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Sonoma County Gazette

Housing and Real Estate

Affordable Housing is a hot topic just about everywhere - Homelessness for those who don't have shelter, and real estate from land use policy to Plan Bay Area 2040...where to plant our feet to call HOME is on our minds.

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2018-03-19Mar 19, 2018

Sonoma County Rises, a community based, wildfire recovery focused organization, has launched aCommunity Outreach Survey to gain insight into Sonoma County residents’ attitudes five months after the October wildfires. The Survey,, seeks to gain information from a broad section of the community living here now to best inform and guide decision-makers about what matters most as they plan for recovery and rebuilding.

2018-01-04Jan 4, 2018

Last November, the City of Santa Rosa grew by approximately 714 acres and gained about 7,400 new residents, as the annexation of Roseland finally came to fruition after years of work by both city and county officials.

2018-01-03Jan 3, 2018

After the December 6 th meeting of the Cannabis Advisory Group, members Brantly Richardson and Rich Gunderson co-authored the following summary of an update given to the Group byCode Enforcement at Permit Sonoma.

2018-01-03Jan 3, 2018

The devastating fires of October 2017 have created serious challenges for residents, many of whom are concerned about soil erosion, toxic runoff, and the health of fire-ravaged landscapes. Read on for insights and advice on these issues, presented by our staff of expert ecologists.


2018-01-03Jan 3, 2018

Right now our community is standing on the edge of change. Our fires have provided an opportunity for us took at building codes, land-use policies, transportation corridors, housing, public services, emergency response systems…EVERYTHING that impacts our daily lives into the future that was changed by the touch of these flames.

2018-01-03Jan 3, 2018

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) works hard every day to provide safe and reliable electric service to our customers throughout Northern and Central California. In October, strong winds impacted our service area resulting in extraordinary wildfires that devastated parts of Napa, Sonoma, Solano, Mendocino and Lake Counties.

2018-01-03Jan 3, 2018

The fires that descended on Sonoma County last October destroyed thousands of homes and increased pressure on an already tight housing market, leading the board of supervisors to take a closer look at the role Vacation Rentals play in exacerbating those problems.

2018-01-02Jan 2, 2018

People ask me all the time about buying a piece of land and building a tiny home or something off the grid or some other wonderful idea that mostly I can’t help them with. I spend a good deal of these conversations figuring out exactly what the person has in mind so I can determine whether I can help steer them in the right direction.

2018-01-02Jan 2, 2018

My wife and I recently co-signed a mortgage for our daughter on her first home in Portland. We were happy to do it and I, in fact, suggested it myself with full knowledge of the pros and cons.

2017-12-29Dec 29, 2017

If by this time in the season when you open your stove’s door and smoke pours into the room, the chimney system needs sweeping! With long cold seasons, as this one is, sweeping the chimney 2 times a season is somewhat common.  Don’t ignore this: a clean chimney = good chimney draw (the pull of heat up the chimney) = good heat into the room.

2017-12-29Dec 29, 2017

With freeze warnings in the forecast across Sonoma County, Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) is urging customers to be cautious when heating their homes.

2018-03-06Mar 6, 2018

After last October’s devastating firestorm many of us are left thinking about how to prevent such an event from happening again. We all hope that we never have to experience something as horrifying as what we went through whether we suffered losses or not. While it’s impossible to fully fireproof your exterior spaces, here are some tips to make sure your home is as fire resistant as possible.

2017-12-29Dec 29, 2017

HUD requires recipients of federal homelessness assistance funds to conduct a point-in-time census of homeless people in their jurisdictions at least once every two years. In 2016, Sonoma County moved to an annual count to better track changes in the homeless population and progress toward ending homelessness.

2017-12-26Dec 26, 2017

The devastating October wildfires that swept through Sonoma County created a significant flood risk for people living in and nearby the burned areas until vegetation is restored. In order to help residents assess their risk and prepare for flooding, a post-fire hazard map is now available


2017-11-23Nov 23, 2017

It has been voted and recommended that the Patrick McCaffrey Foundation receive $300,000 for building tiny houses, buying land, having an outreach team, and transporting folks as needed - thus saving vital services for locals living between Sea Ranch and Forestville.

2017-11-22Nov 22, 2017

Beginning this month the Healdsburg Coalition takes a turn writing the monthly community column. Thanks to those who came before us for representing Healdsburg well and to Vesta for this opportunity to highlight monthly issues especially pertinent to our local community.

2017-11-21Nov 21, 2017

As people return to evacuated areas and visit their homes, many are finding nothing more than ashes where once stood their family home filled with memories and treasured possessions.

2017-11-21Nov 21, 2017

Even before the smoke cleared, people were talking about rebuilding Sonoma County.

2017-11-21Nov 21, 2017

What good can ever come from a call at 2 A.M. in the morning! The night of October 9th, I went to bed after hearing all the media noises over the possibilities of nuclear attack reaching California from North Korea.

