April 2018
Sonoma County Gets Recognition for its Innovative Housing Density Bonus Program

California State Association of Counties is producing a series of videos and blog postings that highlight California Counties’ best practices. The programs they are spotlighting are recipients of the annual Challenge Awards , which recognizes the innovative and creative spirit of California county governments. The video to the right is dedicated to Sonoma County's Housing Density Bonus Program (2017 award recipient).

Video - Sonoma County's Housing Density Bonus Program

Permit Sonoma Rebuilding Updates & Videos

Rebuilding Checklist: The residential rebuilding permit checklist is now online. This outlines the rebuilding process and includes a list of the documents that are required for the permit submittal packet. Read More

Electronic Submission: the County of Sonoma's Resiliency Permit Center (RPC) is now offering an optional electronic plan review tool. Residents can speed up their permitting process and go paper-free by using this e-submittal tool. Read More

RPC Videos: Our whiteboard animation series walks you through the rebuilding process. You can now watch short videos on an overview of the rebuilding process, the design phase, and pre-application screenings. Stay turned for more videos coming soon.
Video - Rebuilding Together: Overview of Four Phases
Video - Rebuilding Together: Design Phase
Video - Pre Application Screening Appointments

Rebuild Consultations Available

If you or someone you know has lost their home and is planning to rebuild, the County's General Services Energy and Sustainability Division offers no-cost consulting with on-staff energy analysts.

“There’s no doubt that a home built to current codes today will be a more energy-efficient home than one built 50, 20 or even ten years ago,” says Energy and Sustainability analyst Christine Condon – one of the specialists at the County. But, Condon says, home builders can do a lot more to make their new home compliant with future California Green Building codes. Also, there are incentives for meeting and exceeding energy mandates.

Consultations are available at any point in the building process. However, there are many benefits to identifying your energy-saving goals early in the process. New construction offers a unique opportunity to incorporate high-performance measures into a home’s design at a much lower cost than during a retrofit of an existing home. Homeowners will also learn more about the rebates and incentives available to them.

To learn more about services the division offers or to schedule a consultation email gsenergy@sonoma-county.org or call (707) 565-6470.

New Online & Mobile Permit Appointment Tool

In a continuing effort to reduce wait times and improve customer experience, the County of Sonoma’s Permit Center has implemented new software that enables customers to schedule appointments. This new tool also allows residents, businesses and employees to join today’s line remotely, instead of waiting in the lobby. Read More
Property Tax Reassessments

The Assessor’s office has nearly completed the fire-related reassessments on over 5,300 properties. This will provide property tax relief to those that have lost homes, businesses, and use of their properties due to the fires that devastated our community in October 2017. 

The office continues to assist owners, and has provided over two thousand property profile information documents in order to help with insurance or rebuilding efforts. The changes to these assessed values is most likely not a one-time adjustment.  The Assessor’s office will continue to reassess these properties annually until they are rebuilt or change ownership. This may continue for many years to come.

Some owners have decided to find another property rather than rebuild. Many will be taking advantage of transferring their Proposition 13 tax base under a property tax exclusion known as Proposition 50, where they can buy a replacement property without increasing their tax liability. Click here for more information.

Questions about rebuilding structures and the property tax implications, go to http://boe.ca.gov under the Property Tax - Frequently Asked Questions – Disaster Relief link, or call 707-565-1888.

Economic Development Board Award of Excellence Recipient

The Sonoma County Economic Development Board received the Award of Excellence in Promotions for their post-fires shop local campaign “All You Need is Local - #GoSoCo” at the 38th Annual California Association of Local Economic Development Conference. The campaign included all nine cities, 15 Chambers of Commerce, reached 55,000 shoppers, and had 255,000 impressions on Facebook.
Consumer Shellfish Warning

The California Department of Public Health issued a warning mid-March not to eat sport-harvested shellfish, including mussels, oysters, clams, and scallops harvested from Sonoma County beaches. Naturally occurring Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) toxin levels remain elevated and are not removed by cooking the shellfish.

Continue to monitor warnings at beaches and the California Department of Public Health webpage through April. Call CDPH at 1-800-553-4133 for up-to-date information.

Bilingual Poll Workers Needed on Election Day

If you are bilingual and fluent in Khmer, Spanish, Tagalog, or Vietnamese and are looking for a way to help others in your community, consider volunteering as a poll worker on June 5.

Your language skills can make such a difference to so many voters on Election Day. In your role as a bilingual poll worker, you will assist non-fluent English speaking voters by helping them check in, explaining the instructions for voting and if a voter asks, assisting them within the voting booth.
Not bilingual! We need you too! Our Elections depend upon volunteers! It’s a great way to give back and be a part of the process. 
Please give us a call to find out about this great opportunity to volunteer, make a difference, participate in our democracy and make a few bucks. While this is a volunteer position, Sonoma County does provide a stipend for your service on Election Day ($135-Inspectors and $100-Clerks). If you are available to help, please email us at
rov-polls@sonoma-county.org or call 565-6816. Permanent citizens may participate as Clerks. Registered Voters may participate as Clerks or Inspectors.   Learn More
Job Fair for Employers & Job Seekers

Sonoma County employers and job seekers can find their match at a free job fair on Thursday, May 17, 3-6 PM , at Sonoma County Job Link, 2227 Capricorn Way, Suite 100, Santa Rosa. All job seekers are welcome, especially those looking for entry-level employment. Register to attend at: sonomawib.org/jobfairs.

Sonoma County Job Link offers a one-stop employment and training services for employers and job seekers. Job seekers have access to job search and career development services, labor market information and resources and referrals. With federal funding, Job Link provides training and intensive job search activities to eligible individuals. Employer services include help posting job openings and recruiting qualified candidates. Read More
Great Turnout at Annual 4 - H Presentation

Over 40 Sonoma 4-H members delivered presentations at the Sonoma County 4-H Presentation Day on February 3rd. Every 4-H member was encouraged to give a presentation, which was formally evaluated at the 4-H Presentation Day.

At this year’s event, youth delivered a variety of presentations that involved demonstrations, interpretive reading, educational displays, and shared the 4-H fun skits. The youth who received a gold award are now eligible to present at the Area 4-H Presentation Day. The National 4 - H Conference is taking place from April 7 - 14, 2018.

Regional Parks Upcoming Events

  • April 3rd 10:00 – 11:30 AM | Senior Saunters, Santa Rosa Creek Trail

  • April 7th 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM | Nuestros Parques, North Sonoma Mountain Regional Park

Documenting Fire Recovery

You can help track Sonoma Valley Regional Park's recovery from the Nuns Fire by contributing to a crowd-source time-lapse photo project. Look for the smartphone stand on the Valley of the Moon Trail and follow the easy instructions (in English and Spanish) to take and share photos of a hillside that burned in the wildfire.

Over time, Regional Parks will curate and share the images to show how the land heals.

Image of SoCo Alert.
Sign Up for SoCoAlert 

Sign up for SoCoAlert to receive local emergency alerts and warnings. Emergency officials use the SoCoAlert Emergency Notification System to deliver incident-specific information or life-saving instructions to the precise geographic area affected.

This service is free, secure, reliable, and easy to use. SoCoAlert notifications may be sent via text, email, voice, web, and social media.

Employment Opportunities

Explore employment opportunities with the County of Sonoma. 

Investing in beautiful, thriving & sustainable communities for all