Message from the Director
On April 18, I joined Mayor London Breed, other City Officials and residents, at the 1906 
Earthquake Anniversary commemoration. It has been 113 years since that tragic early morning when the 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit San Francisco. It will always serve as an important reminder to prepare our City, buildings and residents for the next earthquake.

Since 2014 the Mandatory Soft Story program has helped increase the City's building resilience and recovery responses to the next earthquake. O f the 4,901 buildings in the program, 95% have submitted permits with over 2, 700 of the buildings having completed the important seismic strengthening work. That means over  27,500 units found in these buildings have reinforced ground floors. There remains 2 ,000 buildings that need to complete work by 9/15/20, which is over a year away. We've sent out a notice to the remaining building owners reminding them of their responsibility to complete the work in late 2020 and to get ready for the next big one.

For the third year in a row, we are once again hosting the Earthquake Safety Fair at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on June 11 from 10am to 4pm. This event provides property owners of both residential and commercial buildings an opportunity to connect with government agencies, construction professionals and other building related vendors to help them prepare for the next earthquake and ensure their buildings continue to be safe and up to code.  Get Ready for the Next Big One by registering your attendance or signing up as an exhibitor of the Fair here.

Lastly, I'd like to introduce you to our new Chief Housing Inspector Jamie Sanbonmatsu. Chief Sanbonmatsu will ensure the Housing Inpsections Services' commitment to maintaining habitability in our existing building stock and the protection of tenants in these residential buildings. 


Tom C. Hui, S.E., C.B.O.
Director and Certified Building Official
Commercial Property Owner: The Amended  Vacant Storefront Registry Legislation is in Effect as of April 22

As mentioned in last month's issue, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to amend  Ordinance 52-19 , Vacant Storefront Registry requirement, which took legal effect on April 22nd. 

We've updated our website to provide information on the new changes. You can read more about the changes by visiting
  Also, commercial property owners will be receiving a notice about this in their mailboxes in the coming weeks. 
DBI Fees Expected to be Waived for ADU and Affordable Housing Projects

Mayor London Breed has introduced legislation to amend the Building Code to waive specified DBI fees for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and for 100 percent affordable housing projects for a one-year pilot project. Known as File No. 190214, it was heard at the Board of Supervisors Government Audit & Oversight Committee on April 18, and referred unanimously to the full Board.
We expect its first reading to be at the April 30th Board meeting, with the second and final passage expected on May 7th.  If the Mayor signs by May 10, it will take legal effect on June 10th with  projects submitted on or after February 26, 2019 retroactively counted under this pilot year. DBI will submit a data report to the Board in mid-January 2020, with results.

Read more about the ADU program here.
DBI Joins SFAR's "Live ADU" Talk

On April 18, DBI joined SF Planning and the Rent Board as a panelist at the San Francisco Association of Realtor's "Live ADU" talk w here over 350 members were in attendance. The main topics of discussion was the City's ADU and Unit Legalization programs and how SFAR members can leverage existing homes they sell to increase the City's housing stock. 
Business Owners: Does Your Awning Need a Refresh?

May is Small Business and Building Safety month. In the next month, you can get permit fees waived when applying for awning replacements & pedestrian level lightning.

Take advantage of these savings at the same time improve your curb appeal!  Read more about the fee waiver www.
Congratulations to our 2019 Employee of Quarter for Quarter One
Nicole Rossini 
Housing Inspection Services

Nicole has been with DBI  for five years and was recognized for her  professionalism and outstanding services on behalf of her division, as well as her efforts and valuable input towards the testing of the new SF Permit System.
Meet Our New Housing Chief

 Jamie Sanbonmatsu
   Chief Housing Inspector
Housing Inspection Services
Get to Know Our Team

We continue to hire more staff to ensure we are providing the highest levels of effective and efficient customer services. Please give a big welcome to our newest hires.

Access our staff directory here.

   Audrey Gee
   Inspection Services
In This Issue


DBI is the regulatory building safety agency responsible for overseeing the effective, efficient, fair and safe enforcement of building , electrical, plumbing, disability access and housing codes for the City and County of San Francisco's more than 200,000 commercial and residential buildings. 


Read up on our most recent code updates:


Stay up to date on the most recent proposed and passed legislation affecting DBI. Here are some listed below:

File No. 190237 - Amending the Plumbing Code to set placement and minimum size of Building Sewer or Drain (Traps).

File No. 181211 - Mayor Breed and Supervisor Brown's proposed Small Business Permit Streamlining
ordinance which amends the Health, Planning and Police Codes to allow more flexibility to commercial storefront businesses, while also expediting permit reviews and approvals. DBI role limited to inspections, where the ordinance states inspection approvals shall endeavor to be finalized within 20 business days from the date of receiving the application. This was heard in Land Use on April 1, and continued to the Call of the Chair.

File No. 181216 - Controls on residential demolition. Introduced by Supervisor Peskin on Dec. 11, amends the Planning and Building Codes to increase substantially penalties for violations, revises definitions for Alterations and Removal, imposes new Conditional Use reviews, requires pre-permit inspections of alleged dry rot. A substitute measure is expected to be submitted by Supervisor Peskin in late April.

No File Number Yet - Microenterprise Home Kitchens. Per State AB 626, City Departments meeting to discuss local ordinance elements needed to enable these home kitchens while requiring owners to comply with local codes.


If you would like DBI  to attend your association or organization's meeting to discuss the Accessible Business Entrance Program or any other DBI related topics, contact


Date: May 11, 2019
Time: 10am-1pm
Location: 1800 Oakdale Ave

Date: May 14, 2019
Time: 10am-1pm
Location: Tzu Chi 
2901 Irving

Date: June 1, 2019
Time: 11am-3pm
Location: 50 Frida Kahlo Wy

Date: June 11, 2019
Time: 10am-4pm
Location: Bill Graham Civic
99 Grove Street


Schedule your inspections online for Building, Electrical and Plumbing! Doing so can save you time and money. 

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