2017-11-21Nov 21, 2017

This is a personal account of the Cannabis Advisory Board Meeting held at the Permit Resource Management Department(PRMD) in Santa Rosa on Wednesday 9/27/17. I was delayed in writing this because of the fire, but I believe my personal perspective is of value to readers.


2017-11-21Nov 21, 2017

I propose a different approach to solving the homeless crisis. We obtain a large piece of land (500 acres) in a remote part of the county. On this isolated land we build a community from the ground up. We build a community in which we construct – everything.

2017-11-21Nov 21, 2017

The impact of a specific traumatic event, such as a fire, has life-changing repercussions. The questions that often arise is what can the various support services do for those whose life-course is damaged.

2018-02-06Feb 6, 2018

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) has released an online survey to get input from the public, partner agencies and others as the Commission prepares its next Public Participation Plan (PPP). The survey is available now through Feb. 23.

2017-11-06Nov 6, 2017

Even before the smoke cleared,
people were talking about rebuilding Sonoma County.

But what does that look like?
Who will make the decisions?
How can we all become stronger together?

2017-11-03Nov 3, 2017

Beginning Monday, November 6, 2017 the Sonoma County Assessor’s office will send teams of two appraisers to the affected fire areas to inspect fire damaged properties. The appraisers’ field work will help process fire damage reassessments and may lead to adjusted property tax bills.

2017-10-27Oct 27, 2017

Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch warns Sonoma County residents of scams involving fraudulently filed applications for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance. The Napa and Sonoma County District Attorney’s Offices received several reports from residents whose personal identifying information, including their social security numbers, had been used to file a fraudulent FEMA application.  Some residents reported that they attempted to apply for FEMA assistance, only to find that someone had already applied under their name. While other residents, who had not filed applications for assistance, reported that FEMA-affiliated inspectors came to their homes to ask about their applications.

2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017

I have never been so proud to live in Sonoma County.

Over the past 11 days, we’ve been to Hell and back. The worst wildfire in the history of the State of California slammed into the heart of our community, consuming everything in its path.

2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017

Calls for Immediate Help for Homeless and Displaced People To minimize suffering into the winter months and to assure that all homeless people in Sonoma County are cared for after the disastrous fires, Homeless Action! proposes the following Six-Point Plan:

2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017

I read a Facebook message from a client at 5 AM on 10/9/17 that they may lose their home and that was the first I heard of this disaster, I was in Chicago on vacation.

2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017

We’re about the enter a new phase in Sonoma County, one that we were trying to achieve through environmental awareness and social and political activism.

2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017

A coalition of immigrant service providers and advocates have launched theUndocuFund for Fire Relief in Sonoma County to provide direct assistance to undocumented Sonoma County residents who are victims of the Northern California fires.

2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017

Sifting through the ash wasn’t pleasant. The smell of scorched earth permeated everything. It was dirty, the soot of incinerated dreams was everywhere. And it was sad beyond emotion. But helping her friend dig in this ashen wasteland of a burned home changed her life.

2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017

Dan and Stacey Hageman live just east of Coffey Park, in a house at the point whereHemlock Street and Dogwood Drive meet on the northeastern edge of a neighborhood almost completely destroyed in the firestorm that roared offFountaingrove on Monday, Oct. 9.


2018-02-03Feb 3, 2018

Our community has never been stronger than it is today. We were sorely tested by the fires in October. We’ve been tested ever since, as fire survivors clean up the ashes and rubble of our homes and attempt to keep our focus on the future.

2018-02-02Feb 2, 2018

The recent catastrophic fires in both Northern and Southern California should serve as a wake-up call to home and business owners everywhere! A lot of people view insurance as a mandated requirement that is costly and confusing, however, if the fires taught us anything, it is that the proper insurance is an absolute necessity!

2018-01-30Jan 30, 2018

I heard Professor Gregory Simon on KPFA radio talking about his book Flame and Fortune in the American West as I was evacuating to my sister’s in Petaluma due to smoke and encroaching fire near my home in Sonoma Valley.

2018-01-22Jan 22, 2018

The community-based Phone Alert System is not meant to replace the County’sSoCo Alerts or Nixle. Instead, a PAS can provides a flexible and fast way for residents to know about local emergency events that could potentially affect their lives. 

2018-01-09Jan 9, 2018

Applications are now being accepted for Category D (Historical Commissions) grants. Grant funds in this category are for the renovation, restoration, and/or preservation of historical resources. First priority for grants is given to government agencies or non-profits.  Applications that include matching funds or contributions are more competitive. The County will award a total of approximately $50,000 this year.  Funds are typically allocated among several grant projects. Grant funds will be available in August of 2018 and project funds must be spent by June 30, 2019.

2018-01-05Jan 5, 2018

Skydiving? Public speaking? Spiders?Do you know what is the North Bay’s greatest fear?

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