COVID-19 and San Francisco Planning

City Info on COVID-19

Overview

Last Updated: April 7, 2020

The Planning Department is open for business. Most of our staff are working from home and we’re available by email. Due to state and local Declarations of Emergency and Public Health Orders, including a requirement to shelter in place, the Planning Department office at 1650 Mission Street and the Planning Information Center at 1660 Mission Street both are closed to the public. Associated adjustments to our services are described on this page and will be updated as we continue to respond to the changing situation.

While we continue to carry-out much of our work, the requirement for our staff to shelter in place allows us to perform “in-office” tasks only for projects that are essential. Essential Projects are those containing new homes of which at least 10% are affordable. Among other things, this means we cannot yet approve building permit applications for non-essential projects. This limitation is being addressed by the City’s rapid transition to electronic plan review. Available now for certain Essential Projects, in the coming weeks this service will opened to all projects. Throughout the Local Emergency, the Department will continue to prioritize Essential Projects, with non-essential projects being handled as capacity permits.

 

General Information

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General Questions

E-mail pic@sfgov.org
Please note that phones are not currently being staffed at the Planning Information Center.

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.

Section updated: March 27, 2020

New Applications

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Online Planning Applications

Most Planning applications are now available for filing via the Public Portal.
Please note that only new projects that require an entitlement may be filed through the Public Portal at this time.
For existing projects, please see the information immediately below.

Planning Application Intake

New Projects: If you would like to file a new Project Application or entitlement, contact us at CPC.Intake@sfgov.org with a copy of the Intake Request Form and your Project Application.
You will receive a confirmation email within three business days.

Existing Projects: If you have an existing project with Planning, and additional entitlement applications are required, please send us an email with this Intake Request Form to CPC.Intake@sfgov.org.
You will receive a confirmation email within three business days.

Building Permit Applications Requiring Planning Department’s Review

The Department continues to review all previously-filed Building Permit Applications, however permit approval for non-essential projects cannot occur during the requirement to shelter in place. More information can be found here.

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

Email us at cpc.adu@sfgov.org. We can help answer questions about ADU options, requirements, and review your preliminary plans.

Discretionary Reviews

To file a Discretionary Review application, you must create an account or be an existing registered user through our Public Portal. Complete the Discretionary Review PDF application, and email the completed PDF application to CPC.Intake@sfgov.org. You will receive follow-up instructions for DR application fee payment via email from our Public Portal.

Section updated: April 6, 2020

Commission Hearings

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Please continue to visit our website regularly for updates and links for public participation. We intend to enable both broadcast of a hearing as well as a dial-in number to receive public comment.

Planning Commission

April 9, 2020 Commission Hearing: Members of the Commission will be attending meetings through video conferencing (and by telephone if the infrastructure fails). There will not be a physical location for members of the public to attend.

Historic Preservation Commission

April 15, 2020 Commission Hearing: Members of the Commission will be attending meetings through video conferencing (and by telephone if the infrastructure fails). There will not be a physical location for members of the public to attend.

Section updated: March 27, 2020

Public Notices

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Pre-Application Meetings Noticed Prior to the Shelter in Place Order 

(03/26/2020) If a project’s Pre-Application meeting is scheduled to take place during the Shelter in Place Order, the project sponsor must post a notice at the site on the meeting date that says the meeting was cancelled but that anyone who wants to discuss the project can contact the project sponsor, along with accurate contact information during the Shelter in Place Order. This will still allow interested parties to stay aware of a project and engage with the project sponsor going forward.

Pre-Application Meetings for which Notice is Provided During the Shelter in Place Order 

(03/26/2020) Project Sponsors should use the standard form, process, and 14-day notice period. However, they must also include a copy of the project plans in the mailing. They must also e-mail applicable registered neighborhood organizations because many of them use a P.O. Box that will not be checked during the Shelter in Place Order. Neighborhood organizations’ email addresses can be accessed on our website (column J of the “Neighborhood Groups List”). If there is no email address provided on the Department’s list, standard mail is acceptable.

No in-person meetings should be conducted during the Shelter in Place Order. The notice template should indicate a day and time period during which the Project Sponsor will be available to take phone calls from interested parties or host a video meeting. The applicant should offer both options on the notice, understanding that many members of the public will not have video conferencing technology.

Planning Code Section 311 Notices Mailed Prior to the Shelter in Place Order

(04/02/2020) All Building Permit neighborhood notifications (known as “311s”) which had already been issued were placed on hold, and no new notifications were issued, as of March 17, 2020 in response to the inability to file for Discretionary Review. On April 7, 2020, the Department will resume the ‘clock’ for all neighborhood notifications that were previously issued.

(03/26/2020) If a project’s Section 311 notification period began prior to the Shelter in Place Order, the Project Sponsor must put a note on the 311 poster(s), or add an additional poster stating that the 311 notice period will be extended by the number of days such notice fell within the Shelter in Place Order. For example, if a 311 notice started on March 1 and was set to expire on March 31, that notice would continue for another 15 days once the Shelter in Place Order is to end on April 7. Project Sponsors should also communicate this extension to any parties that contact them regarding information about the project.

Planning Code Section 311 Notices Mailed After the Shelter in Place Order

(04/02/2020) On April 7, 2020, the Department will begin issuing new Building Permit neighborhood notifications (known as “311s”) for essential projects only.

Planning Code Enforcement Notices Mailed Prior to the Shelter in Place Order 

(04/07/2020) If a Notice of Violation or Notice of Penalty was issued prior to the Shelter in Place Order, any deadlines to respond to the Planning Department will be paused during the period of the Shelter in Place Order (i.e. March 17 through May 3). All such enforcement deadlines will be reinstated on May 4 and extended by the number of days that fell within the Order.

Section updated: April 7, 2020

Small Businesses

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General

Email sfosb@sfgov.org or call the Office of Small Business at 415.554.6134 for general questions.

Restaurants

Under the City’s Public Health Order, restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food are considered an essential business and may remain open, but only for delivery or take-out.

During the Shelter in Place Order, the elimination of dine-in service to accommodate the Public Health Order is allowed, and restaurants may convert to pick-up/delivery services only. No application or fee is required for such conversion.

Storefronts

During the Shelter in Place Order, 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: March 27, 2020

Appeals

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Board of Appeals

The Board of Appeals office is physically closed. They have cancelled meetings on April 1, 2020 and April 8, 2020. Agenda items will be rescheduled to a later Board hearing date.
You may still submit appeals by phone or email. Please email julie.rosenberg@sfgov.org, alec.longaway@sfgov.org, or leave a voice message at 415.575.6881.
For more information please visit the Board of Appeals website.

Board of Supervisors

City Hall is closed to the public, but 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: March 27, 2020

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 and is part of the Municipal Code.

Section updated: March 27, 2020