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Background Information on Housing Initiatives

Phase 1 - Reducing Constraints

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, on May 8, 2018, approved a set of changes to the Sonoma County Code, to take effect June 7, 2018. These code amendments are designed to reduce constraints to housing production and to provide broader options for permanent housing solutions.


Ordinance No. 6222 - Amendments to the Accessory Dwelling Unit Ordinance

Ordinance No. 6223 - Amendments to Ch. 26 of the Sonoma County Code

Fact Sheets

Accessory Dwelling Unit Code Changes

Mixed Use Code Changes

SRO Code Changes

Summary of Changes

Description of Adopted Code Changes Applicability Code Sections (all references to Ch. 26)
Increase maximum size of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) to 1,200 sf; reduce minimum lot size for small ADUs to 1 acre when on public or community water; reduce development fees for new ADUs on graduated scaleAll zones allowing ADUs 26-88-060 Accessory Dwellings

Increase allowable residential floor area in Mixed-Use projects to 80% residential and 20% commercial; and allow Mixed-Use projects that provide affordable units on-site as a permitted use

LC, C2, C1 26-88-123 Mixed Use
Delay collection of affordable housing fees until near occupancy All residential uses Article 89 Affordable Housing Programs
Authorize Permit Sonoma Director to approve alternative equivalent affordable housing plans All residential uses 26-89-040 Affordable Housing Requirements
Allow transitional and supportive housing in all zones that allow a single-family dwelling All residential uses Multiple
Provide density bonus for projects providing housing units for foster youth, veterans, and homeless All residential uses Article 89 Affordable Housing Programs
Allow small Single Room Occupancy (SRO) projects as a permitted use; allow larger SROs with a use permit; and eliminate the existing 30-room cap LC, C2, R2, R3, PC 26-88-125 Single Room Occupancy

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Phase 2 - Expanding Opportunities

On October 23, 2018, the Board of Supervisors approved a second set of code changes to expand opportunities for housing development in urban areas. Staff completed an initial study for this phase of the project and determined that the adoption of the proposed code changes would not result in significant impacts on the environment and a Negative Declaration is appropriate. The Planning Commission recommended approval of these code changes on August 30, 2018. 

Fact Sheets

Fact Sheet - Cottage Housing

Fact Sheet - Multi-Family Development Standards

Fact Sheet - Workforce Housing

Fact Sheet - Protections for Rental Housing

Public Input

Notes from July 11, 2018 Public Workshop

Summary of Changes

Description of Proposed ChangeAffected Chapter 26 SubsectionZoning Districts AffectedNotes
Simplified multi-family development standardsArticles 59, 24R2, R3, AH, proposed WH combining zone (within urban service areas)
Adopt density unit equivalent model Articles 59, 24 R2, R3, AH, proposed WH combining zone (within urban service areas)
Cottage housing developments New § 26-88-230; Articles 20 and 22R1, R2 (within urban service areas)
WH Workforce Housing Combining Zone New Article 75LC, C2, M1, MP, PF, M3 (within urban service areas) Proposal makes the WH Combining Zone available by application. Eligible parcels must be within 3,000 feet of a transit center or an employment node with at least 3 acres of commercial or 10 acres of industrial zoning (or equivalent). Requires rezoning, consistency with applicable area or specific plan, CEQA review, public hearings.
Rental mobile home park protection Article 92CountywideApplies to existing mobile home parks countywide
Condominium conversion ordinance New 26-88-193CountywideApplies countywide to subdivision applications to convert five or more apartments to separate condominiums

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Contact Information

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

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Accessory Units & Junior Units

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and Junior Accessory Dwelling Units (JADUs) are an inexpensive way to create smaller, more affordable rental housing units.

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Junior Unit

Try this new online tool to help estimate the costs, returns, and benefits associated with building an ADU.

Sonoma County Community Development Commission

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

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Office of Recovery and Resiliency


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Housing for All Strategy

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multi-unit housing

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