Rebuilding Together

Step 1: Starting the Permit Process

Permit Sonoma Virtual Office

Permit Sonoma and the Resiliency Permit Center have moved from physical to virtual operations. Both public offices are physically closed. Below are pertinent resources to learn about this transition:

Where to Go for Assistance

Residential Within the Fire Burn Zones

Residential property owners will be assisted through the permitting process by the Resiliency Permit Center which is exclusively dedicated to the residential reconstruction permitting needs of unincorporated Sonoma County.

Resiliency Permit Center
448 Fiscal Drive
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Phone: (707) 565-1788


Commercial, agricultural, and multifamily property owners will be assisted at the main Permit Center.

Permit Sonoma Permit Center
2550 Ventura Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Phone: (707) 565-1900

Outside Fire Burn Zones

If your loss or damage occurred within the fire burn zones, but you are rebuilding or remodeling outside the fire burn zones, expedited permitting assistance is provided at the main Permit Center.

Permit Sonoma Permit Center
2550 Ventura Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Phone: (707) 565-1900

Pre Application Screening

Fire survivors who are rebuilding can take advantage of the County’s free Pre-Application Screening service (PAS). The PAS service, which is an in-person meeting with staff at the Resiliency Permit Center (check available hours), provides information and resources to help you submit a complete submittal package and streamline the issuance of your permit. The PAS can help you verify your parcel data, setback and zoning requirements, assessor resources, utility connections, septic and well concerns and more.

Schedule your rebuild PAS by phone:

Accessory UnitAs you work on the design to rebuild your home, we encourage you to consider including adding Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and Junior Accessory Dwelling Units (JADUs) to your building plans. Benefits:

  • Building Accessory Units and Junior Units into your home will provide revenue streams for you, while increasing the availability of rental housing in the county.
  • These units also provide flexibility for aging in place by creating space for family and/or caregivers while maintaining homeowners' privacy.
  • You may even be able to live in your accessory dwelling unit while your primary residence is rebuilt.

More Information

Permitting process and assistance for owners of private bridges that were damaged in the fires.

More Information

Assistance in Evaluating Rebuilding Construction Proposals

The County’s Resiliency Permit Center offers Bid Proposal Reviews to assist fire survivors in reviewing construction bids from potential contractors. These bid reviews are offered at no cost to fire survivors to help you determine whether the scope and pricing of construction bids are appropriate for your rebuilding projects. Contact the Resiliency Permit Center to make an appointment with staff to review your construction bids.

Agricultural and Commercial Property Use Permits

For agricultural and commercial properties, the permit process will be expedited on a case by case review basis if property owners do not plan to rebuild outside their original property footprint.

Well and Septic

SepticThere are several instances with regard to well and septic system work that do not require a permit. The full list of what does and does not need a permit can be found at: Permitting Guidelines for Fire Damaged Septic Systems

Designing New Buildings

Residential Design Drawings/preparation of plans can be done by the design professional, the owner builder, a licensed architect, or a civil engineer. The requirements for commercial and agricultural design and plan preparation can vary.

Key Activities

  1. Meet with the appropriate design professional for your property

  2. Retrieve original plans or start from scratch.

  3. Consider design changes such as adding an accessory dwelling unit or a junior unit.

  4. If applicable, verify the condition of the property’s septic system and consider sewer hook up options. Find out more about Well, Septic, and Sewer for rebuilding.

  5. Finalize design and obtain a code compliant set of drawings. The new design does not need to use the floor plan or footprint of the previous building.

  6. If applicable, coordinate any necessary reviews with your homeowner’s association (HOA).

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

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Permit Sonoma

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Permit Sonoma

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

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Frequently Asked Questions

frequently asked questions FAQ

Find answers to common questions about rebuilding.

One couple's experience