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  • Three multicolored small cottages

    New ordinance allowing Cottage Housing Developments

  • Housing graphic - for rent

    New standards for multi-family development

  • ADU Example

    Accessory Dwelling Units & Junior Units  Find Out More

Housing Initiatives

Permit Sonoma is developing several initiatives designed to provide more opportunities and better certainty to housing developers in order to reduce risk and increase investment, to help meet the County's ambitious housing production goal. These initiatives are primarily focused on urban-centered growth.

  • Published on January 31, 2019

    Starting February 5, Permit Sonoma is offering dedicated staff and customer service hours in our Permit Center to help customers navigate the process of permitting an ADU. 

  • Published on January 4, 2019

    We hear you! Thanks to everyone that responded to the County’s request for help in identifying potential sites in unincorporated areas to rezone for housing. As of January 4, 2019, we received submissions for 42 parcels to evaluate for rezoning. Of those parcels in the unincorporated area, there is a total of about 100 acres with a potential for approximately 2,000 new housing units.

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Urban-Centered Growth

In May 2018, the County updated local policy with the following actions to increase housing development in urban service areas:

  • Increased the allowable residential floor area in mixed-use projects from 50 percent to 80 percent
  • Delayed collection of fees until near occupancy, rather than at permitting
  • Allowed small single room occupancy (SRO) projects as a permitted use and removed the existing 30-room limit for larger SRO projects
  • Allowed transitional and supportive housing in all zoning districts that allow single-family dwellings

In October 2018, the Board approved further housing initiatives, including: 

  • Simplifying development standards for multi-family housing projects;
  • Allowing higher densities near jobs and transit through provision of a new Workforce Housing Combining Zone;
  • Providing for a new housing type called Cottage Housing Developments that will provide multi-unit housing in the style, scale, and size of single-family homes, in low- and medium-density neighborhoods;
  • Allowing use of a new density unit equivalent concept to encourage more smaller rental units and fewer larger units; and
  • Codifying the existing condominium conversion policy and providing better protections for residents in rental mobile home parks.   

Read more about these actions

In early 2019, the County will consider sites in urban service areas for rezoning for higher density, affordable, or workforce housing.

Accessory Dwelling Units

In addition to the urban focused housing efforts, the County is also introducing policy and programs to encourage accessory dwelling units (ADU). In May 2018, the Board of Supervisors approved changes to the ADU Ordinance to increase maximum ADU size, reduce parcel size requirements, and reduce development fees. Later this year, the Board of Supervisors will be considering the removal of the Z (ADU Exclusion) Zone, to allow more ADUs throughout the county.

Specific Plans

There are two specific plans currently underway in the Airport SMART station area and the Sonoma Springs area are anticipated to increase allowable residential uses and densities near employment and transit. 

Contact Information

Permit Sonoma
2550 Ventura Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.465074, -122.723705

Housing for All Strategy

Learn More

multi-unit housing

The County's strategic priority to ensure housing for all income levels.

Sonoma County Community Development Commission

The Community Development Commission (CDC) is dedicated to promoting decent and affordable housing, revitalizing communities, and supporting public services.

Community Development Commission

CDC Affordable Housing Information

Online Permitting

Apply for Permits Online
Licensed contractors and owner-builders can apply for and pay outstanding balances for certain permits online.

Check the Status of a Permit
All web visitors can check the current status of a Permit, Inspection, or Plan Check online.

View Permit History Information
All web visitors can use our look up tool to check the history of a Permit.

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