Planning Department

Sebastopol City Hall, including the Planning Department, is closed to the public beginning March 17 to May 3 based on the County Health Official's Shelter in Place Orders.  Staff availability will be limited during this time to help protect both employees and the public during this time period.  Staff are working remotely, and will work to answer your questions, however, please note responses may take more than 24 hours during this time.  

Please email both staff listed below:

Kari Svanstrom, Planning Director:
Alan Montes, Associate Planner: 


At this time, the Planning Department is accepting electronic submittals/resubmittals.

For Existing Applications where no fees are due (note, you do not need to resubmit items that were submitted before March 31), please email submittals to the emails above or, for larger submittals, coordinate with your Planner to use dropbox or another file transfer service.

For NEW applications, ONLY electronic submittals will be accepted during this time.  If you have a pending submittal, please email us for instructions for processing payment (either via mail or credit card) and electronic submittal instructions.  Note, review of applications will be deemed accepted when payment is received.  Applications for essential needs, facilities, and uses will be prioritized.  Use Permits for non-essential services will be processed, but will not be able to begin service until the Shelter in Place order is lifted.

The Planning Department provides planning and environmental review assistance to the City Council, Planning Commission, Design Review Board, and Public Arts Committee. The department also provides services to citizen committees, the City's residents and the real estate, development and construction industries. This service 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.

The Department is also responsible for parks planning.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question that you don’t see here? Email us at

What is the General Plan?
Who do I contact if I live in unincorporated Sebastopol?
Can I rent a room in my house as a vacation rental?
Can I rent my whole house out as a "full time" vacation rental?
Can I rent my whole house out as a vacation rental while I am out of town?
Can I rent out a room in my house or my entire house for long-term housing (not a vacation rental)?
What is my zoning?
I'm interested in creating a 'granny unit' (ADU) on my property, what are the rules?
Do I need a permit to remove a tree from my property?
How long will it take to process my planning application?
Can I look at a planning file?
What do I need if working in the public right-of-way?
Where do I apply for a building permit?
What are the fence regulations for a single-family home?
How do I file an appeal of a recent staff, Board, Committee or Commission decision?

Planning Director: Kari Svanstrom

7120 Bodega Avenue
Sebastopol, CA 95472
Phone: 707-823-6167
Fax: 707-823-1135


Office Hours

Monday - Thursday, 7:00 am - 5:30 pm
(Closed 12:00 pm - 12:30 pm for lunch)

Closed ALL Fridays.

Downloadable Documents

Kari Svanstrom

Kari Svanstrom
Planning Director