Streamlined Housing Development (Senate Bill 9)
What is Housing Development Streamlined Approval using Senate Bill 9?
Senate Bill 9 (SB-9) requires local entities to streamline the approval of certain housing projects by providing a ministerial approval process, removing the requirement for CEQA analysis, and removing the requirement for Conditional Use Authorization or other similar discretionary entitlements granted by the Planning Commission or Historic Preservation Commission. This is a voluntary program that a project sponsor may elect to pursue, provided that certain eligibility criteria are met.
A ministerial decision involves only the use of fixed standards or objective measurements, and the public official cannot use personal, subjective judgment in deciding whether or how the project should be carried out. An SB-9 project is a project that proposes no more than two new units, or that proposes to add one new unit to one existing unit.
There are three options under SB-9:
- Lot Split
- Lot Split and Duplex (combo)
Is my project eligible for streamlined approval using SB-9?
Director’s Bulletin No. 8 outlines the details of SB-9 eligibility and should be reviewed thoroughly before application.
To begin, the subject lot must be located in an RH-1, RH-1(D), and RH-1(S) zoning districts. If there is an existing home on the subject lot, it must have been owner-occupied or vacant for the past three (3) years.
The remaining eligibility criteria are listed in Director’s Bulletin No. 8. The Planning Department will review to confirm eligibility for the program within 30 days of submittal to the Planning Department.
Objective Design Standards
On January 27, 2022 and amended on April 28, 2022, the San Francisco Planning Commission adopted Objective Design Standards that apply to SB-9 Projects. All SB-9 projects should be designed to comply with the Objective Design Standards.
Please note, these graphics do not represent compliance with any Codes other than the Planning Code, and that other Code requirements may require modifications to the scenarios used in the Objective Design Standards.
Interdepartmental Project Review Meeting
For projects involving the lot split or lot split and duplex, an Interdepartmental Project Review meeting can be a great way to obtain initial feedback on your project. Representatives from the Fire Department, Department of Building Inspection, and Planning Department will all be on hand to answer any questions you may have. We recommend bringing a preliminary drawing that illustrates the proposed lot split, any easements if necessary, and estimated location of the structures.
Lot splits and duplexes often require a new electrical and or/water service and meter for the new units. Based on lot size restrictions, a utilities easement may be needed to provide this service.
Contact PG&E and the SFPUC early in the process to discuss options.
PG&E Application for Service
Building and renovation line 877-743-7782
San Francisco line 415-695-3500
SFPUC Water Service Installations
How do I apply?
Applicants may apply for a lot split only, duplex only, or lot split and duplex (combo).
- Lot Split Only:
- Duplex Only or Lot Split and Duplex (combo):
- Apply for a building permit for the construction of the dwelling units to the Department of Building Inspection. We encourage electronic plan review (EPR) building permit submittals.
- (Optional) Apply for a Parcel Map for a Lot Split with San Francisco Public Works
Instructions for electronic plan review (EPR), email firstname.lastname@example.org with the following:
- Submit only one (1) project per email
- Use this email subject line: New In-House Review Permit Request - [insert property address].
- Include all requested documents
- The intake team will check your documents and email you your filing fee invoice
- Director Bulletin No. 8
- SB-9 Objective Design Standards
- Interdepartmental Project Review
- Summary of SB-9 Financial Feasibility Analysis