On October 23, 2018, the Board of Supervisors approved a set of changes to the Sonoma County Zoning Code to expand opportunities for housing development in designated urban service areas. The changes will become effective on November 22, 2018. They allow for a new housing type called Cottage Housing Developments that will allow several small cottages to be built on a single lot in the style, scale, and size of single-family homes. Cottage housing developments are limited within the areas affected by the 2017 Sonoma Complex Fires, as follows:
- Glen Ellen – one cottage housing development allowed per 400 foot radius
- Larkfield – prohibited within the burn area at this time
The approved housing initiatives also introduce new simplified development standards for multi-family development, including a new density unit equivalent concept that will encourage the development of more, smaller units but provide for the same number of people on a per-acre basis. As well, the changes establish a new Workforce Housing Combining District to allow higher density housing near jobs and transit.
Also included in this package were improved protections for rental housing through a condominium conversion ordinance and protections for residents in rental mobile home parks when a park is converted to an ownership park. None of the Code changes are applicable within city limits, or in the coastal zone.
Visit the Housing Initiatives website for news and more information on Permit Sonoma’s housing work, and email HousingInitiatives@sonoma-county.org with any questions.