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Have you decided that it is time to build on your Sea Ranch property? Here is aN outline of the design/build process you will embark upon with the Design Committee and Environmental Management (DCEM). For additional information, visit our listing of Frequently Asked Questions.

The Sea Ranch design philosophy and requirements are outlined in detail by the Codes, Covenants and Restrictions, available at the The Sea Ranch Association website. Follow our link to The Sea Ranch Association website.

>>>> The Sea Ranch design philosophy is outlined in "Design Review at The Sea Ranch" (from the Owner's Manual, page 7; click right to obtain the Adobe Acrobat Reader® version of this document).
design review at TSR.pdf
>>>> The process begins with an orientation conference at the Planning and Design Office. At this meeting a representative of the Design Committee and Environmental Management (DCEM) will advise you to obtain a property survey, soils analysis, and percolation test, if they are not already done. The percolation test will be very important if your lot is not located on the sewer system, and will determine the type of septic system you will utilize.
preliminary site visit
>>>> The preliminary site visit will take place with you, your designer or architect, and the director of DCEM. Possibilities for location of structures, views, and neighbors' considerations will be discussed. You will also receive information about height limit (an important issue where views are involved) and the slope of the majority of your roof, called dominant roof slope, two components for inclusion in the design of your home.
develop design program
>>>> Your designer or architect will bring in a land surveyor to develop the plot plan of your lot, pointing out the grade of the site and the location of trees and other structures. If your lot is not on sewer, the design will have to include the septic system appropriate to your lot, or if your soil does not percolate, you must reserve a septic space on the commons.
conceptual review
>>>> Once you have approved of a concept developed by your designer, the design will be submitted to the design committee for conceptual review. This review process takes two weeks or more, and will look over neighborhood plan, plot plan, floor plans, elevations, and bulk and footprint (square-footage) calculations. The design will be returned by DCEM with suggestions and changes. This is also the time to submit a septic system design to Sonoma County if your lot requires it.
work in progress
>>>> When your designer has been given the go-ahead for the plan (altered according to DREM suggestions), it is time to prepare the more detailed documents for preliminary review. The building structure(s) will be staked-out on the lot, and neighbors will be invited to review the design submitted for your lot. The preliminary review process will take a month or more, depending on the requests for changes by neighboring homeowners and the design committee. By this time you should have received approval for a septic system from Sonoma County.
final review
>>>> Once your design has received preliminary approval, the final review will take place. Drawings will include details for foundations, roof structures, mechanical (plumbing and electrical fixtures/wiring, heating and cooling) details, and separate details prepared by a structural engineer. Your designer will also specify the types of windows, doors, trim, exterior siding and finish and roofing materials to be used in your new home. Your designer will also submit plans and fees to Sonoma County for a plan check, which will take about six to eight weeks to approve.
build your home
>>>> When you have received final approval for your design, chosen a contractor, obtained a building permit from Sonoma County, an encroachment permit from TSRA, and paid all necessary deposits and fees, you are now ready to build your home! Before the foundation is laid a surveyor will verify the location of your home. During the building process an inspector from Sonoma County will make periodic checks on the progress of construction. DREM will also conduct construction inspections. Your septic system will also be constructed, completed, and inspected during this time. move in
>>>> Your home has been completed! After final approval of construction by DCEM is obtained, and a final building inspection by Sonoma County is performed, you will be refunded your construction deposit and issued a County occupancy permit. You are now ready to move in to your Sea Ranch Home.
©2003 James Docker, MFA designer/builder of custom homes at The Sea Ranch, CA