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Planning FAQs

The City has a formula business ordinance which places certain restrictions and requirements on chain and franchise businesses.  Learn more about the formula business ordinance and contact the Planning Department for more information.

If your business plans involve a major remodel, expansion, or new construction within the City of Sonoma, you can request (or staff may suggest) a meeting with the Project Advisory Committee (PAC). PAC meetings are also strongly suggested for any new or expanded restaurant business.

At the PAC meeting, City staff  from various departments provide early-stage input on development projects at no charge.  It can prove extremely valuable in giving you and your architect or project manager a sense of the process, any studies that may be required (traffic, drainage, etc.), timelines, and potential issues associated with your project.  Staff can also assist with identifying the agencies and departments that can provide you with an estimate of their respective fees for your project.

Contact the Planning Department for more information.

Many types of signs require a permit.  You can find links and additional information on our business signage page.  Contact the Planning Department for details.

Yes, but there are some restrictions.  More information is available from the Planning Department.  A home occupation permit is required.

Zoning restrictions in the city vary by property address. To find out the specific zoning designation of an address in the City of Sonoma, view the zoning map and contact the Planning Department for more information.  You can also reference Sonoma’s Geographic Information System (GIS) which provides instant access to property characteristics such as zoning, assessor’s information and flood zone designation, as well as city-wide aerial photographs. Note: This web-based service requires the use of the Silverlight plug-in.

For questions regarding Accessory Dwelling Units, visit the ADU page.

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