“LACK OF ENFORCEMENT” Press Democrat Letter to the Editor

Lack of political will?  Please see the bottom of the post for a form you can use to complain to PRMD about illegal events and nuisance complaints. CAN YOU HEAR US NOW?
EDITOR: Staff Writer Clark Mason’s reporting on vacation rental conflicts in Sonoma County highlights the Board of Supervisors’ lack of action on code enforcement (“Vacation rentals both boon and nuisance,” Sunday).
Wine tasting has become bar-hopping, covering rural Sonoma County on substandard and often-dangerous roads. Tourists from winery events head “home” to vacation rentals and party on. Unpermitted rentals are advertised widely, and farmworker housing is used as high-end guest quarters.
Cashing in on Wine Country is big business with burgeoning vacation rentals, event facilities, commercial kitchens and entertainment on ag land. Under this board’s watch, we face a rapid commercialization of rural Sonoma County and the loss of zoning protections.
The Press Democrat reported in 2015 that code violations were backlogged at 3,500 cases, and few were ever enforced. Vacation rentals, illegal events and riparian zone violations had lowest priority. The Permit and Resource Management Department cranks out permits but abandons resource management.
Project conditions and citizen complaints are meaningless without enforcement. Code compliance requires inspection, weekend staffing (funded through permits, transient occupancy taxes and actually collecting fines) and a review for permit renewals. The 25 percent share of transient occupancy taxes isn’t covering road repair and the impacts of Wine Country tourism.
As public frustration grows, our county supervisors are giving away the farm.

Violation Complaint FormVCM

CDE-001 Date Received Staff Complainant Phone #

1. Property Address

City Assessor’s Parcel # _________-_________-_________ Zoning Parcel Size Property Owner’s Name Phone # Owner’s Mailing Address


2. Nature of the Complaint (Check Box(es) and describe)

Violation No. ________________________


Zoning Code Violation(s)

Violation No. ________________________


Health Code Violation(s)

Violation No. ________________________


Building Code Violation(s)



Grading / Fill without Permit(s) Violation No. ________________________ CODE ENFORCEMENT STAFF USE ONLY BELOW THIS LINE

3. Report of Investigation


Letter _____________ Letter _____________


Letter _____________


Recorded Other ____________________________________________________________________

Priority ______ Permit # _____________ Date Violation Closed ______________

Sonoma County Permit and Resource Management Department


2550 Ventura Avenue 95403-2829 Fax (707) 565-1103


Santa Rosa, CA (707) 565-1900


dpw S:Handouts\CDE\CDE-001.cdr rev: 6/17/2008 __________________________ _________________________________ __________________________ ___________________________________________ ___________________________________________ ___________________________________________ ��������� ����

Code Enforcement Report of Investigation


Date of Inspection Inspector Violation # Rental Owner Occupied

UnknownPermits Required: BuildingConstruction without Permits

Foundation Retaining Walls New Detached Structure Framing �� Siding Electrical Approximate Size ��

Plumbing Mechanical Roofing Structural RoofAddition ��Mobile Home Swimming Pool Approximate Size

Subject to Field Inspection Non-Engineered Plans Engineered PlansOtherGrading

Non-Engineered Plans Engineered Plans 1108

Drainage ReviewZoning Grading/Fill without Permits Use ��

Zoning Not AllowedNPDES

Administrative Design Review Approximate Quantity Observed Septic

Abatement RepairConnect to Sewer

Plumbing Repair Permit

Substandard / Hazardous

Site Plan Sketch

(not to scale)Inadequate Sanitation

Structural Hazards

Hazardous Electrical Wiring

Hazardous Plumbing N

Hazardous Mechanical


dpw CDE-001.cdr 06/17/08

Improper Occupancy Referrals:

Agriculture Commissioner

Project Review

Priority Score: (1=Low 20=Highest)

Air Quality

Regional Water Quality Board

_____ Threat to Public Safety (1-20)

Animal Control

Well & Septic

_____ Effect on Other People/Properties (1-20)

Army Corps of Engineers


_____ No. of People/Properties Impacted (1-20)



_____ Number of Complaints (5-20)

Environmental Health


_____ Economic Incentive (1-20)

Fish & Game


_____ Culpability of Violator (1-20)

County Dept. of Transportation

_____ Total