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How can I find out if I need a building permit and how to get one?
How do I schedule a Building Inspection?
What can I do with my property? What Zone District is it in?
What Flood Zone is my property in?
How can I get an aerial photo of my property?
What is my zone and what does my zoning designation mean?
What can I build on my parcel?
What size structure can I build on my property?
What are my setbacks?
What type of business can I do in my specific zone?
What do I need to bring in to apply for a Business License?
How can I get zoning clearance to open a new business?
What is needed to remove a tree?
What is needed to remove a tree on a neighbor's property or in the the public right of way?
Can I put up a banner?
Can I hook up to City Sewer/Utilities?
What is the process to obtain a building permit?
What do I need to bring with me to apply for a building permit?
How many copies of plans do I need to provide for a building permit application?  
How much does a building permit cost?
Is there a building permit for my neighbors house?
Do you have plans for my house?
Can you tell me what's happening with (project/store/shopping center)?
How/who to contact to cancel a building inspection? 
What information do I need to bring with me if I come in to speak with someone at the counter?
When will a tentative map expire?
What is my floodzone?

 

How can I find out if I need a building permit and how to get one?

You can read about obtaining Building Permits by clicking here. If that does not answer your questions or you would like additional information, you may call (707) 543-3200, or visit the Building Division at City Hall Room 3.

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How do I schedule a Building Inspection?

Inspection requests may be requested by calling our automated system at (707) 543-3006 or by accessing VeloCityHall, our on-line permitting system is available 24-hours and iis accessible from the City's home page under "I Would Like To...".  You must have your permit number and three-digit inspection code to use these systems.  Calls and faxes must be received by 4:30 p.m. the day before you desire an inspection to have the inspection scheduled for the following day.  Fax requests should be sent to (707) 543-3219.

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What can I do with my property? What Zone District is it in?

The options for land use depend on the location of your property, how that area is zoned and which uses are specified in the General Plan. To find out what your property's zoning and General Plan designation is, call (707) 543-3269 or go to the City's Zoning Ordinance (Section 20.03 - Districts) to see what kinds of uses are allowed in that zone district.

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What Flood Zone is my property in?

You can find out about Flood Zones by calling the Engineering Division at (707)543-3200. Please be sure to give us your address and/or parcel number. For more information on Flood Zones or to purchase flood zone maps, please visit FEMA's website.

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How can I get an aerial photo of my property?

Aerial photos are now available on the City of Santa Rosa, Public Works Department's web site.

Aerial photos can also be ordered from the Engineering Division of Community Development. You can telephone us at (707) 543-3200 and give us the address of the property you would like a photo of, and nearby major streets. Photos can usually be available within 2 business days, and you can pick them up at the Engineering Division office (City Hall Room 5). The cost is $2.50 per photo.

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What is my zone and what does my zoning designation mean? 

Zoning by parcel is available on our GIS maps.  Zones are established for all areas of the City of Santa Rosa to limit the types of uses permitted in that zone.  The R-1-6 zone for example, limits the use to single family dwellings and accessory structures including second dwelling units provided size, setbacks, parking, and occupancy requirements can be met.  Other zones should be addressed to a Counter Technician for a more complete explanation.  The Zoning Code defines all zones and is available online at srcity.org on the City Attorneys page.

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What can I build on my parcel?

Structures on a specific parcel are limited by the zone for use, lot coverage, height, and setbacks. Uses must be limited to those Principally Permitted or permitted by Conditional Use Permit in a specific zone as established by the Zoning Code.  The Zoning Code is available online at srcity.org on the City Attorneys page, or in our office at 100 Santa Rosa Avenue room 3 where Counter Technicians are available to help identify a specific zone and permitted uses.

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What size structure can I build my property?

On most residential parcels there is a limitation for lot coverage of 40% of the lot area for all structures combined, however, other features of a specific parcel such as setbacks, easements, stream setbacks, scenic preserves conditions may control.  For a more complete answer in all zones please prepare a site map and come to our office for a more detailed discussion with our Permit Technicians.

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 What are my setbacks? 

Setbacks are established by the specific zone in which a parcel is located.  For most single family residential parcels, structures must be located at least 15 ft from the edge of the sidewalk closest to the dwelling and the garage face 19 ft.  On shared side yards the setback is 5 ft for the first floor and 10 feet for the second floor.  The rear yard setback is 15 ft for the main structure and 5 feet for a detached accessory structure.  For a more precise answer specific to your parcel, please prepare a site map and bring it into our office for assistance by our Counter Technicians.

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 What type of business can I do in my specific zone?  

The businesses for a specific location are determined by the zone.  If you have an exact address I can determine the zone.  Any specific zone may allow as many as forty uses either principally permitted or with a conditional use permit.  Furthermore, the extent of any use may limited by strict definition.  The Zoning Code is located on our web site and you can determine your intended use as defined in the code and the Zones in which it is permitted.  For more specific answers please come to our office and consult with our Permit Technicians. 

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 What do I need to bring in to apply for a Business License?  

