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New Sonoma County app will let you rat out your neighbors

The app is free but if your neighbor reports you, the repercussions could be costly.

LORNA SHERIDAN, INDEX-TRIBUNE BUSINESS EDITOR

Guy on your street installing a pool without a permit? Soon you’ll be able to land him in the deep end.

Announced at the Jan. 27 Sonoma County Economic Development Board’s “State of the County” event was the planned expansion of a new app for smart phones that enables community members to report a pothole or broken traffic light – and, more ominously, it will soon let residents report their neighbors to county authorities for a variety of civic indescretions, from making unpermitted building improvements to renting out their house on Airbnb. 

When using “Sonoma County Report It,” residents submit a report – referred to as a “request” by the app – and can even attach a photo. County staff will receive the request and the resident is notified when the request is completed.

To use SoCo Report It, residents create a free account at PublicStuff.com – the company that built the app – and a user name, email address and password are all that’s required. Once the account has been created, residents can submit requests, track the status of requests, and follow other requests.

Residents can also submit requests anonymously, but won’t receive updates.

The types of reports people can currently choose from include: street lights, sign visibility, erosion, hazardous tress, potholes and vegetation overgrowth, with more options on the way.

By clicking the “nearby” button, you can see what your neighbors have complained about, in list or map view, as well as the photos that accompanied the citizen’s report, comments and status updates.

Contact Lorna at lorna.sheridan@sonomanews.com.