Message from the Director
Housing production continues to be an important priority for our Department in partnership with the Mayor's Office, SF Planning and other City agencies. Through the Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Program, affordable housing is being planned and built within existing buildings throughout San Francisco. 

There has been continued momentum to encourage ADU production on the State and local levels. Recently, ADUs in new construction is now allowed, per Ordinance 116-19 We are reviewing the details of this ordinance and its application in our plan review and permit issuance processes. An Information Sheet is being developed to help guide customers with details on the required steps to utilize this new process. 

Also, fee waivers of a few DBI selected fees are expected to be offered for ADUs, along with 100% affordable housing projectsas the ordinance passed on first reading at the Board of Supervisors in late July. Once approved in early September by the Board and the Mayor, expected implementation of this new ordinance is early October. All projects relating to ADUs in one to four unit buildings and affordable housing projects submitted on June 1, 2019 and onward, will qualify for this limited, one-year pilot selected DBI fee waiver. Depending upon results at the end of this pilot in June, 2020, the Board will decide whether to expire or extend it. Stay tuned. 


Tom C. Hui, S.E., C.B.O.
Director and Chief Building Official
Permit & Inspection Activity

*No TCOs issued for the month of July
TCO = Temporary Certificate of Occupancy. 
CFC = Certificate of Final Completion
Reminder to Soft Story Property Owners of September 15 Deadline

In early August we sent 30-day reminders to Tier 3 Soft Story property owners of the need to submit their Certificate of Final Completion to comply by the September 15, 2019 deadline. 

As a reminder, Tier 3 properties (buildings with 3-stories, 5-15 units or 2-stories with a basement) are required to complete work and receive a Certificate of Final Completion by September 15. Properties who fail to comply will be subject to further code enforcement action and their property posted with a warning placard. 

If you are a property owner falling under this category, be sure to submit all required documents to DBI by September 15.  Visit  to see a list of properties and their compliance status. Should you have any additional questions about the status of your building, contact the Soft Story Program staff (415) 558-6699 or via email 
Employee of the Quarter
(Pictured L-R: DBI Director Tom Hui, BIC Vice-President Debra Walker, Deputy Director Ed Sweeney, Building Inspector Fergal Clancy, and Chief Building Inspector Patrick O'Riordan)

At the August meeting of the Building Inspection Commission, Building Inspector Fergal Clancy was recognized as 2019 Employee of the Quarter for Quarter Two (April-June). Inspector Clancy demonstrated  professionalism and responsiveness in ensuring code compliance through inspections of the new Chase Center. His confidence, effectiveness and engagement with stakeholders and staff alike make him an invaluable asset to Building Inspection Division and to the Department as a whole.  

Keep up the good work Fergal!
Another Summer Comes to an End
Project Pull Interns
On August 7, Director Tom Hui and DBI mentors joined our Project Pull student interns for a "Thank You" luncheon in appreciation of their hard work for the past two months. Summer interns are instrumental in providing much needed support for our many programs, as well as providing life and workplace experiences. We wish them well in the school year ahead and hope they were inspired to pursue careers in the building and construction industry.
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 .
  Derek Maher
  Housing 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:
  • G-20: Interim Criteria - Building Permit Application Routing to City Agencies
 Read More


Stay up to date on the most recent proposed and passed legislation affecting DBI. Here are some listed below:
No File No. Plumbing Code Cross-Connection - a proposed ordinance sponsored by SFPUC and DPH that deletes a local amendment referring to SFPUC rules and regulations and adds local cross-connection controls for beverage dispensers and industrial water chillers, as well as requires testing for backflow prevention assemblies/devices.
File No. 190214Unfinished Business-Final Passage 
Ordinance  amending the Building Code to waive specified fees for 100% affordable housing projects, as defined herein, and certain accessory dwelling unit projects for an approximately one-year pilot program; and affirming the Planning Department's determination under the California Environmental Quality Act.
File No. 190045 - Passed 
Ordinance by Mayor Breed to exempt emergency homeless shelters from issuance of building permit building codes, excepting life safety reviews, per Assembly Bill 932.

File No. 190136 - Passed
O rdinance on code cleanup covering clarifications for building, plumbing, electrical and housing codes, as well as reenacting a long-standing permit requirement for fences, adding administrative provisions to implement new State law on sub-metering for individual water use, and adding enforcement provisions for the building façade and maintenance program which gets under way in 2021.
File No. 190237 - Passed
Ordinance amending the Plumbing Code to set placement and minimum size of Building Sewer or Drain (Traps). Originally introduced by former Supervisor Tang, Supervisor Peskin has agreed to move this forward.
File No. 181211 - Unfinished Business-Final Passage
Ordinance a mending the Health, Planning and Police codes to streamline small business permits.

File No. 181216 - Pending Committee Action
Ordinance a mending the Planning Code to increase penalties for violations of the Planning Code and change the administrative enforcement procedure.


If you would like DBI  to attend your association or organization's meeting to discuss DBI Programs or any other DBI related topics, contact


7/27/19:  Accessory Dwelling Unit Workshop in District 4 with Supervisor Gordon Mar



DBI Holiday Closure
Monday, September 2
Labor Day Holiday

September 9-12
Customers may experience delays in DBI services due to off-site staff training


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