Section 311 Pre-Application Process

Section 311 Building Permit Notification

(Adopted by the San Francisco Planning Commission, for implementation on July 20, 2004)


Pre-Application shall be required for certain alterations proposed in all RH and RM Districts. The intent of the process is to: (1) initiate neighbor communication to identify issues and concerns early on; (2) provide the project sponsor the opportunity to address neighbor concerns prior to submitting their building permit application; and (3) reduce the number of Discretionary Reviews (DRs) that would result in a public hearing before the Planning Commission.

The benefits to project sponsors include: identification of neighbor concerns and the opportunity to mitigate those concerns before the building permit application (BPA) is submitted, a streamlined review from the Planning Department, and elimination of delays associated with DR’s.

The benefits to the neighbors include: the opportunity to provide input into a project early on, eliminating the need to file a DR, as well as, the time and stress that accompany it.

Alterations to properties in RH and RM zoned districts that are subject to a pre-application process shall include:

  • New construction (subsequent to a demolition or on an undeveloped portion of the buildable area); or
  • Vertical additions that add seven (7’) or more feet to the existing building height; or
  • Horizontal additions that add more than ten (10’) feet to the existing building depth at any level.


Pre-Application process:

Step 1: Prior to submitting a new construction or alteration permit application; the Project Sponsor shall be responsible for conducting a minimum of one Community Outreach meeting (notification of: neighborhood association(s) from the list provided by the Planning Department, abutting property owners and occupants; and scheduling a time to meet at the subject site or alternative location when appropriate to review the proposal). Preliminary plans that include the height and depth of the subject building and its adjacent properties dimensioned shall be provided to help facilitate discussion.

For accountability purposes, a sign-in sheet will verify who attended and an affidavit signed by the project sponsor will confirm that a Community Outreach meeting was held and the opportunity to review a preliminary proposal provided to all interested parties. These items will be submitted with the 311 Notification Packet at the time of filing their building permit application. In addition, a list of issues raised at the Community Outreach Meeting(s) and the sponsor’s response to those issues shall be included in the 311 Notification Packet as part of the Pre-Application process.

For Community Outreach meeting purposes, “abutting” property owners and occupants shall include the two adjacent lots; three to the rear; and three across the street. Corner lot notification shall include abutting properties and all corner lots.

Step 2: After the Community Outreach meeting is held, the Project Sponsor is strongly encouraged to conduct a follow-up meeting to present revisions/mitigation measures that address neighbor concerns.

Please review the PDF for full requirements of the Pre-Application Meeting
Effective Feb. 2017 - Application has been updated to reflect the recently adopted Transportation Demand Management Program, pursuant to Planning Code Section 169.