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New Construction or Major Upgrades

Avoid possible delays!

Contact your local building department for any building, construction, and fire system requirements when you begin the food facility operating permit application process.

    Before You Start

    Whether you are building a new restaurant from the ground up or purchasing an existing restaurant, you need a food facility operating permit.

    As part of the application process, your food inspector has determined that your facility needs to complete the new construction or major upgrades permitting process. These are the steps to take to complete the process and submit your permit application.

    Local Business Resources for Food Facilities

    Step 1: Submit Your Food Facility Plan for Approval

    Plan Review Application Checklist

    Your plan review application must include:

    • Plan review application form
    • Plan review fee - See fee schedule for current fees
      • An additional fee will be assessed for additional plan review service hours. Fees for additional plan review hours will be due when you submit the operating permit application.
      • The plan review service fee does not include the operating permit fee.
    • Food facility drawing - three (3) printed sets, plus one (1) electronic copy
    • Manufacturer equipment specification sheets for each piece of equipment, plus one (1) electronic copy
    • Menu or list of foods to be prepared at the facility

    Your plan review application will be reviewed within 20 business days of receipt. If your application is not approved, you will receive a notice detailing the information needed for approval. Resubmitted applications are reviewed within one (1) week of receipt.

    Step 2: Take Approved Plan to the Building Department

    You will receive a copy of your approved plan review application and two (2) sets of your approved food facility plan:

    • One (1) set to keep on site for the contractor and the food inspector to use.
    • One (1) set to take to the building department.

    Environmental Health & Safety retains one (1) set for our files and the original of the plan review application.

    Step 3: Make an Appointment for the Construction Inspection

    One week before the construction is complete, contact Environmental Health & Safety to make an appointment for a food inspector to perform the final construction inspection.

    • Phone: (707) 565-6565

    The building department and fire department will also need to provide you with a final approval.

    All construction and operational aspects of your project must be completed and approved before you apply for your food facility operating permit.

    Step 4: Apply for a Food Facility Operating Permit

    You should have received a food facility operating permit application from your inspector during your construction inspection. You may also download and print this form below. Please complete and submit it to Environmental Health & Safety along with a copy of your construction inspection, if available.

    Your permit application will be processed within 5 business days of receipt. We will mail your permit to the address provided on your application.

    Step 5: Maintain Your Operating Permit

    When an operating permit is issued to a retail food facility in Sonoma County, the initial food facility inspection is performed within 30 days. All retail food facilities are then inspected once or twice per year.

    Other Regulating Agencies

    CalCode establishes uniform statewide health and sanitation standards for retail food facilities.

    Food Facility Plan Guidelines and Requirements

    Your drawing should include detailed information about all exhaust hoods in your facility. You can use the provided  reference materials to help you develop your plan.

    Exhaust Hood Diagram Guidelines and Worksheet

    Food Facility Drawing Requirements