Hands on guide for any client who is looking to start a construction process in the City of San Francisco. When it comes to permitting, there is so much below the surface that most of us don’t think about when dealing with such as does my project qualify for Over-theCounter (OTC) or will I need a Conditional Use Permit. This guide will keep you on track on a reasonable timeline.
There are two types of OTC applications one with plans and one without. This process is faster than the In-house review permits, but the project must be eligible for the process. Please see refer to the link to check eligibility. Over-the-Counter Eligibility If you do not qualify for an OTC application review process, you will be directed for an InHouse/Intake review.
Follow this submittal checklist:
You may drop off OTC without plans to Department Building daily Monday – Friday 7:30am– 9:30am. For Over-the-Counter with plans you must schedule an appointment Monday through Friday from 9:30am - 3:30pm. If an appointment time is needed much closer than the SFDBI site has provide, you may contact Burnham to get you on a waitlist to a much closer appointment date.
Due to COVID procedures timelines are subject to change.
Departmental Plan Reviews
If you do not qualify for an OTC application review process, you will be directed for an InHouse/Intake review. Typically larger or more complicated projects are submitted
through the In-House process.
The In-house process includes a pre-screening process to insure the specific area of proposed design are code compliant and whether certain existing non-conforming conditions can remain as is. This allows the applicant to review the project details before fully committing to the project.
Whether it is the beginning, middle or at the end of your project, Burnham can always
assist in your project.
A Conditional Use refers to a use that is not principally permitted in a particular Zoning District. The Planning Commission will need to review and hear the order to determine whether the proposed use is necessary or desirable to the neighborhood. The CUP and CUA will mostly apply to formula retail (11 or more business locations worldwide). It's important to state that not all Districts of San Francisco accept formula retails which is why they must go through the process.
Checklist for going through the process:
This is a long and intensive process, which you may not want to go through. Check in with Burnham before you start any process with your business. We want to ensure you save time and money for your project.
San Francisco is full of beautiful, historical facades and structures. Because of this, the Historic Preservation Commission was created to protect said sites and structures from negligence or alterations that may destroy their historical and architectural value.
Follow the steps below to determine if you are able to make exterior changes to your building.
Whether it is the beginning, middle or at the end of your project, Burnham can always assist in your project. Our team is equipped with the knowledge and experience to handle any step. We are ready to take on the lead of your project, that way it will save you time, money, and an ease of mind knowing your project is being handled by local experts.