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PJR-130 Agricultural Farmstay



The purpose of this document is to summarize the regulations of Section 26-88-085 of the Sonoma County Zoning Ordinance, Agricultural farmstays, and permitting requirements for agricultural farmstays.


Agricultural farmstays are a transient lodging accommodation containing five or fewer guestrooms in a single family dwelling or guest house, provided as part of the farming operation, with an on-site farmer in residence and that includes all meals provided in the price of the lodging.  Agricultural farmstays must directly relate and support the farming operation on site. The farmer must be in residence on the property. An Agricultural Promotion Plan shall be prepared and submitted that demonstrates the primary use of land is agriculture and that the use promotes and educates guests about local agriculture. This use is subject to Transient Occupancy Taxes.

Definition of Agriculture, Sonoma County General Plan: The production of food, fiber, plant materials, and the raising and maintaining of horses, donkeys, mules, and similar livestock and farm animals.

Agricultural farmstays may be conducted subject to issuance of a zoning permit in: LIA, DA, LEA, and RRD zones. Agricultural farmstays may also be conducted subject to issuance of a use permit in coastal districts: LIA CC, LEA CC, DA CC, RRD CC, and AR CC.


The applicant submits a complete Agricultural Farmstay Application (Zoning Permit or Use Permit if located in the Coastal Zone). Permits Sonoma will assign a project planner to review the application and verify it is complete for processing. The Planner verifies that the proposed Agricultural farmstay will comply with all Performance Standards and requirements (see Sonoma County Code Section 26-88-085) below. Once compliance is verified, a zoning permit approval letter will be issued to the applicant. The Agricultural Farmstay property will need to be registered with the Sonoma County Treasurer-Tax Collector for payment of Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT).

Application Submittal Materials

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. Agricultural Farmstay Project Description/Proposal Statement. This should include detail about how the farmstay will be operated in accordance to standards.  This should include the number of bedrooms, commercial agricultural use, and any other activities occurring on the property. 
  3. Proof of Owner/Farmer in Residence. Provide homeowner’s exemption from property tax or lease agreement if tenant farmer in residence. 
  4. Completed Transient Occupancy Tax form
  5. Site plan meeting the requirements of PJR-129, Site Plan Requirements for Planning Applications
  6. Floor plan, drawn to scale, of the proposed farmstay. 
  7. Agricultural Promotion Plan. Provide an Agricultural Promotion Plan that demonstrates the primary use of the land is agriculture and that the use promotes and educates guests about local agriculture. The Plan should include the following:
    1. How does your application demonstrate that the primary use of the property is agriculture?
    2. What type(s) of commercial agriculture is occurring on the property (include farming business plan)?
    3. Describe how your farmstay markets the onsite agriculture or other types in the local areas.
    4. How do you educate guests on local agriculture and your farm?
    5. How will your guests be included in the farming or experience the farm while staying on the property?
    6. How do you plan on marketing your farmstay? 
  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

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

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