Rebuilding Together

Rebuilding Process

As recovery efforts are underway after the recent Sonoma County wildfires, the County of Sonoma is committed to instituting a streamlined and expedited approach for permitting so our community can recover and rebuild as quickly as possible.

Below is an overview of the rebuilding process for unincorporated Sonoma County after the 2017 Sonoma Complex Fire, 2019 Kincade Fire, and 2020 Walbridge and Meyers Fires.

The Process

  1. Filing an Insurance Claim

    The first step in the recovery process is for property owners to file a claim with their insurance company to ensure a timely response relative to the rebuild process.

    Be sure to find your property on the Walbridge and Meyers Fires RESA map to ensure it is accurately marked. If there is an error please let us know via SoCo Report It, so your structure is tagged correctly.

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  2. Environmental Clearance and Debris Removal

    There is a required two-step process for those property owners affected by the Kincade Fire which includes disposal of household hazardous waste and fire debris.
    1. Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Removal 

      A sweep of Household Hazardous Waste will be completed by the County at no cost to property owners. For more information on the HHW removal for the Meyers and Walbridge fires visit the informational page.
    2. Debris Removal and Property Clean-Up

      Fire Debris Removal will be completed by property owners with support from the County. Property owners can begin step two by hiring a licensed and qualified contractor to remove fire debris. Property owners can download a Debris Removal Application form at the website and can contact Environmental Health for assistance in completing the form at (707) 565-6700 or Additional information about Debris Removal Requirements and a Debris Removal Completion Certification information is also posted on this site.
      Other considerations:
      • Marking of Septic System and Water Well Locations
      • Grading Permit not Required for Debris Removal

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    1. Starting the Permit Process

      Permit Sonoma has made adjustments to the permitting process for 2017 Sonoma Complex Fire and 2019 Kincade Fire survivors. This includes the following:
      • Where to Go Depending on Project Type/Location
      • Pre Application Screening for Residential Construction
      • Assistance in Evaluating Rebuilding Construction Proposals
      • Agricultural and Commercial Property Use Permits
      • Well and Septic Permit Exceptions
      • Designing New Buildings

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    2. Permit Application Submission and Review

      After the design and plan preparation is complete, applicants can bring all of the required residential Permit Application elements in for review. Commercial and agricultural applicants can work with Permit Sonoma staff to identify additional elements needed for a complete application submission.

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    3. Construction & Inspection

      1. Building Permit Issuance
        Building permits will be issued after all required conditions for your project are approved. Smaller projects may be approved over the counter with larger project responses fast tracked. Permit fees are due at time of issuance. 
      2. Schedule Inspections
        Visit or call (707) 565-3551. We offer next-day inspections service.
      3. Occupancy
        A final inspection is required before occupancy. In some cases temporary occupancy may be allowed before the permit is finaled.

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    4. Welcome Home

      If you are preparing to move into your home after rebuilding in unincorporated Sonoma County, check out the Rebuild Welcome Home Packet for information and resources to assist in the process.

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    Please view our list of Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

    Permit Sonoma

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    Permit Sonoma

    Permit Sonoma handles construction and land use permitting for unincorporated Sonoma County including rebuilding after disasters.

    One couple's experience