News June 1, 2018

New Application Procedures Effective June 4, 2018

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New application procedures are in effect as of Monday, June 4, 2018. These changes are a key component of the Department's strategy to meet the accelerated project review timeframes established in Mayor Ed Lee's Executive Directive 17-02 on Housing Production issued last year.

Submittal of a single, consolidated Project Application for all projects seeking an entitlement action and/or environmental review is now required.

Specific information regarding any specific entitlement needed for the project should be provided as a Supplemental Application to be included with the Project Application at the time of submittal. Environment Evaluation Applications (EEA) are no longer available as a stand-alone application, and are instead included as part of the Project Application. EEAs are no longer accepted separately from a Project Application.

When is a Project Application Required?

Any project that is not eligible for same-day approval at the Planning Information Center (PIC) must submit a Project Application. This includes:

  • Any project that requires an entitlement action from the Planning Commission, Zoning Administrator, or Planning Department (e.g., Conditional Use Authorization, Large Project Authorization in Eastern Neighborhoods, Variance, etc.)
  • Any project that requires environmental review (i.e. one that would have been previously required to submit an Environmental Evaluation Application)
  • Any building permit application that requires an intake for Planning Department review due to required neighborhood notification pursuant to Zoning Administrator Bulletin No. 4, required environmental review, or any other reason. Note: building permit applications will continue to be accepted for intake at the Planning Information Center without a Project Application until July 2, 2018.  

Building Permit Applications

Please note that beginning July 2, 2018, building permit applications that cannot be approved "Over the Counter" will also be required to submit a Project Application for intake purposes. This will replace the Building Permit Supplemental Information Form and replace the EEA when one is required.

How to Submit a Project Application

Entitlement Applications (no Building Permit)
For projects that require an entitlement action by the Planning Department, complete the Project Application and any required supplemental applications as indicated by the Preliminary Project Assessment (PPA) if one was issued for the project. Note that information required for environmental evaluation is included in the Project Application. 

To submit a complete Project Application, schedule an intake appointment by sending an email request along with the intake appointment request form to CPC.Intake@sfgov.org.

Building Permit Applications
For projects that do not require an entitlement action by the Planning Department, but do require Planning Department review of a Building Permit Application (e.g. for required notice or environmental review), present a complete Project Application along with the Building Permit Application for intake at the Planning Information Center, located at 1660 Mission Street, Ground Floor.

No Supplemental Applications are required in this case, but an environmental evaluation screening form is included in the Project Application. This form will determine whether the permit requires any further environmental review, and if so, an environmental planner will contact the applicant after submittal to indicate any other required information or studies.

Environmental Evaluation
Projects should apply for environmental evaluation through the steps listed above, as applicable. For any questions related to environmental evaluation, please see below or contact CPC.EPintake@sfgov.org for direct assistance.

What makes a Project Application "Complete" or "Accepted"

A complete Project Application includes all required architectural plan sets and other materials indicated on the front page of the Project Application, property and applicant information; project description, details, and land use tables; environmental evaluation screening information; and the applicant's affidavit and site visit consent forms for the project, in addition to the below content.

  • If a Preliminary Project Assessment (PPA) letter was issued for the project, the Project Application must be submitted along with all required Supplemental Applications and other information that was identified in the Department's PPA letter. If a PPA is required, Project Applications will not be accepted until after the PPA letter has been issued.
  • For projects where no PPA letter was required, the Project Application should include all relevant Supplemental Applications and other required information to the best of the applicant's knowledge at the time of submittal. For assistance determining what Supplemental Applications for entitlement may be required, contact the Planning Information Center. To determine what Supplemental Applications and other documents may be required for environmental review, follow the instructions provided in the Environmental Evaluation Screening section of the Project Application.

When a Project Application is submitted, the Department will notify the applicant within 30 days whether the application is complete or incomplete, indicating all required information that is missing, if necessary. Complete applications will be deemed accepted by the Department, and will be assigned to a Planner for review. Incomplete applications will be held and will not be deemed accepted or assigned to a Planner until all required information is provided.

