Please provide a description of the potential violation and attach any additional documentation (e.g. sketches, photos, etc.) that may help in our investigation.
The Purpose of Code Enforcement:
Code Enforcement services for the City of Sonoma are provided through the Office of the City Prosecutor, in coordination with other City departments as needed. Code Enforcement services work to empower the citizens of Sonoma to create, promote and maintain a safe, attractive and high-quality community environment. Code violations may negatively affect the health, safety, welfare and environment of the community, and reduce property values. The code enforcement program maintains the greater good of the community by gaining compliance with the Sonoma Municipal Code.
The Department's primary responsibility is enforcing the City's Municipal Code pertaining to public nuisances, land use violations, and building code violations. City Staff is only authorized to enforce regulations pertaining to residences and business with the City of Sonoma. Some issues may not be enforceable by City ordinances, but rather are civil matters between residents.
The Code Enforcement Process:
1. A Code Enforcement Investigation Form may be submitted via the City’s website, email, mail, or hand delivered to Sonoma City Hall.
2. Upon receipt of a Code Enforcement Investigation Form, staff reviews the information and may visit the subject property to assess the existing conditions, depending on the nature and details of the alleged violation.
3. If a code violation is confirmed, staff will notify the responsible person (e.g., owner and/or tenant of the subject property) by mail of the violation. The notification may be an optional Courtesy Notice or a mandatory Compliance Order, depending on the nature of the violation. Compliance with the applicable regulations, rather than assessing penalties, is always the highest priority. Whether a Courtesy Notice or formal Compliance Order is sent, the responsible person will be provided with a specific amount of time to contact the code enforcement staff and abate the violation.
4. If the violation is unresolved within the specified time allowed by the Courtesy Notice, a Compliance Order will be sent to the responsible person providing a a reasonable time depending on the circumstances to abate the violation. If the violation can be resolved through the issuance of a land use permit and/or building permit, the responsible party may be given the option to apply for a retroactive permit, with all applicable penalties being assessed.
5. If the period lapses without the violation being resolved an Administrative Citation may be issued with the associated fine, or an Administrative Hearing may be scheduled to present the facts of the violation before a third-party Administrative Hearing Officer. This process typically results in significant costs to a confirmed violator of the City’s municipal codes.
6. In some cases the City may impose permit holds, fines or penalties or any other actions necessary to achieve compliance with the applicable code regulations, as determined by the City Prosecuter and/or City Attorney.