A zoning clearance is required through our office at room 3, 100 Santa Rosa Avenue prior to the issuance of a Business Tax Certificate at our Revenue Office located at 90 Santa Rosa Avenue. In order to provide a zoning clearance, an exact address and a complete description of the type of business including any accessory uses must be provided.  A review of the use and the location is necessary to determine whether the business is approved for the location or perhaps a Conditional Use Permit is required.

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How can I get zoning clearance to open a new business? 

Zoning clearances are contingent on the type business or use and the location within the City of Santa Rosa.  Businesses located at a commercial location must be in a zone approved for the specific use or uses.  If the business is only a change of ownership and the previous owner had a clearance or use permit for the use, a simple verification is all that is necessary.  For new businesses verification is necessary that the use is a permitted for the zone in which it is located.  In some cases a Conditional Use Permit may be required.  For home occupations the business may be exempt if there are no employees, no clients come to the home for a service or to receive goods, and there is no substantial impact on the character of a residential neighborhood.  Please come to our office to receive a written zoning clearance and a complete description of requirements and conditions. Also see the Starting Your Business web page.

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 What is needed to remove a tree?

A tree removal permit is required to substantially prune or remove any tree with a diameter of 4 inches or greater on all commercial properties.  On residential properties generally only Heritage trees (species can be found on our web site) must have a tree removal permit.  To obtain a tree removal permit complete the application including site map, neighborhood map, photographs, and an arborists report indicating the tree is diseased, dying, or dangerous.  For a more complete discussion come into our office and confer with our Permit Technicians.

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What is needed to remove a tree on a neighbor's property or in the the public right of way?

Removal of trees on a neighbor’s property requires a written application and consent by neighbor/property owner.  Removal of city trees requires the approval of The City of Santa Rosa, Recreation and Parks Department (707) 543-3292

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Can I put up a banner?

Banners are permitted as a temporary sign on commercial properties for 14 days and no more than 4 times a year.  Two signs of no more than 32 square feet are permitted per business.  Please come to our office to complete the application which includes a site map and a drawing or view of the proposed sign; its size, color and material.

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 Can I hook up to City Sewer/Utilities?  

If you are in the City of Santa Rosa city limits please contact our Utilities Department at (707) 543-4200 to discuss availability.  If you are in a county pocket or outlying area you must obtain a Utility Certificate which is restricted in all areas and usually contingent on annexation.  Please come into our office for further discussion with our Permit Technicians.

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 What is the process to obtain a building permit? 

A complete application must be submitted including all necessary plans.  After a 4 to 6 week review and any necessary corrections have been made, the approved plans may be picked up by the owner or a licensed contractor.  A complete description of the process is available on line at www.srcity.org/departments/communitydev/building/permits.

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 What do I need to bring with me to apply for a building permit? 

Three sets of complete plans and two sets of energy and structural documentation are required for any additions or structural modifications to all structures.  Plans should include a site plan, floor plan, roof plan, exterior views of existing and proposed construction, foundation plan, roof framing plan, floor framing plan, a cross section of the work area, drawing details of any work including foundations, wall to floor and roof connections.

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How many copies of plans do I need to provide for a building permit application?  

For residential building projects, 5 copies of complete plans and two copies of energy and structural documentation are required in high fire severity regions;  3 copies of the plans in other areas.  For commercial building projects as many as 7 copies of the plans with 2 copies of energy or structural documentation is required for any projects with exterior site work.  Most planning applications require 14 sets of required submittal items printed or folded to 8-1/2 X 11 inch size.  Please come into our office for a complete list of submittal items.  An incomplete submittal may be rejected or slow the processing of your application.

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 How much does a building permit cost?

A complete fee schedule is available online at www.srcity.org web site.  For complex projects a complete breakdown of all uses, construction, building types, and construction estimates is necessary for a preliminary fee estimate.  Any preliminary estimates are subject to review after a complete application and submittal has been formally received.  Please come into our office for assistance by our Permit Technicians for more complete information.

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Is there a building permit for my neighbor's house? 

If you provide me with an exact address I can tell you of any activity associated with that location as well as a plan checker associated with any projects.  This information is also available online at www.srcity.org online services/building permits online.  For research of building or planning history please come into our office and a Permit Technician will help you through the self-help process.  

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Do you have Plans for my house? 

For a limited number of parcels we have saved plans.  To research your parcel come in to our office and you will be assisted in self-help research by our Permit Technicians

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Can you tell me what's happening with (project/store/shopping center)? 

If you provide me with an exact address or permit number, I can tell you the status of any projects currently being processed or approved for construction.  I can also give you the plan checker associated with that project for more detailed information.

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How/who to contact to cancel a building inspection? 

Please contact the building clerical staff at (707) 543-3200 or your area building inspector between 8:00 and 8:30 AM.  Inspections may also be canceled online.

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What information do I need to bring with me if I come in to speak with someone at the counter?

In most cases a cases a site map is necessary to begin preliminary discussions of building or planning issues.

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When will a tenative map expire? 

A tentative map is approved for two years before further action is required.  Three year extensions can be approved.

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 What is my flood zone?

Contact Dave Turpel, of our engineering section at (707) 543-3203.

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