Wireless Providers

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Overview

If you are planning to install or modify a wireless service facility, you may need one or more land use approvals from the City, in addition to building permits. Depending on the size, location, and zoning district of the property, your project will likely require a multi-step review process, including staff review steps and one or more public hearings.

Obtaining Land Use Approvals

There are several steps required for a wireless project approval in San Francisco:

By the Applicant By City Agencies
Visit of call the Planning Information Center Permit review
Understand what is allowed Permit approval
Fill out applicable applications and building permit forms, and pay fees  

The City’s Zoning Ordinance describes what type of wireless facilities are allowed in each zoning district. For any location at which you plan to install or modify a wireless facility, you should first determine whether the facility is Principally Permitted (P) or Conditionally Permitted (C) based on the zoning controls.

To find out the zoning of the project, visit San Francisco’s Planning Information Map, type in the subject address in the search bar, and select the “Zoning Information” tab on the left. Select the zoning link and a new window will open. In the new window, locate the Zoning Control Table and scroll down to “Wireless Telecommunications Services Facility” (WTS).

In addition, a Letter of Determination (LOD) may  be necessary if a proposed wireless facility is not easily categorized as one of the following: Micro, Macro, Temporary, or a Right-of-Way (ROW) installation. A LOD offers you guidance as to whether a proposed project conforms to the Planning Code. Once a LOD is issued, you still must obtain all applicable required building permits and/or certificates before a wireless use can begin, or a facility can be built. 

Wireless in Public Right-of-Way

CEQA for poles, or other instructions related to facilities in the public right-of-way, please email CPC.Wireless@sfgov.org 

Wireless Facilities on Private Property

Visit San Francisco’s Property Information Map to determine if the location of the proposed wireless facilities is located within an Article 10 or 11 District or on a landmark.

If the proposed facility is located within an Article 10 District or an Article 10 Landmark, you are required to submit an Administrative Certificate of Appropriateness supplemental application.

If the proposed facility is located within an Article 11 District or an Article 11 Landmark, you are required to submit a Minor Permit to Alter supplemental application.

Principally Permitted Process

  1. Obtain a building permit (BP) number from DBI and hold on to Form 8 BP sheet.
  2. Send BP number, electronic plans, and application materials to CPC.Wireless@sfgov.org
  3. The project will be assigned and comments will be provided within 30 days upon receipt of the submittal email.
  4. Applications submitted via email outside of business hours/days will be considered submitted the next business day.
  5. Once the application is deemed complete, the assigned planner will schedule an appointment to sign-off on plans.

Conditionally Permitted Process

  1. Complete the intake appointment form.
  2. Contact intake coordinator to schedule an appointment at CPC.Intake@sfgov.org
  3. After formal submittal, email all materials to CPC.wireless@sfgov.org
  4. The project will be assigned and comments will be provided within 30 days upon receipt of the submittal email.
  5. Applications submitted via email outside of business hours/days will be considered submitted the next business day.
  6. Once application is deemed complete, the project will be scheduled for a hearing before the Planning Commission and noticing will be required.

 

Temporary Wireless Facilities on Private Property

Visit San Francisco’s Property Information Map to determine if the location of the proposed wireless facilities is located within an Article 10 or 11 District or on a landmark.

If the proposed facility is located within an Article 10 District or an Article 10 Landmark, you are required to submit an Administrative Certificate of Appropriateness supplemental application.

If the proposed facility is located within an Article 11 District or an Article 11 Landmark, you are required to submit a Minor Permit to Alter supplemental application.

  1. Complete a TUA Application and Principally Permitted Site Application.
  2. Obtain a building permit (BP) number from DBI and hold on to Form 8 BP sheet.
  3. Please note that, temporary facilities must meet Planning Code Section 205.2(d).
  4. Send BP number, electronic plans, and application materials to CPC.Wireless@sfgov.org.
  5. The project will be assigned and comments will be provided within 30 days upon receipt of the submittal email.
  6. Applications submitted via email outside of business hours/days will be considered submitted the next business day.
  7. Once the application is deemed complete, the assigned planner will schedule an appointment to sign-off on plans.

 

Resources

Provided below are the most common handouts and applications that will get you started on your project.