Some of the things we can help you with:
- a permit for a project you are undertaking
- zoning/land use information
- the San Francisco Planning Code
- a particular neighborhood plan or area plan
- general questions
Working on an historic building?
If your project involves alteration to a structure that has been identified as a "historic resource" or if the structure is 45 years old or greater, see one of our Historic Preservation Specialists:
Monday to Thursday: 10:15am – 2:45pm
Friday: 10:15am – 12:30pm
Please Note: Preservation Specialists may not always be available during these times.
Planning and Building Inspection - what's the Difference?
The Planning Department is responsible for regulating the type and scale of land use activities at a given location dictated by the San Francisco Planning Code. The Code includes zoning regulations which outline land use activities and the overall dimensions of the structures in which they occur, such as: restrictions on commercial uses by zoning district, setting maximum building heights, rear yard, open space, etc.
In general, the Planning Department reviews projects and uses before construction or demolition occurs. The documents needed for these and other uses are often called applications.
Violations of the Planning Code, relating to such topics as illegal uses of dwelling units or commercial uses in residential properties, signage, exceeding permitted hours of operation, can be referred to Code Enforcement or PIC staff.
Department of Building Inspection
The Department of Building Inspection (or DBI) is responsible for all structural and life safety concerns in the construction, demolition or alteration of buildings dictated by the San Francisco and California Building Codes including, but not limited to: electrical and plumbing permits, HVAC systems, Title 24 energy standards and handicapped access pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements, etc.
In general, DBI approves construction or demolition requests and inspects results. The documents issued for these and other uses are often called permits.
Violations related to construction or remodeling being done without a permit or beyond the scope of an authorized building permit should be referred to DBI online or the Public Services Division at 415.558.6096.