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Zoning Permits Instructions & Forms

Planning permits such as zoning permits may be required prior to the issuance of a building permit. Zoning clearances are required for building permits issued for new buildings, structures, or additions to existing buildings or structures. There may be additional setback requirements for a building depending upon the location near a scenic roadway or waterway. Additional review, such as administrative design review, may be required prior to the issuance of a building permit.

Go Back to Planning Instructions and Forms

How to Submit Planning Applications Electronically

For continuity of operations, 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:

General Zoning Permits

In general, all zoning permit applications must include, at minimum:

Requirements for specific types of zoning permits are listed below. Email Planner@sonoma-county.org with questions.

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are allowed in addition to a single-family ("primary") residence. 

    More Information About Accessory Dwelling Units

    Accessory Dwelling Units & Rebuilding After Major Wildfires

    Zoning permits are generally no longer required for to establish an ADU. In very limited circumstances, a zoning permit may be required: to designate an existing dwelling unit as an ADU, and to remove an affordable housing agreement that designates an existing ADU as an deed-restricted affordable unit. In those cases, the items below should be submitted as applicable: 

    1. PJR-001 - Planning Application (PDF: 40 kB)
    2. PJR-011 - Indemnification Agreement (PDF: 72 kB)
    3. Site plan (meeting the requirements of  PJR-129 Site Plan Requirements for Planning Applications)
    4. Elevations of existing or proposed ADU
    5. Affordable Housing Agreement establishing the ADU as an affordable unit

    The County of Sonoma began to accept applications for Cannabis permits on July 5, 2017. View instructions and forms necessary for obtaining Cannabis Cultivation zoning permits in unincorporated Sonoma County.

    Application Instructions and More Information

    Vacation Rentals

    Vacation rentals are the rental of a private residence for periods of 30 days or less. Vacation Rentals do not include Bed and Breakfast Inns or hosted rentals permitted in accordance with the Sonoma County Code for B&Bs and hosted rentals, or occasional home exchanges that are not otherwise subject to Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT). Vacation rentals must have a Certified Property Manager and meet Performance Standards to ensure compatibility with surrounding residential uses. 

    Hosted Rentals

    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 do not include vacation rentals permitted in accordance with the Sonoma County Code for vacation rentals, or occasional home exchanges that are not otherwise subject to Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT). Hosted rentals must meet Performance Standards to ensure compatibility with surrounding residential uses. 

      Agricultural farmstays are a transient lodging accommodation provided as part of a farming operation. 

      PJR-130 Agricultural Farmstay

      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.

        Confined Livestock Farming

        All forms and Instructions listed below must be completed:

        Daycare Large Family

        All forms and Instructions listed below must be completed:

        Home Occupation

        All forms and Instructions listed below must be completed:

        Horse Boarding

        All forms and Instructions listed below must be completed:

        Minor Timberland Conversion

        All forms and Instructions listed below must be completed:

        Mobile Home

        All forms and Instructions listed below must be completed:

        Small-Scale Agricultural Processing

        On-the-farm processing to convert produce into higher-value packaged consumer goods and/or carrying out direct sales to consumers from the farm.
        More about Small-Scale Agricultural Processing

        All forms and Instructions listed below must be completed:

        Special Events/Cultural Events

        Special Events are one-time, annual, or recurring events using public property, streets, sidewalks, alleys and parking areas beyond the normal pattern of use. This also includes events on private property beyond the zoned use of that property.
        More about Special Events

        All forms and Instructions listed below must be completed:

        Contact Information

        Contact Planning by Phone
        Monday – Friday
        10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
        1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
        Address
        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.