Planning Department

Sebastopol City Hall, including the Planning Department, is closed to the public to protect both employees and the public.  Staff are working regular hours (Monday-Thursday 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.) and will work to answer your questions via phone or email.

Please email:  
John Jay, Associate Planner:

We are accepting most applications electronically, but do require hard copies for some applications. 
Note, Applications are not considered submitted until payment is received.  Please contact us for instructions for submitting an application and processing payment.  If in-person intake is needed, please contact staff to schedule an appointment.

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.

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. Current projects include:  Local Hazard Mitigation Plan; General Plan Implementation; Housing Element update; VMT (Vehicle Miles Travel) thresholds; Objective Design Standards; and, electronic permitting/parcel information.

The Department is also responsible for parks planning and grantsCurrent projects include: Ives Park Master Plan Implementation; including Calder Creek naturalization, community sculpture garden, and pathway replacement;  the Americorp Trail extension project.

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?

see all

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

Fee Schedules ▼

Forms ▼

Guidelines and Checklists ▼

Planning Documents ▼

Kari Svanstrom

Kari Svanstrom
Planning Director