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Department Divisions and Sections

Permit Sonoma was created as part of a countywide reorganization in 1995 by bringing staff from five separate departments together under one roof and with one common mission. Our department is now organized into six Divisions, which are in turn organized into various Sections all working together to meet the goals of Permit Sonoma's mission.

Permit Sonoma Organizational Chart

  • Code Enforcement
    Code Enforcement is the Section that deals with violations of the County's building, zoning, and health regulations.
  • Customer Service & Administration
    Accounting, Department Human Resources, Customer Service Ombudsperson, Department Information Systems (DIS), Geographical Information Systems (GIS) (Mapping), Records Counter
  • Engineering & Construction
    • Building
      The Building Division reviews and inspects construction projects to ensure they are built according to the approved plans and building codes.
    • Engineering & Water Resources
      Grading, Drainage, & Storm Water; Road Encroachment; Road Improvement Plan Review; Sanitation Sewer; Special Events; Survey and Land Development (County Surveyor); Transportation Permits
    • Well & Septic
      Reviews all development proposals utilizing wells or septic systems and reviews permit applications for septic system repair or upgrade. Their focus is on protecting health by ensuring that water wells are properly constructed and septic systems protect surface and ground water quality.
  • Fire Prevention & Hazardous Materials
    Fire Prevention and Hazardous Materials is a division of Permit Sonoma primarily responsible for programs, procedures, and projects for preventing the outbreak of fires within the unincorporated areas of the county.
    The Hazardous Materials Unit regulates the storage, han­dling, and processing of hazardous materials through the Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA) program.
  • Natural Resources
    The Natural Resources Division (formerly Environmental Review) evaluates the environmental impact of public projects, such as bridges, roads, and airport projects, to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and other laws and regulations that protect water quality, biotic and cultural resources. Natural Resources staff also prepares Environmental Impact Reports (EIRs) for private projects.
  • Planning
    • Comprehensive Planning
      The Comprehensive Planning team leads the County of Sonoma’s long-range land use planning and policy efforts. Also known as advance planning, the work is primarily focused on creating a long term vision for the people of Sonoma County, which is directed by the county’s General Plan.
    • Project Review
      New development proposals are reviewed by the Project Review section for conformance with the County's General Plan, Zoning Codes, design guidelines, and other code requirements to determine the site's suitability and that the development will be compatible with the surrounding neighborhood.
    • Cannabis Program
      Instructions and forms necessary for obtaining Cannabis-related use permits and zoning permits in unincorporated Sonoma County for Cultivation (zoning or use permit), Dispensaries (use permit), Distribution and Transportation (use permit), and Manufacturing (use permit)