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Workforce Housing Combining Zone

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The purpose of the Workforce Housing (WH) Combining Zone is to increase housing opportunities for Sonoma County’s local workforce in areas that are close to employment and transit.


The WH Combining Zone can be applied to properties within an urban service area that are also within 3,000 feet of a transit center, or to an employment node with at least three acres of commercial zoning or 10 acres of industrial zoning. The WH Combining Zone may be applied to properties in the Limited Commercial (LC), Retail Business and Service (C2), Industrial Park (MP), Rural Industrial (M3), Limited Urban Industrial (M1), and the Public Facilities (PF) zoning districts within Urban Service Areas. The WH Combining Zone can be applied to properties with approval of a zone change to add the combining zone.

Permit Requirements

Housing projects within the WH Combining Zone that meet affordable housing program requirements on-site will require design review and a building permit. Projects that provide only market-rate housing or that do not meet WH combining zone development standards may be approved with a use permit.

Development Standards


The WH Combining Zone allows a density of 16 to 24 dwelling units per acre, with additional density allowed under the County’s density bonus programs for affordable units. Project density will be calculated using the density unit equivalents as set forth in the High Density Residential development standards


Developments in the WH Combining Zone are incentivized to provide smaller units through the use of density unit equivalents. 


Projects must comply with the County’s Affordable Housing Program, which requires 10 or 15 percent of rental units and 20 percent of ownership units to be affordable. 


Workforce housing projects are subject to design review and the multi-family development standards. Affordable projects may qualify for an increase in height limit or lot coverage. Workforce housing units may not be used for transient occupancy.