will be:

Peak vacation season (May through November)
10:00 PM to 7:00 AM Thursdays through Tuesdays
December through April
10:00 PM to 3:00 AM Thursdays through Tuesdays

Cannabis Ordinance Update

Sonoma County Cannabis ProgramThe County is currently in the process of updating the Cannabis Ordinance. Based on guidance from the Board, staff is working on amendments to align the Cannabis Ordinance with latest state laws, respond to feedback from the community and build on the lessons learned through the first 10 months of permitting.

These updates will be in two parts:

Part One

Part one is focused on quickly responding to feedback from the community and ensuring that the public and impacted neighbors have an opportunity have their voice heard before and during the application review process. Part one was presented to the Cannabis Advisory Group on May 30, 2018, then presented to the Planning Commission on June 7, 2018, and it will be presented to the Board of Supervisors this summer.

Part Two

Part two will include a more thorough review of neighborhood compatibility and other implementation efforts that require robust outreach and staff analysis.

Contact Information

Contact us by Phone
2550 Ventura Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.465074, -122.723705