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Rebuilding Process

Rebuilding Together

Expedited Permitting for Anyone Who Lost Property in the Fires

The County of Sonoma is committed to instituting a streamlined and expedited approach for permitting so our community can recover and rebuild as quickly as possible.

Below is an overview of the rebuilding process for unincorporated Sonoma County after major wildfires including the following events:

  • 2020 Glass Fire
  • 2020 Walbridge and Meyers Fires (LNU Lightning Complex)
  • 2019 Kincade Fire
  • 2017 Sonoma Complex Fire

The Permitting Process

Don’t Delay the Permitting Process
First Steps

Before applying for rebuilding permits you will need to:

  1. File an Insurance Claim
    Tip: The California Department of Insurance has a Wildfire Resources page where you can find information and obtain assistance with recovery issues related to insurance.
  2. Check your property’s Rapid Evaluation Safety Evaluation Status (RESA)
  3. Complete the process for Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Removal
  4. Mark your Septic System and Water Well Locations
  5. Complete the Fire Debris Removal Completion Certification information process
    Note: A Grading Permit is NOT Required for Debris Removal

More information about the above steps:

  1. Starting the Permit Process

    Be sure to review "Don’t Delay the Permitting Process" above before continuing.

    At this stage, you will be making decisions about your rebuilding project and finding out what your project entails. This includes the following topics:
    • Where to Go Depending on Project Type/Location
    • Pre Application Screening for Residential Construction
    • Rebuilding with Accessory Dwelling Units in Mind
    • Bridge Repair & Replacement Permitting Process
    • Assistance in Evaluating Rebuilding Construction Proposals
    • Agricultural and Commercial Property Use Permits
    • Well and Septic Permit Exceptions
    • Designing New Buildings
    Read More
  2. Permit Application Submission and Review

    After the design and plan preparation is complete, applicants can bring all of the required residential Permit Application elements in for review. Commercial and agricultural applicants can work with Permit Sonoma staff to identify additional elements needed for a complete application submission.
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  3. Construction & Inspection

    1. Building Permit Issuance
      Building permits will be issued after all required conditions for your project are approved. Smaller projects may be approved over the counter with larger project responses fast tracked. Permit fees are due at time of issuance. 
    2. Schedule Inspections
      Visit Schedule an Inspection or call our automated inspection scheduler at (707) 565-3551. We offer next-day inspections service.
    3. Occupancy
      A final inspection is required before occupancy. In some cases temporary occupancy may be allowed before the permit is finaled.
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  4. Welcome Home

    If you are preparing to move into your home after rebuilding in unincorporated Sonoma County, check out the Rebuild Welcome Home Packet for information and resources to assist in the process.
    Read More

Please view our list of Frequently Asked Questions for more information.