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PJR-070 Agricultural Employee Dwelling Unit

Revised 10/20/2020

Agricultural Employee Dwelling Units are used to house full-time agricultural employees. Family members of the full-time agricultural employee may also reside in the dwelling unit. Multiple agricultural employee dwelling units may be allowed on a single property, provided the onsite agricultural operation meets the agricultural use thresholds listed below.

Eligibility Criteria

Zoning

Parcel is located in the LIA (Land Intensive Agriculture), LEA (Land Extensive Agriculture), DA (Diverse Agriculture), or the RRD (Resources and Rural Development) zoning district.

Agricultural Use Threshold

One dwelling unit for full-time agricultural employee(s) allowed for each of the following agricultural uses conducted on the site:

  1. At least fifty (50) mature cows or one hundred (100) beef cattle
  2. At least twenty (20) acres of grapes, apples, pears, prunes
  3. At least twenty thousand (20,000) broilers, fifteen thousand (15,000) egg-layers or three thousand (3,000) turkeys
  4. At least two hundred fifty (250) sheep or goats, fifty (50) dairy goats or hogs
  5. At least thirty (30) mature horses
  6. Wholesale nurseries with a minimum of either one (1) acre of propagating greenhouse or outdoor containers or three (3) acres of field-grown plant materials
  7. Any other agricultural use which the director of Permit Sonoma determines to be of the same approximate agricultural value and intensity as those agricultural uses above

Procedure

After a complete Zoning Permit application is submitted, a Project Planner at Permit Sonoma will be assigned to the project. The Project Planner will review the application materials, and may conduct a site visit to determine if the current agricultural use of the property meets the eligibility criteria for full-time agricultural employee dwelling units.

If the Project Planner determines the Zoning Permit can be approved, an Agricultural Agreement and Covenant form will be provided to the property owner(s) for signature and notarization. The Agricultural Agreement and Covenant is a formal agreement between the property owner(s) and the County. This agreement affirms the agricultural employee dwelling unit will house agricultural employee(s) and stipulates that if the agricultural use on the property is terminated, the agricultural employee dwelling unit shall become a non-conforming residential use. In this case, traffic and park mitigation fees, which are otherwise deferred, shall become due and payable. The completed Agricultural Agreement and Covenant must be approved by the Permit Sonoma Director and recorded before a building permit can be issued for the full-time agricultural employee dwelling unit.

If a property owner proposes a manufactured home on a non-permanent foundation, a Zoning Permit that includes posting of notices in the immediate neighborhood is required.

A Use Permit is required for property owner proposing to include agricultural acreage from their other properties located in the same zoning district (excluding RRD zoning) in order to qualify for a full-time agricultural employee dwelling unit.

Application Requirements

A complete application shall include the following items. Incomplete applications will not be accepted. Note: All documents must be submitted electronically. Permit Sonoma staff may, upon request, provide some assistance with electronic submittal if required.

  1. Application Forms:
    1. PJR-001 Planning Application(PDF: 180 kB), signed by the applicant and property owner(s).
    2. PJR-011 Indemnification Agreement (PDF: 132 kB), signed by owner or agent with owner’s written authorization. A separate indemnification agreement must be signed by each property owner.
  2. Site plan meeting the requirements of PJR-129, Site Plan Requirements for Planning Applications
  3. Filing fee. See the current Permit Sonoma Project Review Fee Schedule. Fees will be determined once the full scope of a project is evaluated by Permit Sonoma staff at the time of application submittal. If paying by check, please do not fill in amounts on checks prior to application acceptance.
  4. Proposal Statement. Provide a summary of all agricultural use(s) on the subject property that support the issuance of the zoning permit for the full-time agricultural employee dwelling unit. Please be specific as to the number of animals, acres devoted to certain crops, and/or any other details pertinent to the agricultural use on the property.
  5. Affidavit. Provide a separate signed statement describing the existing agricultural use(s) on the property and affirming the agricultural employee dwelling unit will be used for agricultural employee housing.
  6. Deed. Provide a current copy of the recorded deed to the property (available from the County Recorder’s Office).
  7. Site plan meeting the requirements of PJR-129, Site Plan Requirements for Planning Applications
  8. Filing fee. See the current Permit Sonoma Project Review Fee Schedule. Fees will be determined once the full scope of a project is evaluated by Permit Sonoma staff at the time of application submittal. If paying by check, please do not fill in amounts on checks prior to application acceptance.

Contact Information

Phone Operator
Permit Center & Mailing Address
2550 Ventura Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.465074, -122.723705