Farm Family Dwelling Unit

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Farm Family Dwelling Units are used to house a member(s) of the farm operator’s family. One Farm Family Dwelling Unit is allowed per property, provided the property is in agricultural use and meets the eligibility criteria below.

Eligibility Criteria

Zoning

Parcel is located in the LEA (Land Extensive Agriculture) or the LIA (Land Intensive Agriculture) zoning district. For parcels in LIA zoning, a Land Conservation (Williamson) Act contract is required.

Size

The Farm Family Dwelling Unit must be incidental in terms of size and location to that of the main residence on the site.

Leasing

The Farm Family Dwelling Unit cannot be leased, subleased, rented or sub-rented separately from the main residence.

Procedure

After a complete Zoning Permit application is submitted, a Project Planner at Permit Sonoma will be assigned to the project. The Project Planner will review the application materials, and may conduct a site visit to determine if the property is in agricultural use.

If the Project Planner determines the Zoning Permit can be approved, an Agricultural Easement and Covenant form will be provided to the property owner(s) for signature and notarization. The Agricultural Easement and Covenant is a formal agreement between the property owner(s) and the County for a term equal to the useful life of the structure, but in no event less than 20 years. This agreement affirms the farm family dwelling unit will house a member of the farm operator’s family and stipulates that if the agricultural use on the property is terminated, the farm family dwelling unit shall become a non-conforming residential use. The Agricultural Easement and Covenant must be approved by the Board of Supervisors and recorded before any development permits can be issued for the farm family dwelling unit. 

If a property owner proposes a manufactured home on a non-permanent foundation, a Zoning Permit that includes posting of notices in the immediate neighborhood is required.

Zoning Permit Application Requirements

  1. Applications: Planning Application form PJR-001 (PDF), signed by all property owners and PJR-011 Indemnification Agreement (PDF), signed by the applicant.
  2. Proposal Statement. Provide a summary of all agricultural use(s) on the subject property that support the issuance of the zoning permit for the farm family dwelling unit. Please be specific as to the number of animals, acres devoted to certain crops, and/or any other details pertinent to the agricultural use on the property.
  3. Affidavit. Provide a separate signed statement describing the existing agricultural use(s) on the property and affirming the farm family dwelling unit will be occupied by member(s) of the farm operator’s family.
  4. Architectural Plans. Provide floor plans and elevations of the proposed farm family unit.
  5. Site Plan. Provide one 8 ½ in. x 11 in. site plan in accordance with the Minimum Standard Site Plan CSS-019. In addition to indicating the proposed location of the farm family dwelling unit, identify location and size of the primary residence, where animals are kept, and areas where crops are grown.
  6. Deed. Provide a current copy of the recorded deed to the property (available from the County Recorder’s Office).
  7. Title Report. Provide a copy of a current Preliminary Title Report (issued within 60 days of filing).
  8. Landowner’s Compliance Statement. Provide a completed and signed Landowner’s Compliance Statement for the Williamson Act (Form PJR-049), if the parcel is subject to a Williamson Act contract.
  9. Assessor's Parcel Map. Provide one 8 ½ in. X 11 in. copy of the current Assessor's Parcel Map with the project site shown. Maps may be obtained from the County Assessor's Office or Permit Sonoma
  10. Filing Fee (see the current Permit Sonoma Project Review Fee Schedule).
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