Message from the Interim Director
Dear customers, 
It's been a challenging three months for the construction industry and for DBI, as we all adjust to social distancing and other changes. I'm pleased to announce that last week, we launched curbside services for Over-the-Counter permit applications with and without plans to expedite permit issuance to our customers. Although our office remains partially closed to the public for the foreseeable future, we are continuously evaluating ways we can speed up the permit issuance process wherever possible. While we haven't yet been able to fully open our doors, we remain committed to meeting our customers' needs as you get back to work, while balancing the safety of our staff and customers during these unprecedented times
In addition to curbside services, we launched additional programs to help us deliver services during our partial closure. Over the last month, we launched an expanded online payment system, offered virtual pre-application meetings and opened digital electronic plan review sessions through the Bluebeam software that enables plan reviewers in different departments to simultaneously review plans. Our staff continues to serve as Disaster Service Workers throughout the City along with other City employees during this pandemic. 
As we continue to serve our important role of ensuring buildings are safe, construction work is performed according to code, and housing is habitable and properly maintained, great customer service is essential. Reach out to us to let us know how we're doing; we are always interested in your feedback.
Please enjoy a fun and safe July 4th celebration.


Patrick O'Riordan
Interim Director
Curbside Over-the-Counter Permit Services 
The Department of Building Inspection, in coordination with its permitting agency partners (Public Works, Planning Department, Fire and the Public Utilities Commission) is offering curbside Over-the-Counter permit services.

Curbside services are available from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Customers will enter the side yard south of our building from Otis Street. There are three different types of services available:
  • 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. - OTC without plans drop-In service 
  • 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. - OTC with plans by appointment
  • 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.  - Permit pick-up
Visit   here   for more information on our curbside services.
Digital Permitting System 

We are continuing to fine-tune a robust digital permitting system that allows our customers to obtain the necessary permits to continue and/or allow them to start their important construction work online. In collaboration with the Permit Center and other permitting departments, we continue to make refinements to our processes to ensure this system meets your needs while balancing our staff's safety. Along with our curbside services, the digital permitting system provides our customers an alternative option to in-person submissions of their permits to DBI.

Visit   here   for more information on the online building permit submission process.
Deadlines Extended for Accessible Business Entrance Program

The City has implemented a program requiring business entrances to be accessible by people with disabilities, called the Accessible Business Entrance (ABE) program.  The compliance deadlines for the ABE program have been extended. Property owners will now have until September 1, 2020 to complete their compliance checklist and until September 1, 2021 to obtain the building permits required to make their business entrance fully accessible to persons with disabilities (see table below for the full compliance schedule). Visit here for more information. 


Submit compliance checklist and specify compliance option
File application for required building permit(s)
Obtain required building permit(s)
Category I
In Compliance
Category II
No Steps but barriers
Category III
One Step with other barriers
Category IV
1+ Steps with
other barriers
Plan Review Fee Waiver Extension for Unit Legalization Applications

The City continues to encourage property owners to legalize their existing unauthorized dwelling units or, "in-law" units and bring the units up to current building code standards for their safety and the safety of others.  Through  Ordinance 092-20 , the City is extending the waiver of plan review fees for permit applications to legalize existing dwelling units constructed without required permits before 2013.   With the previous fee waiver ordinance ( Ord. 146-15   expiring this year, this new legislation extends the fee waiver to December 31, 2024 and requires DBI to provide annual reports to the Board of Supervisors and other relevant departments. Visit  here  for more information.
Housing Inspectors Continue
Monitoring of Single Room Occupancy (SRO) hotels

During this pandemic, in addition to responding to complaints of life-safety hazards in all residential housing, our Housing Inspectors have targeted code enforcement efforts in residential hotels (sometimes referred to as Single-Room Occupancy [SRO] hotels). Residential hotels are an essential form of housing for some of our city's low-income, elderly and disabled tenants.  Due to congregate living conditions, these hotels can pose a potential to these already at-risk populations if not maintained properly. 
Accordingly, HIS performs common area inspections in residential hotels in order to enforce Health Officer Order C19-04, which requires residential hotel owners/operators to provide continuous cleanings of shared bathrooms, kitchens and other common areas. To aid our efficiency, HIS relies on the assistance of our Code Enforcement Outreach Program (CEOP) partners and SRO Collaborative in the Mission, Tenderloin and Chinatown to communicate tenant complaints and arrange building access.  We've made a concentrated effort in Chinatown's residential hotels with Housing Inspector Christina Moy performing more than 100 inspections over the last two months to protect families with children and seniors living in SROs. 
For more information on our SRO Collaborative Program, please visit here
Inspect the Safety of your Balcony or Deck

This year marks the five-year anniversary of the tragic balcony collapse in Berkeley, which resulted in six deaths and many more critical injuries. We recommend that all property owners conduct regular, annual inspections to ensure decks and balconies are safe and in good working condition. This includes exterior decks, stairs, balconies, porches and other attachments to buildings that carry people.  Regular inspection of decks and balconies will help us reduce potential accidents and injuries. 
If you are a property owner of an apartment building or hotel with exterior decks and/or attachments, DBI requires you to have a licensed structural pest control operator, licensed general contractor, architect or engineer inspect your deck, porch, stairs, balcony or other attachments every five years to assure their continued stability and safety.  
Visit   here   for more information.
In This Issue


DBI is the regulatory building safety agency responsible for overseeing the effective and efficient 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.


AB-111 :  Guidelines for Preparation of Geotechnical and Earthquake Ground Motion Reports for Foundation Design and Construction of Tall Buildings


  Damien Martin
  Building Inspection Division

  Van Zeng
  Building Inspection Division

 Joe Pena
 Code Enforcement Section

  Christine Gasparac
  Director's Office

  Susan Huang
  Housing Inspection Services

  Yvonne Lin
  Human Resources/Payroll




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In late July, we are moving our office at 1660 Mission Street to 49 South Van Ness Avenue. 

In preparation for our move, we  will be closed to curbside services on July 23, 24, 30, 31 and August 3. We will continue to serve our customers remotely from Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit  here for more information.