Guidelines
Last Updated: 09/12/2019

File a Planning Code Violation

Each year the Planning Department responds to over 500 complaints. There is no fee to file a complaint. We accept anonymous complaints, but please be sure to provide the correct information regarding the potential violation. Please note that if the information is incorrect or insufficient, the investigation may be hampered and we will be unable to contact you.

If you think you know of a potential violation, you may report it as outlined below.

  • In Person - Visit the Planning Information Center (PIC) located at the first floor of 1660 Mission Street, where you can fill out and submit the Code Violation Complaint Form directly to Planning Department staff.
  • By Phone - Call the Code Enforcement Complaint Hotline at 415.575.6863. Please provide a call back number, the exact address of the property, and specific information about the potential violation.
  • By Fax – Fax the Code Violation Complaint Form to the attention of the Code Enforcement Division at 415.558.6409.
  • By Regular Mail - Mail the Code Violation Complaint Form to the Planning Department's Code Enforcement Division at 1650 Mission Street, Suite 400, San Francisco, CA 94103-2479.
  • By E-mail - E-mail the Code Violation Complaint Form to Planning.CodeEnforcement@sfgov.org.

In addition to filing a complaint with the Planning Department's Code Enforcement Division, there are a number of other options available to you:

  • Make Contact with the responsible person. Describe your perception of the problem and discuss how the problem affects you, including possible solutions.
  • Attend Neighborhood Organization Meetings and get involved with solving the problem. If you do not know if your neighborhood is represented by an organization, please call the Planning Department at 415.558.6377.
  • Community Boards: Ongoing concerns and conflicts between neighbors and businesses about issues that are beyond the jurisdiction of City agencies, can be referred to an independent neighborhood mediation agency called Community Boards. Community Boards provide San Francisco residents, consumers, businesses, and neighborhood organizations with no-cost and low-cost mediation services as an alternative to expensive and burdensome legal actions. The information on Community Boards can be obtained from www.communityboards.org or by calling 415.920.3820.

How We Respond to Complaints

When a complaint is received it will be logged and assigned to an Enforcement Planner in charge of the geographic area where the potential violation occurred. Visit our Code Enforcement page for a list of staff.

The assigned planner investigates each complaint in order of priority to determine if a Planning Code violation exists. The Department's highest priority for investigation and resolution of reported violations are health and safety-related. If evidence exists that a violation of Planning Code may have occurred, the Enforcement Planner sends a notice to the responsible party (usually the property owner or leaseholder).

High service demands can routinely cause cases to remain open for some time. These cases usually involve violations that do not constitute a significant impact.

If necessary, the Enforcement Planner may conduct a site visit to further investigate the reported violation.

If the violation is confirmed, further written notice will be sent to the responsible parties.

If the violation notice is not appealed and the violation continues, administrative penalties may be assessed and further enforcement action will be taken.


Checking Complaint Status

Within 10 business days of filing a complaint, you may find out which Code Enforcement planner has been assigned the case by entering the address under review in the SF Property Information Map and selecting the "Complaints" tab. We kindly ask that you only call a planner directly if you are sure they have been assigned to your complaint case.

If you received a notice or would like to discuss a specific complaint with your assigned Enforcement Planner, please visit our Code Enforcement page for a list of staff.


Questions?

If you have questions about the Planning Code or a possible violation, please contact the Planning Information Center (PIC) by phone at 415.558.6377, or in person at the first floor of 1660 Mission St.

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