Seasonal Farmworker Housing

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Seasonal Farmworker Housing may house up to 19 farmworkers (or more with a use permit) for less than 180 days in any calendar year.

Eligibility Criteria

Zoning

Parcel is located in the LIA (Land Intensive Agriculture), LEA (Land Extensive Agriculture), DA (Diverse Agriculture) or the RRD (Resources and Rural Development) zoning district.

Minimum Parcel Size

The minimum parcel size is 1.5 acres. Parcels less than 10 acres shall be located within one mile of 20 acres of land cultivated and owned/leased by the applicant.

Access

Farmworker housing requires direct access to a publicly maintained road. If a private road is to provide such access, the applicant shall provide a written agreement signed by all of the property owners entitled to use such road acknowledging and agreeing to the road’s use as access for the farmworker housing.

Setbacks

Farmworker housing shall be set back at least 55-feet from the centerline of any roadway, 60-feet from any other property line, 75-feet from barns, pens, or similar quarters of livestock or poultry, 40-feet from watering troughs, feed troughs, and accessory buildings, and 40-feet from any other structure. These setbacks may be reduced if a use permit is obtained.

Design

Farmworker housing may be either one or two story structures. Farmworker housing located within the 100 year flood elevation (floodplain) shall have the finished floor of the living quarters above the 100 year flood level, but may have a storage area below the living quarters.

Parking

Farmworker housing shall provide off-street parking at the ratio of one space per four persons housed. Parking areas shall be screened from public view by buildings, fences, landscaping or terrain features. Parking may not be located within a scenic corridor setback unless a use permit is obtained.

State Water Board

The State Department Division of Drinking Water requires a water supply permit, with water quality testing, for any farmworker housing that serves 25 or more persons for 60 or more days of the year.

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 conduct a site visit to determine the property meets the eligibility criteria.

If the Project Planner determines the Zoning Permit can be approved, an Agricultural Agreement and Covenant form will be provided to the property owner(s) for signature and notarization. The Agricultural Agreement and Covenant is a formal agreement between the property owner(s) and the County. This agreement affirms the farmworker housing unit will house persons employed for agricultural purposes for less than 180 days of the year. Further, the Agreement stipulates that if the farmworker housing unit is removed or converted to a new permitted use, traffic and park mitigation fees which are otherwise deferred, shall become due and payable. The Agricultural Agreement and Covenant must be approved by the Board of Supervisors and recorded before any development permits can be issued for the farmworker housing unit.

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. Describe the agricultural operation employing the farmworkers, existing use of the property, farmworker housing unit design, and the number of farmworkers to be housed.
  3. Affidavit. Provide a separate signed statement affirming the farmworker housing unit will be used for housing agricultural employees less than 180 days of any calendar year.
  4. Preliminary Architectural Plans. Provide architectural elevations and a detailed floor plan with dimensions, square footage and use of all rooms and use areas. List maximum building height and show all fixtures and appliances, including bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and break rooms etc.
  5. Site Plan. Provide one 8 ½ in. x 11 in. site plan in accordance with the Minimum Standard Site Plan CSS-019.
  6. Deed. Provide a current copy of the recorded deed to the property (available from the County Recorder’s Office).
  7. 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
  8. Filing Fee (see the current Permit Sonoma Project Review Fee Schedule).
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