Reopening San Francisco Planning

City Info on COVID-19

Overview

Expanded in-person services at the Permit Center are available. Most of our staff are working from home and are available by email. Associated adjustments to our services are described on this page and will be updated as we continue to respond to the changing situation.

We encourage all applicants to take advantage of the City’s ongoing transition to electronic plan review. Throughout the Local Emergency we are taking additional precautions to ensure everyone’s health. As a result, please expect increased delays in the review process.

The Planning and Historic Preservation Commissions are convening remotely and the public is encouraged to participate.

Our Public Portal, where you can file new applications, and our Property Information Map are available 24/7. The Board of Appeals, Board of Supervisors, and Planning Commission are accepting appeals via e-mail despite office closures.

Permit Submission Updates from DBI and the Permit Center: read the latest information here.

General Information

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General Questions

Beginning July 1, 2021, the Permit Center will expand its services to allow in-person over-the-counter approvals and design consultation.

View our Planning counter hours here.

For questions about short-term rentals, email shorttermrentals@sfgov.org. For other general questions, e-mail pic@sfgov.org.

Please note that phones are not currently being staffed at the Planning counter.

Questions About a Specific Permit or Project

Contact the assigned staff planner via e-mail.
You can identify the assigned staff planner through the Department’s Property Information Map, and the assigned planner’s contact information through our staff directory.

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

If you're looking to add an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) or need a permit for work related to ADU construction, start your application online. For questions, email us at cpc.adu@sfgov.org. 

Over-the-Counter Permits

Over-the-Counter permit services are available at the Permit Center, 49 South Van Ness Avenue (49 SVN). For more info, visit https://sf.gov/location/permit-center.

Project Design Consultations

Starting on August 6, 2021, you can sign up to speak with one of our Planning staff architects for project design consultation. The staff architects are experts in the application of the Residential Design Guidelines and Urban Design Guidelines.

Staff architects will be available at the Planning counter every Friday from 12:00 p.m. (noon) - 4:00 p.m.

Section updated: July 23, 2021

New Applications

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Building Permit Applications Requiring Planning Department’s Review

New building permit applications are being accepted for 100% Affordable Housing projects, Development Agreement projects, and addenda and revisions for already submitted digital in-house review projects, and may be submitted electronically at the Department of Building Inspection.

Some small businesses are eligible for a 30-day review for business permits under Proposition H. To apply for a small business permit, start your Prop H. application online.

For all other new permits that require in-house review, please follow DBI's instructions on the In-House Review Permit webpage.

Planning Department Applications

New projects that require a Planning Department application (aka an “entitlement”) can be submitted electronically. Most applications are available for filing via the Department’s Public Portal. To file any other application (e.g. applications for Discretionary Review; applications for Project Review Meetings) you must first create an account (or be an existing registered user) on the Department’s Public Portal. Then, download the application and email the completed PDF document to CPC.Intake@sfgov.org. You will receive follow-up instructions for fee payment via email.

Virtual Interdepartmental Project Review meetings will begin on July 6, 2021. To submit a meeting request form, please visit the Interdepartmental Project Review application webpage.

Discretionary Review Applications

To file a DR Application, you must complete the Discretionary Review PDF application (https://sfplanning.org/resource/drp-application) and email the completed PDF application to CPC.Intake@sfgov.org by the expiration date listed on the front of this notice. You will receive follow-up instructions via email on how - and by when - to post payment for the DR Application.

Section updated: June 30, 2021

Commissions & Zoning Variance Hearings

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Planning Commission

The Planning Commission will convene remotely starting on April 9, 2020, continuing until further notice. Members of the public are encouraged to participate remotely. There will not be a physical location for members of the public to attend. Find more information here.

The Historic Preservation Commission

The Historic Preservation Commission will convene remotely starting on April 15, 2020, continuing until further notice. Members of the public are encouraged to participate remotely. There will not be a physical location for members of the public to attend. Find more information here.

Zoning Variance Hearing

The Zoning Administrator will hold a remote Zoning Variance hearings. Members of the public are encouraged to participate remotely. There will not be a physical location for members of the public to attend. Find more information here.

Section updated: May 11, 2020

Public Notices

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Pre-Application Meetings 

08/13/2021 Update: In response to the continued surge in cases to the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 in San Francisco, the Department will require project sponsors to conduct virtual pre-application meetings until further notice.  The Pre-Application Meeting notice should indicate a day and time period during which the Sponsor will be available to take phone calls from interested parties and host a video conference meeting. Sponsors are required to provide either a local phone number or a toll-free number for interested parties to dial-in to the video conferencing meeting. Both the dial-in telephone number and video conferencing options should appear on the notice, understanding that many members of the public will not have video conferencing technology.

Section updated: August 13, 2021

Small Businesses

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General

Email sfosb@sfgov.org or contact the Office of Small Business for general questions.

Storefronts

During the Shelter in Place and the Stay Safe at Home Orders, the City will not pursue enforcement actions against businesses which opt to board up any storefront windows.

All proprietors, but particularly those with businesses located in historic buildings or with historic facades should be mindful of the methods used to board their storefronts so as to avoid needless damage.

Section updated: June 15, 2021

Appeals

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Planning Commission

The Planning Commission is accepting appeals of Preliminary Mitigated Negative Declarations (“PMNDs”) under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”). To file an appeal of a PMND, you must first create an account (or be an existing registered user) on the Department’s Public Portal. Then, email an appeal letter to CPC.EPIntake@sfgov.org. You will receive follow-up instructions for fee payment via email.

Board of Appeals

All appeals may be submitted by phone or email. Please email boardofappeals@sfgov.org,  or leave a voice message at 628.652.1150. Board staff will respond in a timely manner to all inquiries.
 
If you need to come into the Board of Appeal's physical office, you must make an appointment in advance of your visit.  

For more information please visit the Board of Appeals website.

Board of Supervisors

The Board of Supervisors is accepting appeals of (1) determinations under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) and (2) Conditional Use authorizations by email at bos.legislation@sfgov.org.

For more information visit the Board of Supervisors website.

Section updated: June 30, 2021

Short-Term Rentals

Effective at 12:01am on August 3, 2021, Health Officer Order no. C19-07y – Safer Return Together Health Order generally requires individuals to wear a face covering when indoors, no matter their vaccination status, in the common areas of a residence that is used as a shared rental (hosted guest stay in a Short-Term Rental included) with multiple households. There continue to be no Health Officer Directive-imposed operating restrictions specific to un-hosted guest stays for Short-Term Rentals.

All individuals and businesses are strongly encouraged to review and follow the Health Officer issued Core Guidance for COVID-19. For more information, please contact shorttermrentals@sfgov.org or visit https://www.sfdph.org/dph/alerts/coronavirus-health-directives.asp.

Section updated: August 2, 2021

Additional Resources

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Applications & Forms

This web page includes commonly used Planning applications and forms that are required for different types of projects.

Property Information Map

This online map allows members of the public to enter an address and identify information for any property in the City, such as zoning district, height limits, historic significance, applications under review, and contact information for any assigned planner.

Planning Code

This is the full set of codified regulations that relate to almost all development projects in the City and is part of the Municipal Code.

Section updated: March 27, 2020