Projects eligible for an Over-the-Counter (OTC) permit

Examples of projects you can get OTC permits for, with or without plans.

Plans not required

Over-the-Counter permits without plans include (but are not limited to):

  • Re-roofing
  • In-kind skylight replacement (same size and location)
  • In-kind repair decks and/or stairs (less than 50%)
  • Replacement windows (same size and same location)
  • Replacement garage doors (same size and same location)
  • In-kind minor dry rot repair
  • In-kind exterior siding repair and/or replacement
  • In-kind kitchen remodel (no changes to the floor plan or walls)
  • In-kind bathroom remodel (no change to the floor plan or walls)
  • Exploratory work to determine depth of footing, stud size/spacing, floor/roof joist size and direction. (Holes to be filled with slurry, and finishes to be replaced with the same fire resistance rating)
  • Replacement of wall finishes in R-3 occupancies complying with SFEBC Section 503.11.1
  • Bolting down existing foundation and/or adding plywood panels to crawl space/1st floor garage area (not complying with DBI Information Sheet IS-09)

Plans required

Over-the-Counter permits with plans include (but not limited to):

  • Kitchen remodel (changing layout or removing walls)
  • Bathroom remodel (changing layout or removing walls)
  • Residential interior remodel (changing floor plans or walls)
  • Repairing decks and/or stairs (more than 50%)
  • New windows and/or exterior doors in new locations
  • New skylights in new locations
  • Decks less than 20 feet above grade that meet Planning Department setbacks
  • Sign permits
  • Single story non-structural commercial tenant improvement projects
  • Permits to comply with the Accessible Business Entrance (ABE) program
  • Installation of power door operators
  • Voluntary structural strengthening
  • Disability access barrier removal projects
  • Small to medium projects that do not require Planning Department neighborhood notification
  • Fences taller than 6 feet in side or rear yard and/or fences taller than 3 feet in front yard
  • Exterior façade work, visible from street, that involves changes in finishes (for example, stucco to siding, wood to vinyl siding, and others)
  • New mechanical equipment installed inside or outside the building
  • Storefront security gates (excluding some preservation districts)
  • Residential security gates at entry doors and/or window security bars, grills, and/or grates
  • Replacement of wall finishes in occupancies other than R-3 occupancies
  • New washer, dryer, and/or laundry sink hookups in new/existing areas within the existing building
  • In-kind replacement of garage slab (no ceiling height changes) although note that saw-cutting SOG to repair/replace sewer lines does not require plans
  • Brace and bolt per DBI Information Sheet S-09

Not Over-the-Counter permits

Projects that require in-house review include (but are not limited to):

  • Change of use tenant improvements that involve Family Day Care,“E” occupancies, and Laboratory uses
  • Serial permitting that continues to increase the scope of the initial remodel
  • Foundation replacements and/or seismic upgrades when there is a prior permit, for further expansion, under review
  • Remodels that are subject to the Slope and Seismic Hazard Zone Protection Act, Edgehill Mountain Slope Protection Area, and Northwest Mt. Sutro Slope Protection Area
  • Excavation projects that expands the below grade footprint
  • Extensive residential remodels that changes the gravity load carrying members
  • Extensive residential remodels that requires a mandatory seismic upgrade on all levels
  • Special (non-conventional) foundation systems including but not limited to: tie backs, deep foundations, and/or complex shoring systems
  • Extensive commercial tenant improvements that changes the gravity load carrying members
  • Tower Crane installation permits
  • Adding and/or removal of unit
  • ADU or unit legalization
  • Advertising Billboard removal
  • Change of use from partial restaurant to full restaurant
  • Housing projects
  • MOU projects
  • Revision permit to remove sprinkler from Issued Building Permit
  • Revision to Site permit
  • Creation and/or legalization of one or more housing units
Last updated December 19, 2023