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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Housing/Residential Units

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How many houses can I have on my property?

The maximum number of dwellings is determined by the size of the parcel and the maximum residential density allowed by the General Plan and Zoning.

For example, if your property is in an area where the General Plan and Zoning will allow a residential density of 10 acres per unit, and your property is 30 acres, you could have up to 3 dwellings.

In most agricultural zones, “farm family” and agricultural employee dwellings may be allowed in addition to the dwellings allowed based on General Plan and Zoning density. “Accessory units,” which are allowed in some zoning districts and are limited to a maximum of 1,000 square feet in size, are also allowed in addition to the zoning density.

Can I live in a travel trailer on my property?

Sonoma County ordinances generally do not allow occupancy of a travel trailer on private property unless it is located in a mobile home park or, for limited time periods, in a recreational vehicle park.

However, a travel trailer can be used while a home is under construction on the property, provided that a permit is obtained (see next question). In addition, under certain circumstances a travel trailer can be used to house an ill or convalescent relative or friend, or a caretaker for that person.

More Information: Section 26-88-010(p) of the Zoning Ordinance.

Can I live in a travel trailer or mobile home on my property while I build my house?

When you have a building permit for a new house, a septic system installed, and a foundation in place, you can live in a trailer or mobile home on a temporary basis. A permit is required and certain restrictions apply.

Can my dwelling be rebuilt if it is destroyed by fire or flood?

The zoning ordinance allows any legal dwelling unit destroyed by fire or flood to be rebuilt. However, the septic system may need to be brought into compliance with current codes and current building code requirements would be applied. Non-conforming dwellings (those built legally but which do not conform to current zoning requirements) can be rebuilt only on the original footprint (i.e. same size and location).