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 Bioenergy Special Use Provisions


Bioenergy refers to power produced from biofuels. Biofuels are derived from biomass material such as plants, animals and organic waste streams. Bioenergy facilities utilize a wide range of potential feedstocks and produce a variety of fuel types with applications for either on-site or off-site uses. Opportunities for different types and sizes of bioenergy facilities exist in many areas of the county, especially those that produce agricultural and forestry waste products. Development standards for these uses are proposed to ensure land use compatibility and to provide for streamlined processing of applications.


The Bioenergy Special Use Regulations are be applicable to all bioenergy facilities, in addition to the General Development Standards for Renewable Energy in 26-88-200

Permit Requirements

Limited production of biofuels for personal use (up to 15 gallons) is permitted in most zones. Other bioenergy systems that use on-site feedstock to produce fuel to serve up to 125% of on-site needs are a permitted use (“by right”) with a zoning permit subject to the General Development Standards and the Bioenergy Special Use provisions. These provisions apply in agricultural, resource, commercial and industrial zones. Biofuel production facilities using feedstock produced on-site may be exempt from the 125% limit if they can be located within existing developed areas in these zones.

Bioenergy production facilities involving the import of feedstocks or the export of energy and/or fuels or gas are permitted in the agricultural, resource, and most industrial and commercial zones with a conditional use permit, and compliance with the General Development Standards and the Bioenergy Special Use provisions.

Development Standards

Bioenergy facilities shall comply with all setbacks of the underlying zone district and shall maintain a minimum setback of 200 feet from any residential use or zoning district.

  • Projects must comply with all regulatory requirements of other agencies
  • New bioenergy facilities may not be located on mapped Important Farmlands
  • Sufficient storage for both raw materials, fuel and by-products must be provided
  • Accessory bioenergy production for on-site use is allowed on land under a Land Conservation Act contract (Ag Preserve). Commercial bioenergy production facilities may be allowed on non-prime agricultural lands under a Land Conservation Act contract

Contact Information

Contact Planning by Phone
Monday – Friday
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
2550 Ventura Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.465074, -122.723705

Renewable Energy

Renewable Energy

Renewable Energy

On-the-farm processing and sale of goods rules and regulations