Building

The Building Division inspects construction projects after the building permit has been issued. They review projects inside and out to make sure they are built according to the approved plans and building codes. The focus of this division is on protecting public health and safety.

On this page:

Permit Sonoma Video Inspections

For the duration of the COVID-19 Shelter in Place declaration, Permit Sonoma will continue to provide many inspection services via remote video technology. Our goal is to keep your projects moving while protecting everyone from the spread of COVID-19.

Please follow the instructions to get started with your first video inspection. If you have scheduled an inspection by telephone or via Permits Online, our inspection team will call the morning of the date you scheduled your inspection to answer any questions and schedule a more precise time for your video inspection to begin.   View Instructions

Sonoma County Rebuilding Together

Sonoma County Wildfires

Rebuilding Together

The official information and resource site for the unincorporated areas of Sonoma County rebuilding efforts related to the 2017 Sonoma Complex Fire and 2019 Kincade Fire.

  • Published on May 20, 2019

    Effective Monday, May 27, 2019, Permit Sonoma will no longer require or offer building permit site reviews in most cases as one of our new process improvements focused on reducing building plan check lead times.

  • Published on October 2, 2018

    As many of you know, in this competitive job market, our entire industry is experiencing a challenge in recruiting and retaining skilled building staff. Permit Sonoma currently has a 40 percent temporary shortage in staff members that review building permits. Our department closely monitors our permit turnaround times and makes this information publicly available through our online performance dashboard.   Read More

  • More News

Building Regulations

Sonoma County Building Regulations
Chapter 7, Article II of Sonoma County's Municipal Code outlines Building Regulations for the unincorporated area of this county. This includes regulations for construction, maintenance, use and occupancy as required to provide the minimum standards to safeguard the life, limb and property and protect the public health, safety and general welfare.

California Building Code
Every three years, the State adopts new codes to establish uniform standards for the construction and maintenance of buildings. The California Building Code is the basis for the design and construction of buildings in California.

Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance

Notice to Applicants for Commercial Building Permits

Under federal and state law, compliance with disability access laws is a serious and significant responsibility that applies to all California building owners and tenants with buildings open to the public.

Disability Access Requirements and Resources (PDF: 115 kB)

Permits

Below are some of the most common permits issued by the Building Division:

Building Permit

Most construction, from new construction to alternations and repairs, requires a building permit. There are two types of building permits:

  • Building with No Plan Check

    For simpler projects that do not require building plans. (May still require a site plan.)
  • Building with Plan Check

    For projects that require building plans.

But in some cases, a building permit is not required:

No Building Permit Required

Simple projects that do not require a building permit. Building codes must still be followed and other permits might still apply (e.g. Well & Septic, Use, or Zoning).
More Information: When Is a Building Permit Not Required? – BPC-005

Revisions

If a construction project is revised, for example by altering floor plans or adding additional square footage, the revisions must be reviewed and approved by Permit Sonoma prior to making those changes in the field.

Expedited Permitting Process

Certain projects receive expedited permit processing.

Inspections

Under the Building Code, all construction or work that requires a building permit shall be subject to inspection and approval by the County Building Inspector.

Inspections
Information on the Inspection process.

Inspection Scheduling
Schedule and find out the results of your building inspections in one of 3 ways.

Building Inspection Codes
Find the 3 digit codes needed to schedule inspections.

Resources

Building Division Fee Schedule
Fees associated with building permits including Building Inspection, Building Plan Check, and Fire Inspection.

Building Permit with Plan Check to Permit Issuance
View how long it took from application submission, to first review comments, to permit issuance during the previous month.

Lead Hazard Warnings on Pre-1978 Buildings
Permit Sonoma issues over-the-counter permits for work on existing pre-1978 buildings that may contain lead hazards. There are several resources about lead poisoning and prevention.

Frequently Asked Questions

Instructions & Forms

Policies and Procedures

USGS Geologic Hazards - Spectral Response Acceleration Maps

Green Building

Construction Documents

Technical Bulletins
Information from the Building Division to help you with your project covering accessibility, building, electrical, mechanical, and plumbing.

Green Building

CALGreenFind custom­ized checklists to document compliance with new green building projects. Learn about the CALGreen Special Inspector program.

More Information