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Building Division

The Building Division inspects construction projects after the building permit has been issued. They review projects inside and out to make sure they are built according to the approved plans and building codes. The focus of this division is on protecting public health and safety.

Contact Information

Building Inspection

Inspection Scheduling, Cancellation, Time Estimates, and Results

Building Plan Check

Reviews construction plans prior to issuance of a building permit to ensure the project will conform to the uniform construction codes (building, electrical, plumbing, and mechanical) and sound engineering practices.

End of Extended COVID Permit Expiration Date

In order to support the difficulties the COVID-19 pandemic brought to the community, Permit Sonoma offered customers a two-year extension above and beyond the regular timelines for various ministerial applications and permits. The conditions attributing to the local emergency no longer exist and the Board of Supervisors is rescinding the local emergency as of May 16, 2023. As such, the policy extending the expiration dates will sunset effective May 17, 2023.

This change does not affect permits that have already been extended. All applications received beginning May 17, 2023 will be valid for one year, and the COVID-19 extension will not be applied.

View Affected Permit Types

On this page:

Sonoma County Wildfires

Sonoma County Rebuilding Together

Rebuilding Together

The official information and resource site for rebuilding efforts related to major wildfires in unincorporated Sonoma County.

Building Regulations

  • Sonoma County Building Regulations
    Chapter 7, Article II of Sonoma County's Municipal Code outlines building regulations for the unincorporated area of this county. This includes regulations for construction, maintenance, use and occupancy as required to provide the minimum standards to safeguard the life, limb and property and protect the public health, safety and general welfare.

  • California Building Code
    Every three years, the State adopts new codes to establish uniform standards for the construction and maintenance of buildings. The California Building Standards Code is the basis for the design and construction of buildings in California.

  • Building and Fire Code Updates - Effective January 1, 2023
    Permit applications received on or after January 1, 2023 must meet the new codes. (Permit applications received before December 31, 2022 do not need to meet the new codes, and will instead be reviewed and permitted according to the 2019 codes.)

  • View Latest Technical Bulletins for the New Codes

  • Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance

Notice to Applicants for Commercial Building Permits

Under federal and state law, compliance with disability access laws is a serious and significant responsibility that applies to all California building owners and tenants with buildings open to the public.

Disability Access Requirements and Resources (PDF: 115 kB)


Below are some of the most common permits issued by the Building Division:

Building Permit

Most construction, from new construction to alternations and repairs, requires a building permit. There are two types of building permits:

  • Building with No Plan Check

    For simpler projects that do not require building plans. (May still require a site plan.)
  • Building with Plan Check

    For projects that require building plans.

But in some cases, a building permit is not required:

No Building Permit Required

Simple projects that do not require a building permit. Building codes must still be followed and other permits might still apply (e.g. Well & Septic, Use, or Zoning).
More Information: When Is a Building Permit Not Required? – BPC-005


If a construction project is revised, for example by altering floor plans or adding additional square footage, the revisions must be reviewed and approved by Permit Sonoma prior to making those changes in the field.

Expedited Permitting Process

Certain projects receive expedited permit processing.


Under the Building Code, all construction or work that requires a building permit shall be subject to inspection and approval by the County Building Inspector.


Building Division Fee Schedule
Fees associated with building permits including Building Inspection, Building Plan Check, and Fire Inspection.

Building Permit with Plan Check to Permit Issuance
View how long it took from application submission, to first review comments, to permit issuance during the previous month.

Lead Hazard Warnings on Pre-1978 Buildings
Permit Sonoma issues over-the-counter permits for work on existing pre-1978 buildings that may contain lead hazards. There are several resources about lead poisoning and prevention.

Frequently Asked Questions

Instructions & Forms

Policies and Procedures

USGS Geologic Hazards - Spectral Response Acceleration Maps

Green Building

Construction Documents

  • Technical Bulletins
    Information from the Building Division to help you with your project covering accessibility, building, electrical, mechanical, and plumbing.

Green Building

Find custom­ized checklists to document compliance with new green building projects. Learn about the CALGreen Special Inspector program.