Department of Building Inspection Customer Communication

DBI Update - Thank you, Small Biz Ambassadors & New Cost Schedule
December 22, 2022

Dear Customers,

Happy holidays! We want to touch base about a few things before the end of the year.

Thanks to each of you for your patience and support this year.  As you know, we are trying hard to improve our operations so we can serve you better.

And it’s been a big year for DBI. Over the course of the past twelve months, we’ve made a host of changes, including:

  • Creating a Pre-Plan Check process to assign In-House Review projects faster, improve the equity of plan review assignments, and increase transparency
  • Implementing a dynamic staffing model for plan review to reduce project delays 
  • Prioritizing review of project revisions to keep active proposals moving forward
  • Starting to overhaul the Site Permit process to create a streamlined process and provide clear guidance to the applicant on what is required at each stage
  • Establishing the Small Business Inspections Ambassador Program
  • Initiating customer service training for every DBI employee
  • Posting Building Code Notices of Violation (NOVs), detailed inspector notes and corrections to our website
  • Creating an audit control team to identify inspection inconsistencies
  • Launching a new, customer-centric, disabled accessible website with improved step-by-step directions, more self-serve permits and features, and better integration with other City departments

We are the first to say we have more work to do. But we feel we are off to a good start and will only get better from here.

Small Business Inspections Ambassadors

We want to remind everyone of DBI’s Small Business Inspections Ambassador Program. This program is designed to help small businesses address inspections issues that might be delay a business from opening on their anticipated date.

Since launching earlier this year, the program has helped several businesses navigate those last-minute challenges.

In late October, the ambassadors helped resolve the final items and issued a Certificate of Final Completion (CFC) before the opening of The Laundromat, the Outer Richmond’s newest bagels, pizza, and beer restaurant.

Then, earlier this month, the team helped the owner of SF OrganiCA, an organic food market in the Tenderloin, navigate a few dangling inspections items and secure his CFC.

If you think the Small Business Inspections Ambassadors could help you or your client work through the final stages of the process, email us at

New Cost Schedule

DBI will be instituting a new cost schedule on January 1. The cost schedule is important because it affects the fees that fund our operations, and the current one was adopted in 2017 so is woefully out-of-date with the current cost of construction.

Here’s a link to the 2022 Cost Schedule. It’s linked from the Fees page which can be accessed through the Reference section of DBI's website homepage (along with the current 2017 cost schedule), but won’t go into effect until the new year.

Thank you again for your ongoing support and partnership.