Permit Information

Permit Sonoma has staff dedicated to expediting flood recovery permitting. Individuals needing post-flood permitting support should either come into the Permit Sonoma office located at 2550 Ventura Avenue in Santa Rosa or apply for permits online at prmd.sonomacounty.ca.gov/CitizenAccess. If you apply online, please let us know that your project is a result of flood damage by including “2019 Winter Storms and Flooding” in the online application’s Detailed Description field.

See Permit Sonoma for more information for unincorporated Sonoma County.

Frequently Asked Questions

The damage assessment inspectors determined that the building is damaged and poses an imminent threat to life or safety under expected loads or other unsafe conditions. You need to apply for permits and complete required building repairs before occupancy is allowed.

The damage assessment inspectors determined that there is some risk from damage to the building. You will need a permit for any electrical, plumbing (including natural gas), and/or mechanical systems repairs. You will also need a permit for replacement of pre-existing interior sheetrock, insulation, doors, and other structural repairs. Once your permit is finalized, the yellow tag will be cleared from your property.

The damage assessment inspectors determined that the safety of the habitable parts of the building(s) were not significantly changed by this disaster. However, there may be damages that require permits. You will need a permit for any electrical, plumbing (including natural gas), and/or mechanical systems repairs. You will also need a permit for replacement of pre-existing interior sheetrock, insulation, doors, and other structural repairs.

As always, property owners are advised to obtain permits from Permit Sonoma before repairing or rebuilding flood-damaged structures. Building codes are minimum requirements for the construction of buildings. They regulate the design, construction, alteration, and maintenance of structures to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of building occupants. Building codes are an essential safety measure for communities.

If there was water damage to electrical, plumbing (including natural gas), and/or mechanical systems, you will be required to obtain permits. A permit is required for each individual trade, which includes electrical, plumbing, and/or mechanical. For replacement of pre-existing interior sheetrock, insulation, doors, and other structural repairs, you will also need a building permit.

Please visit When is a Building Permit not Required. You can also check out this short YouTube video that covers the most common projects that do not need a permit.

Residents and businesses impacted by winter storms and floods can apply for permits at Permit Sonoma’s permit center located at 2550 Ventura Avenue, Santa Rosa.

The permit center is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, except Wednesdays, when it is open from 10:30 AM to 4:00 PM. You can also apply online at Permit Sonoma.

Permitting staff are ready to assist you at any stage in your permitting process. They can provide an overview of permitting requirements to those just getting started. And they can review permit applications for those that already know what permits are needed and have plans that are ready for review.

The County will be expediting permitting for flood recovery. We will be able to issue over the counter permits for residential permits that are not structural and do not require a plan. Examples of these permits types include sheet rock, electrical, plumbing, re-roofing, furnaces, propane tanks, water heaters, and siding. For more involved permits, staff will expedite plan review.

Please come into the Permit Center to talk with permitting staff about your specific permitting needs and timeline.

Permit fees vary depending on the size of the project. Many over the counter permits will range in cost from $100 to $700. Electrical, structural, and sheet rock permit fees will be higher depending on the size of the project. Please discuss your specific permitting needs with permitting staff. A comprehensive list of fees is available online.

Permit fees are paid upon submission of your permit application. When your plans have been checked for compliance with all appropriate building codes and regulations, there may be additional fees, depending on the type and scope of the project. You can pay with cash, check or credit card (Visa or MasterCard accepted).

Your permit is valid for 3 years from the date of issuance.

You can now begin construction. Your approved plans, job card and any other documents your received must be posted on the job site in an easily visible location. The job card will be used by the inspector to record progress on the required inspections. The set of plans will be used to verify that all construction is in compliance with the approved plans. The job card and plans must be kept on-site and available for the inspector’s use.

If applicable, Permit staff will let you know what inspections are required for your project.  Please visit Permit Sonoma Inspections to find out more about inspections, including how to schedule them.

Electrical equipment subjected to water damage can be extremely dangerous if reenergized without proper reconditioning. You will need a building permit to repair or replace your electrical panel. When doing repairs, if water affected your electrical wires, you will need a magnometer test of these wires needed before closing your walls.

See Reuse of Water Damaged Equipment for more information about damaged electrical equipment.

You will need to replace your propane tank. A building permit will be required. You can get an over-the-counter permit for this at the County’s Permit Center, or online.

Yes, you will need a permit for to replace your hot water heater. You can get an over-the-counter permit to for this at the Permit Center, or online.

Consult with a contractor and/or civil engineer.

Yes, you can make landscaping repairs without a permit. If you are repairing a hard surface (asphalt/concrete) driveway that goes to the public right of way, you will need an encroachment permit. You don’t need a permit if you are just regraveling your driveway.

Yes, most of the time but there are exceptions.

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