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.
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 sonomacounty.ca.gov/HousingInitiatives for up-to-date information or to join the mailing list to be notified of any news and opportunity to provide input.