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Standards for Live/Work Activities


The purpose of the Live/Work program is to permit small-scale business activities in residential uses which meet certain standards. Live/Work uses are allowed up to two non-resident employees, more customers, and a broader range of uses than permitted in Home Occupations, and therefore are permitted with a use permit to ensure compatibility.


Live/Work uses may be permitted in legally established homes in the agricultural and resources zones (LIA, LEA, DA, RRD), rural residential zones (AR, RR), single-family and medium-density residential zones (R1, R2), planned community zones (PC), and commercial zones allowing residential uses (CO, C1, C2, C3, LC, RC, AS, K). Live/Work uses would not be allowed in mixed-use projects, Single-Room Occupancy units, or caretaker units.

Permit Requirements

A Use Permit and notification of property owners within 300 feet of the site are required. An opportunity for a public hearing is required, but may be waived in certain cases if there is no written protest during the notice period.

Development Standards


Residents of the home, plus up to two non-resident employees.


No more than 25 percent of the home, or 500 square feet of a garage/accessory structure.

Hours of Operation

8:00 am – 6:00 pm. No holidays. 

Technical Codes

Conformance with all codes for the occupancy classification. Building and Well & Septic division clearances are required. 

Exterior Appearance

No change in the residential character of the site. 


One additional space, and one space per non-resident employee. Demonstration of adequate parking for any customers or clients.


Maximum of eight per day, and no more than four onsite at a time. Maximum of ten deliveries/pickups per week.


A maximum two square foot sign.

Commercial Vehicles

One single-ton or smaller vehicle permitted to be kept at site. 

Outdoor Storage/Use

Not permitted. 

Offsite Effects

Offsite noise, odors, dust, smoke, glare, etc., are prohibited.

Allowed Uses

  • Art and craft work or cottage industries
  • Pet care services located outside of Urban Service Areas
  • Office-only uses such as architects, attorneys, and generating no more than four visits per day
  • Small group services such as counseling
  • Massage therapy
  • Food processing and catering with Environmental Health clearance and no onsite sales
  • Salons, day spas
  • Uses that may trigger building or septic system modification

Prohibited Uses (partial list)

  • Adult entertainment
  • Animal hospitals and clinics
  • Medical service and procedures
  • Vehicle repair
  • Cabinet or furniture making
  • Storage yards
  • Mobile food vendors
  • Gun and weapon sales
  • Uses that involve hazardous materials

Contact Information

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

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