Permit Sonoma

May 2019

Tennis Wick, Permit Sonoma Director Welcome to Permit Sonoma!

In this issue of our e-newsletter we have:

Tennis Wick, AICP, Director

Published: May 30, 2019

Fire Prevention – Chipper Program Video

Chipper Program VideoPermit Sonoma’s Fire Preven­tion division is working to reduce our community’s wildfire risk. This spring inspectors from Sonoma County and local Fire Districts will conduct Hazardous Vegetation and Combustible Materials inspections on approximately 3,500 properties. Additionally, the County’s free Chipper Program has opened for the season. Properties in unincorporated Sonoma County are eligible to receive up to 3 hours of complimentary chipping.

Watch Short Chipper Program Video

Sonoma Developmental Center

Sonoma Developmental CenterOn April 5, 2019 the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution to transfer ownership of the Sonoma Develop­mental Center (SDC) property from the State to the County with a $3.5 million budget for a robust Specific Plan land use process. The planning process will occur over three years. The County is currently managing Request for Proposal (RFP) procurement activities for this planning process.

More SDC Information

Local Coastal Plan Photo Contest

Sonoma CoastOn June 1st, Sonoma County will launch the Coastal Close-up photo contest to highlight the beautiful Sonoma Coast. Everyone is invited to submit a photo that showcases Sonoma County’s coastline, coastal vegetation, coastal communities and landmarks, or wildlife. Submit your photo before July 12, 2019 and compete to win prizes donated by Shutterbug Camera, Sonoma County Tourism, and Sonoma County Regional Parks.

More Contest Information

Code Enforcement Success Story

Cannabis Hoop HouseIn February 2019, two Code Enforcement Inspectors responded to a report from the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office regarding commercial Cannabis plants being cultivated at a residential property in southern Santa Rosa.  These reports often include unsafe building practices, substandard living conditions, unsafe buildings, illegal and unsafe electrical modifications and additions to the structures as well as illegal greenhouses.

The Inspectors took the details from the Sheriff’s office, went out to the property and posted the violations for growing cannabis commercially without permits. When they arrived at the property they noted the very tall security fencing surrounding the front of the property with security lighting and cameras along with angry guard dogs, all commonly on parcels used for illegal cannabis production.

A week later, the inspectors met with tenants from both houses as well as a representative of the property owner.  They found unsafe electrical conditions in this house along with no available heating.  Our Inspectors also looked into the second house on this parcel.  The second house was used as a grow house for cannabis and as a home for a family with two young girls. They found a substandard kitchen; the family was cooking with a propane fueled camp stove.  There was no working heat source in this home.  They noted this home was substandard as it did not have a working water heater; they were heating water on the stove to bathe.  This house also had unsafe electrical conditions; no face plates on multiple electrical outlets.   

The inspectors immediately reported their concerns to Sonoma County Child Protective Services (CPS).  They involved one of the CPS social workers to advocate for the children in an effort to bring the conditions they were living into an acceptable standard.  

In early April, the inspectors returned to the property and found the second home had a functioning stove and fully functioning kitchen. The tenant’s wife and mother of the two girls was cooking at the time of this inspection. There was permitted electrical and a permitted gas line to the residence. This home now had a working heater and a working water heater.  All the substandard conditions had been abated and the home appeared safe to occupy.

More Code Enforcement Information

Housing Initiatives

Housing Initiatives VideoPermit Sonoma is developing several initiatives designed to provide more oppor­tunities and better certainty to housing developers in order to reduce risk and increase investment, to help meet the County's ambitious housing production goal. These initiatives are primarily focused on urban-centered growth.

Watch a Video About These Initiatives

Earthquake Preparedness

Join us in the world's largest earthquake drill October 17, 2019. www.ShakeOut.orgLast month, Permit Sonoma staff participated in the Board of Super­visors’ Quarterly Disaster Prepared­ness Workshop on Earth­quakes. At this workshop, the Board affirmed their interest in Permi Sonoma’s plans to develop a Seismic Retrofit Ordinance this upcoming fiscal year.

Sonoma County is an area that is at risk for a major earthquake. It is important that everyone prepare in the event that a earthquake occurs. There are seven simple steps you can follow to prepare, survive, and recover from an earthquake.


  1. Secure your space by identifying hazards and securing moveable items.
  2. Plan to be safe by creating a disaster plan and deciding how you will communicate in an emergency.
  3. Organize disaster supplies in a convenient location.
  4. Minimize financial hardship by organizing important documents, strengthening your property, and considering insurance.

Survive and Recover:

  1. Drop, cover, and hold on when an earthquake happens.
  2. Improve safety after an earthquake by evacuating is necessary, helping the injured, and preventing further injuries or damage.
  3. Reconnect and restore daily life by reconnecting with others, repairing damage, and rebuilding community.

Taking steps to prepare and knowing what to do during and after an earthquake is a key step in creating resilient communities.

Learn More About Earthquake Preparedness

Contact Information

Bradley Dunn
Policy Manager
County of Sonoma
Contact Us by Phone