The Planning Department provides planning and environmental review for the City. This includes assistance to the City Council, and staffs the following City Boards: Planning Commission, Design Review Board, Tree Board, Climate Action Committee, and Public Arts Committee. The department also provides information about the City’s physical development to the City’s residents and the real estate, development and construction industries.
The Department is also responsible for parks planning and grants. Current projects include: Ives Park Master Plan Implementation; including Calder Creek naturalization, community sculpture garden, and pathway replacement; the Americorp Trail extension project.
Planning is divided into two primary functions: Current planning includes receiving and processing all applications for land use permits, subdivision and other development permits, preparing staff reports for the appropriate City boards and commissions and performing inspections to assure compliance with zoning and other planning regulations. This role includes preparation of necessary environmental documents as required by State and City law and policies.
Advance planning includes preparation of long-range planning documents, special studies, policy development, and preparation of municipal ordinances relating to a range of topics.
Where can I find the e-permitting portal?
The permit portal can be found here.
How do I find my property’s zoning information?
There are a few ways to find this information. You can search your property on the GIS Website. The link can be found on the Maps button under resources on the Planning Department page. From there, you will go to the website and search for your street address (tip remove the street type when searching). Once you find your address, double-click the property, and it should highlight the parcel. It should have also brought up a pop-up where you will click Additional Details. The details for your property will generate on the left-hand side, where you can scroll to find Zoning Code.
You can also pull a Sonoma County Assessor Report by visiting their website. The report will have the zoning information as well.
Coming soon, this information can also be available on our E-Permitting Website.
Please note the City of Sebastopol's jurisdiction does not extend beyond the city limit boundary seen on the map.
What uses are allowed on my property?
Chapter 17 in the Municipal Code is where you will find allowed uses for both Residential and Commercial properties. There are multiple types of residential and commercial properties. You will need to know your specific zoning code to find the relevant information pertaining to your property.
Please note that the City of Sebastopol jurisdiction only applies to properties within the city limit boundary. See the GIS Map for more information.
Where can I find the Sebastopol Municipal Code (General Ordinances)?
How long will it take to process my planning application?
The length of time to process an application depends on many factors, including: the complexity of the project, whether there is public controversy about the project, and whether the application materials you have provided are complete, and the number of other applications the City is processing at that time.
From the time that a "complete" submittal is received, Administrative (or staff) reviews take approximately 6 to 8 weeks. If a public hearing and environmental review is required, processing time is approximately 2 to 6 months. If an Environmental Impact Report or other special studies are required, processing may take one year or more (if your project falls in this last category, please discuss your application with staff).
How do I file an appeal of a recent staff, Board, Committee or Commission decision?
Appeals have strict deadlines, and must be submitted by the end of the 7th calendar after the decision is made. This does not include the day of the meeting, but does include weekends; if the 7th day falls on a day the City is closed for business, it is due by the end of the next business day (for instance, if a decision is made on a Tuesday, any appeals must be received by the following Wednesday by 5:30 at City Hall or the decision is final). Please complete the first page of the Master Planning Application form with your contact information and submit it, along with the corresponding fee to the Planning Department.
What are the fence regulations for a single-family home?
Generally, fences or any type of vertical screening in any required side or rear yard area shall not exceed six feet in height except that two feet of lattice may be attached to fences no more than six feet in height. Fences (or other types of vertical screening) in a required front yard can be a maximum of 3 ½ feet in height.
What are the setbacks for my residential property?
Where do I apply for a building permit?
Please contact the Sebastopol Building Department at (707) 823-8597.
Can I look at a planning file?
Yes, nearly all files are public record and open for anyone to see. Call the Planning Department at (707) 823-6167, or visit us at City Hall, which is located at 7120 Bodega Avenue. We will locate the file for you.