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Planning Instructions and Forms
by Permit Type

Instructions and forms for permits related to Land Use & Zoning issued by the Planning Division listed by permit type.

View Planning Division instructions and forms listed by document number.

Important: Use form PJR-001 instead of PJR-004. Form PJR-001 replaces PJR-004. Whenever PJR-004 is listed as required on a form, use PJR-001 instead.

How to Submit Planning Applications Electronically

Customers have the option to submit planning applications electronically. Because our online permitting portal is not yet configured for Planning e-submittals, the submittal process will take place by email.

Electronic permit application process:

Agricultural Farmstay

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.

All forms and Instructions listed below must be completed:

The California Land Conservation Act allows the County and owners of agricultural and open space land to voluntarily enter into agreements that restrict the owner’s use of the land to agricultural and/or open space uses and uses compatible with those agricultural and/or open space uses, in exchange for a reduction in property tax assessment.

The County of Sonoma began to accept applications for Cannabis permits on July 5, 2017. View instructions and forms necessary for obtaining Cannabis-related use permits and zoning permits in unincorporated Sonoma County for the categories listed below:

  • Cultivation (zoning or use permit)
  • Dispensaries (use permit)
  • Distribution and Transportation (use permit)
  • Manufacturing (use permit)
  • Administrative Certificate of Compliance (ACC)
  • Conditional Certificate of Compliance (CCC)

Coastal permits are required for development on parcels located within the Coastal Zone. Coastal permits are processed either administratively without a hearing, or with a public hearing, typically by the Board of Zoning Adjustments.

  • Commercial
  • Residential
  • Design Review, Design Review Committee
  • Landmarks Comission
  • Sign

In order to amend a General Plan land use policy, designation or density on a parcel, an application must be made for a General Plan amendment.

Lot Line Adjustment

A Lot Line Adjustment (LLA) is a realignment of boundary lines between two to four existing legal parcels (per Section 66412 of the Subdivision Map Act), where the land taken from one parcel is added to an adjacent parcel. This process is undertaken when the owner(s) of adjacent lots or parcels desire to change the shape, size, and/or location of the parcels.

All forms and Instructions listed below must be completed:

Non-Conforming Use Determination

All forms and Instructions listed below must be completed:

Permit Sonoma offers pre-application meetings that provide you with the opportunity to meet with staff from the divisions and agencies that may be involved before you start the permitting process.

Sign Requirements – Public Notification

In order to amend a specific plan's land use policy, designation or density on a parcel, an application must be made for a Specific Plan amendment.

  • Minor Subdivision
  • Major Subdivision
  • Certificate of Modification
  • General
  • Cannabis Cultivation; Dispensaries; Distribution and Transportation; or Manufacturing
  • Minor – Live Work
  • Fences

Vacation rentals are the rental of a private residence for periods of 30 days or less. Vacation rentals must have a Certified Property Manager and meet Performance Standards to ensure compatibility with surrounding residential uses.

Hosted rentals are the rental of a single room or sleeping area within a single-family dwelling, where the property owner remains in residence. Hosted rentals must meet Performance Standards to ensure compatibility with surrounding residential uses.

Variance from Zoning Regulations

A variance may be granted to provide relief from specific numerical standards in the zoning code such as setback requirements from property lines. Variances cannot be granted for relief from “use” provisions in the zoning code. If a proposed use is not permitted in a given zoning district, a variance cannot be granted to allow it.

All forms and Instructions listed below must be completed:

Voluntary Merger

A voluntary merger of parcels (tax lots) which are in common ownership may be executed by an owner(s) to: 1. reduce taxes; 2. meet the Permit and Resource Management Department's (PRMD's) Well and Septic Division's requirement that a septic system be located entirely on one parcel; 3. respond to a determination by PRMD that parcels in common ownership are not separate legal lots. The result of the merger process is the recordation of the attached Voluntary Merger Notice at the County Recorder's Office. Thereafter, the County Assessor will assign one Parcel Number (APN) for the merged parcels (if possible). It may take the Assessor’s Office several months to assign a new APN for the merged parcels.

All forms and Instructions listed below must be completed:

A property's land use is limited by Zoning, General Plan, and specific plan ordinances. If a property owner or tenant's desired land use contradicts the limitations in those ordinances, the use is not allowed. Otherwise the ordinance(s) must be changed or amended, which requires a vote and approval by the Board of Supervisors.

  • Zone Change
  • General Plan Amendment
  • Specific Plan Amendment
  • Accessory Dwelling Units
  • Cannabis Cultivation
  • Vacation Rentals
  • Hosted Rentals
  • Agricultural Employee Residence
  • Confined Livestock Farming
  • Covered Parking Waiver
  • Daycare Large Family
  • Farm Retail Sales
  • Home Occupation
  • Horse Boarding
  • Minor Timberland Conversion
  • Mobile Home
  • Small-Scale Agricultural Processing
  • Special Events/Cultural Events

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

What's My Zoning?

Parcel Search

Zoning and Land Use Map fragment

Find your property's zoning and land use by address or parcel number.

Sonoma County Cannabis Program

Learn More

Sonoma County Cannabis Program

Permits for cultivation and distribution, taxes, policy, personal use, and more.

Accessory Units & Junior Units

Find Out More

Accessory Unite

An inexpensive way to create smaller, more affordable rental housing units to Sonoma County residents.

Vacation Rentals

Obtain a Vacation Rental or Hosted Rental permit.

Procedure for applying electronically for a vacation rental or hosted rental permit.

Submit a complaint about a Vacation Rental.

Become certified as a Property Manager for a Vacation Rental property.