City and County of San FranciscoDepartment of Building Inspection

Public Advisory Committee

2009 2008 2007 







Thursday, May 21, 2009

2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

1660 Mission Street

Room 2001





Director Day welcomed attendees to the meeting and introductions were made.




The discussion centered around whether or not fees should be collected up front or should be paid once at filing and again at issuance.


It was suggested that a threshold be created for scopes of work to collect permit fees. DBI is looking to implement July 1st pending further discussion. Ken Cochrane suggested DBI look at the permits that are coming in and come up with an efficiency threshold. It may be more efficient if DBI collected fees for bigger jobs up front.


Laurence Kornfield reported that they will be working on having an intake desk/help desk so it will ease the flow on the 4th floor, and having general questions being answered on the 1st floor. Staff is being pulled from various divisions to create the “help desk.”


Director Day reported DBI is working on having a kiosk for frequent users to input their information into the system. This should be implemented before the remodeling project is complete.


Gary Bell suggested having customer/PAC input when forming staff for the help desk or looking for ways to improve this proposed system.


Director Day reported that all 1408s have been given back their cashiering privileges.


DBI is currently working on a pilot program for over-counter-plan check by appointment.





This item was continued for a future meeting.




Director Day reported that legislation is being introduced by the Mayor’s Office to have DBI become the main fee collection agency. However, impact fees would be delayed up until the first certificate of occupancy. It was asked how DBI would do this with reduction in staff. Director Day stated staff is being reassigned to improve workflow.


As of July 1st, for site permits, customers will pay 100% of the building permit issuance fee upon the approval of the first construction addenda.


Director Day also reported on the application expiration dates. DBI now has the ability to issue more than one extension, but one must meet all current municipal codes.


On issued permits, they changed the valuation from $1.00 to $100,000 for one year and from $100,001 to $2.5M for 1080 days. The extension limits for small permits have also been increased from 180 days to 6 months.


There will be a technology surcharge for the maintenance of the Permit Tracking System. This will be collected as of July 1st but will be remitted to the vendor of the new system a year from the implementation date. This will cover software licensing and hardware. The surcharge will be 2% of the permit cost and will be put into a special fund.


New addresses will be $104. Address changes will still be $210. The records retention fee will be increased to $3 to cover costs.


There are no increases in electrical fees, just changes on how things are categorized.


Hotel and apartment licensing fees have been brought up to a level of normality.


Refunds will change to the amount paid, less $160 (actual cost to process) or actual cost, whichever is greater. Additionally, for plan check fees, there will be no refunds once the project is deemed acceptable for DBI review.


Other fees that are coming up: they are trying to put in a vacant building ordinance which states that if you have a property and do not put it up for sale/rent for a certain period time, DBI will charge $1000 per year to monitor it and the property must be registered.


There will also be legislation on code complaints. If one receives a notice of violation, that is when it will be deemed viable verified in the field. Notices will not be written up until the complaint is verified. The actual code enforcement fees will be charged at that time.





Director Day reported on some of the layoffs within DBI. There were a total of 96 positions, of which 60+ positions were filled.


There was an inquiry as to when the Permit Tracking System would go into effect. Director Day stated that they hope to have a vendor selected by the end of year. DBI has a 12-24 month implementation date. Both systems will have email capabilities and have the automatic expiration notifications.


            6.    FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS


Vivian Day asked that agenda items be emailed to her.


            7.     ADJOURNMENT


There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 3:23 p.m.