What are Supplemental Applications?

Supplemental applications collect any additional information required for entitlement actions or environmental review. All existing development applications will be converted into Supplemental Application forms, which will only collect the specific information relevant to that entitlement action, and must be submitted as attachments to the Project Application.

For example, the new Conditional Use Supplemental Application form will only request information and findings needed for that entitlement, and will not ask the applicant to duplicate pages of project description and applicant information. There is no change to the information required for any particular development application. Supplemental Applications are available here and are listed under the same titles as the previous individual development applications.

What is the Fee for a Project Application?

There is no additional fee for the Project Application itself, and there is no change to the existing application fee schedule. When a Project Application is submitted, the fee payable will be whatever fee is required for the included Supplemental Application(s), or the applicable fee for intake of a Building Permit Application. Fee amounts for any required environmental evaluation will be provided via email after submittal of the Project Application and will be payable before the Project Application can be deemed accepted. For more, see the Fee Schedule for Applications.

Environmental Evaluation

Environmental Evaluation Applications (EEAs) are no longer available as a stand-alone application, and the Department will no longer accept applications for environmental review, including historical review, at the central Planning Reception desk at 1650 Mission, 4th floor. Instead, applicants should file a Project Application by sending an email request along with the intake appointment request form to CPC.Intake@sfgov.org, or by submitting the Project Application along with the building permit application, if applicable, at the Planning Information Center, 1650 Mission Street, Ground Floor.

Note: For projects where a building permit or related development application was filed prior to June 4, 2018 and is currently under review, but a required environmental evaluation application has not yet been filed, applicants may submit a Project Application to CPC.EPIntake@sfgov.org. You do not need to resubmit any applications that have already been submitted.

The environmental evaluation screening section of the Project Application, or the PPA letter for the project, if one was issued, will indicate the required Supplemental Applications and additional documents required for environmental review. Specifically, the following may be required in order for a Project Application to be deemed accepted and assigned to a Planner:

Projects that received a Preliminary Project Assessment (PPA) letter:

  • Completed applications and checklists for: Article 38 of Health Code, School and Child Care Drop-Off & Pick-up Management Plans, greenhouse gases, and the Maher Ordinance.
  • Draft scopes of work for the following environmental topics: Historic Preservation (part 2), Transportation, Noise, Air quality, Wind, or Shadow.
  • Consultant or applicant-prepared draft studies for the following environmental topics: Historic preservation (supplemental HRE or part 1), Transportation (if the project is entirely a school or child care use), Wind (memorandum), Biological resources, Geology and soils (Geotechnical report), or Hazardous materials (Environmental Site Assessment Phase I)

Projects for which no Preliminary Project Assessment (PPA) letter is required:

  • Completed applications and checklists for: Article 38 of Health Code, School and Child Care Drop-Off & Pick-up Management Plans, or the Maher Ordinance.
  • Draft scopes of work for Historic Preservation (part 2)
  • Consultant or applicant-prepared draft studies for the following environmental topics: Historic Resource Evaluation (HRE) Supplemental, Transportation (if the project is entirely a school or child care use), Geology and soils (Geotechnical report), or Hazardous materials (Environmental Site Assessment Phase I).

(NOTE: required Supplemental Applications and other documents are not required to be submitted as part of a Building Permit Application intake, but any necessary documents will be requested via email after submittal).

For more information, contact CPC.EPIntake@sfgov.org for direct assistance.

Why have these procedures changed?

These changes are a key component of the Department's strategy to meet the accelerated project review timeframes established in Mayor Ed Lee's Executive Directive 17-02 on Housing Production issued last year, and were identified in the Department's Process Improvements Plan issued December 1, 2017.

These changes are intended to significantly improve internal coordination between the planning, design, and environmental review processes, and provide straightforward expectations and greater predictability to applicants early on. We invite your feedback and suggestions for further improvements to the application and review process, at any time.

For more information, please contact:

Jacob Bintliff, Principal Planner
jacob.bintliff@sfgov.org
415.575.9170