Planning Division Department Home

Frequently Asked Questions


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Planning Services FAQ's

What is my zoning?

If you would like to try finding this out yourself, please go to the Public GIS Portal and click on the link to enter the GIS Public Web Site. Once you are in the application, click on the “Zoning” tab, and then the “Search” button in the left bar. Type in your address following the instructions. If you have difficulty with this, please contact our Permit Processing Technicians at or 707.778.4470.


I live in a historic district and want to make changes to my home. What do I need to do?

Changes to buildings in Petaluma's Historic Districts require careful review. Please see the Historic Preservation section for more details.


I would like to start a home based business. What do I need to do?

You will need to apply for a permit before starting one. Please see the Home Occupation Permit Application Form for more information.


I'd like to replace my fence. Do I need a permit?

Yes, a Fence Permit(pdf) from the Community Development Department is required. Please note that the height, style, and location of fencing is regulated by the zoning district in which your property is located. The Planning Division will assist you in obtaining the required information.


I'd like construct an addition to my house. What do I need to know?

By contacting the Permit Processing Technician in the Community Development Department (707-778-4470), and giving him/her your address, you can learn the regulations for your property regarding height, setbacks, lot coverage, and design review, as applicable.

Does the City regulate trees?

The City does have a Heritage Tree Ordinance, and invites property owners to nominate their tree(s) to the register, so that they can be protected from removal. The City also requires a permit to remove trees in the public right-of-way (usually trees in the planter strip between the curb and sidewalk). Tree removal permits are available from the Community Development Department.

Is the City in an earthquake zone?

No. Although many parts of California, including Petaluma, are subject to earthquakes, earthquake zones are specifically designated areas based on information from the State Department of Mines and Geology. Petaluma is not in a designated earthquake zone.

Is my property in a flood zone?

The City keeps on file the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM). Please contact a Permit Processing Technician and give him/her your address to determine if you are in the floodplain.

Can I subdivide my property?

Potentially. This depends on the General Plan land use designation and zoning district in which your property is located (which regulates minimum lot size). Contact the Permit Processing Technician in the Community Development Department (707.778.4470), and give him/her your address, you will be contacted with the regulations for the property in question.



Contact Information

11 English St.
Petaluma, CA 94952
phone: 707.778.4301
fax: 707.778.4498

phone: 707.778.4301

Hours: 8am - 4pm
Monday through Thursday – Closed every Friday

phone: 707.778.4470

Hours: 8am - 5pm
Mondays through Thursdays, Closed Fridays

Contact a Planner

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