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May 2018

Tennis Wick, Permit Sonoma Director Welcome to Permit Sonoma!

In this issue of our e-newsletter we have updates on rebuilding, new housing initiatives, the revised onsite waste treatment systems (OWTS) manual, and a new tool that allows you to schedule appointments at the Permit Center.

Tennis Wick, AICP, Director

Published: May 31, 2018

Rebuilding Together

Rebuilding TogetherPermit Sonoma has established a streamlined approach to support fire survivors so they can rebuild as quickly as possible. The County’s Resiliency Permit Center opened in February and is exclusively dedicated to the residential rebuilding permitting needs. As of today, the County has issued rebuilding permits for 149 homes, 18 bridges, and 14 accessory dwelling units. Visit the Rebuilding Together website to:

Moving Toward More Housing

multi-unit housingPermit Sonoma is introducing several housing initiatives designed to reduce constraints to housing production and to provide broader options for permanent housing solutions. The first set of initiatives, approved by the Board of Supervisors on 08 May, 2018, included changes to accessory dwelling units, single-room occupancy projects, mixed-use projects, the timing of fee collection, and special needs housing types.

The update to the accessory dwelling unit ordinance is to encourage the construction of accessory dwelling units of various sizes on appropriate properties. The proposed changes include allowing up to 1,200 square feet for units intended to house families, while also incentivizing the construction of smaller accessory dwelling units by reducing the impact fees.

The series of housing initiatives is intended to provide more opportunities and better certainty to housing developers in order to reduce risk and increase investment in order to meet the County's ambitious housing production goals of 30,000 new units by 2023.

Aligning with the State’s Septic Requirements

SepticOn 22 May, The Board of Supervisors considered the revised onsite waste treatment systems (OWTS) manual, in order to meet State mandated regulations. The OWTS Manual is a technical manual detailing construction and maintenance of individual onsite wastewater treatment systems (also referred to as septic systems). The primary revisions to the existing manual were related to permit types, voluntary repairs, classifications, remodel/rebuild, financial hardships, and waivers.

After community testimony about potential regulatory and financial burdens resulting from the OWTS manual, the Board postponed acceptance of the draft for six months so Board Members and staff can further engage the community and provide revisions to the Board by November 2018.

Putting More Time Back in a Customer’s Day

ClockIn a continuing effort to reduce wait times and improve customer experience, the Permit Center has implemented new software that enables customers to schedule appointments. This new tool also allows residents, businesses and employees to join today’s service queue remotely, instead of waiting in the lobby.

The new queuing system provides estimated wait times based on real-time data. The tool includes a text messaging option to update customers on their wait time, notifying them when they move to the front of the line. This gives individuals the flexibility to wait at home, while running errands, or if they choose, in the Permit Center waiting area.

Contact Information

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