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Application fees for obtaining use permits for winery events.
Permit Sonoma Project Review Fees
Fee determinations are based on a number of variables including the following:
- What type of application is required to accomplish the applicant's goals?
- Is more than one application required?
- Is a public hearing required?
- What level of review is required? (major/minor, Level 1, 2 or 3)
- Which referral fees are required?
- Is the site served by a well and septic system or public sewer and water?
- Is environmental review required?
A winery requires a Use Permit Level II and an At Cost Agreement. Below is a listing of the typical fees paid when the application is initially submitted. However, other fees may also apply, such as the Affordable Housing Fee. Please refer to the most current Sonoma County Fee schedule for fee amounts.
Use Permit Level II (minimum fee)
Technology Enhancement Fee Permit Tier Type III
Agricultural Preserve/Williamson Act Contract Consistency Determination, if applicable (at cost, min. deposit)
Health Review Coastal, Design Review, Use Permit, Plan Amendment
Fire Services Pre-Application – Referral Review (2-hour minimum)
Fire Services – Site Visit (fee to be determined per location)
Public Works Review (At Cost Projects)
Referrals to County Surveyor
Planning Referrals to Drainage Review (Countywide standard referral fee)
Environmental Review Referral Fee to Regional Archaeology Lab
Environmental Review II (Expanded Initial Study-MND-at cost, minimum deposit)
See Affordable Housing Fees below for additional Planning Fees.
At Cost Agreement
A Use Permit application for a winery requires that an At-Cost Project Reimbursement or At-Cost Agreement (form PJR-095) be signed. The applicant deposits the initial minimum fees described above to pay for County staff review, coordination and processing costs related to the use permit request based on actual staff time expended and other direct costs. Actual costs for staff time are based on hourly rates adopted by the Board of Supervisors in the most current Sonoma County fee schedule. The deposit may only cover a portion of the total processing costs. The applicant is responsible for paying these costs even if the application is withdrawn or not approved.
Within 30 days of the application submittal, per the At-Cost Agreement that is signed and submitted with the application, a “good faith cost estimate” is prepared. The cost estimate covers activities through project approval. Within 30 days, the At-Cost cost estimate is sent to the applicant. The total amount of the cost estimate must be paid and deposited into the At-Cost Trust Account that has been set up and associated with the project number.
Project costs are charged against the funds in the Trust Account and a monthly billing statement is sent to applicants. When the funds in the Trust Account start getting low, additional funds must be deposited into the Trust Account. Permit Sonoma staff cannot work on a project unless there is a deposit on file in the account. The project planner will inform the applicant of the additional amount that needs to be deposited so work can resume.
This agreement does not include other agency review fees or the County Clerk Environmental Document filing fees. The property owner (or Corporate principal) will be held responsible for all charges. View a copy of the agreement with the terms and conditions at PJR-095 At-Cost Project Reimbursement (PDF).
Affordable Housing Fees
The Workforce Housing Program requirements are derived from a nexus study which analyzed the average number and income level of employees for various types of land uses. The study estimated the need for affordable housing created by new development and the public subsidy that would be required to meet that need. The study recommended that affordable unit requirements and a workforce housing fee be established for non-residential development to cover 10 percent of the demand created by the development or the cost to subsidize housing to meet that demand elsewhere.
Because the recommended fee would be a one-time expense that would be financed over the life of the project, the nexus study estimated that the fee would have a minor effect on a tenant’s monthly rents—amounting to only approximately $0.02-$0.03 additional cost per square foot.
Permit Application Requirements for Workforce Housing Program
The applicant selects the method of participation in the County’s Workforce Housing Program and submits the selected option with their first application for permits or approvals for the project. Affordable units would be constructed concurrent with development or fees would be paid at the time of building permit issuance for the non-residential development.
Affordable Housing Fee Schedule
View Workforce Housing Fee Schedule
Effective: January 1 of the current calendar year. See Note 7 at above link regarding automatic annual adjustment of fees.
Workforce Housing Fee Determinations and Exemptions
View Non-Residential Land Use Matrix
The table provides the applicable fee type for non-residential projects.
The following are listed at the bottom of the table:
- Wine offices
- Wine production, including bottling
- Wine storage
- Wine tank areas and crush pads (indoor areas only)
- Wine tasting room, visitor center, conference or dining room
- Year-round sales and promotion of agricultural products grown or processed in the county
The total amount of affordable housing fees would be the square footage of each of these uses multiplied by the appropriate fee in the fee schedule above. Other uses may also apply depending upon the proposed project.