Are you a San Francisco architect acting as the owner’s agent? If you are, there are times when you may have to obtain construction permits for your client. The guide below consolidates the city’s elaborate permitting procedures and submittal requirements for your convenience.
In San Francisco, the Planning Department is the first agency to accept a permit application, and review it with other pertinent agencies. At the end of this first review stage, successful applicants are issued an initial “Site Permit”.
The Site Permit submittal does not require a full set of working drawings. Rather, its approval is based on conceptual preliminary drawings and documentation. Plans submitted with the Site Permit application must show:
Once all reviewing agencies approve the Site Permit, you must submit a full set of working drawings, along with specifications, photographs, and other pertinent documents to the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection (SFDBI) for review. The requirements for new construction projects are summarized below.
1. Pre-application Requirements
These must be included in the submittal for projects that require neighborhood meetings, such as, vertical additions over 7 feet, horizontal additions over 10 feet, and deck additions 10 feet above grade or in the required rear yard, as well as for Formula Retail Uses requiring a Conditional Use Authorization:
2. Project Application
3. Affidavit for formula Retail if the application involves a commercial tenant improvement.
Each sheet of every drawing included in the submittal must contain the following:
The full drawing package is comprised of a title sheet, site survey, site plan, floor plans, elevations, and sections. The requirements for each set are described below:
1. Title sheet with the project summary. The narrative should describe the site condition, existing and proposed uses, as well as all scopes of the project, including the depth of excavation and total earthwork in cubic yards; a project summary table should outline:
2. Site Survey signed by a licensed surveyor; a plot plan cannot be used as a substitute; the survey needs to have a 1/8”=1’-0” or 1” = 10’-0” scale, and must include:
3. Site plans, showing existing and proposed features, must be scaled to 1/8”=1’-0” or 1” = 10’-0”, and need to show:
4. Floor and Roof Plans must show existing and proposed dimensions. At a minimum, the scale should be 1/8”=1’-0”, although 1/4”=1’-0” is preferred unless the subject building is too large. The drawings should include:
5. Elevation, rear, front, and side, must depict:
6. Sections through critical points of the proposed structures must have a scale of 1/4”=1’-0” unless the project is too large for this scale. At least 2 sections, longitudinal and lateral, are required for expansions and/or projects that involve excavation. The former must show the relationship between the street, front property line, subject building, and rear yard and the rear property line, while the latter must show the relationship between the subject and adjacent buildings. All section drawings must include:
A section detail of proposed windows, along with muntin specifications, must be submitted if the new windows are visible from the street.
Large projects, as defined in section 138.1 of the San Francisco Planning Code, may require the submittal of landscaping, streetscape, and detailed vicinity plans.
Design details and material specifications must be submitted for doors, windows, and all exterior materials unless these are clearly labeled on the drawings.
Photographs of the site vicinity are mandatory for all new construction projects. The photograph package must include the following images:
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