Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sub-Sidewalk Basement Information - Encroachment Permit and Fee Schedule

BOMA San Francisco Members:

Please take note of this important information if you have a building with a sub-sidewalk basement.  The San Francisco Building Code defines a sub-sidewalk basement as part of the underground building structure which extends into the Public Right of Way (e.g., a sidewalk).

Both the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection (SFDBI) and the San Francisco Department of Public Works (SFDPW) are responsible for different parts of the sub-sidewalk basement process:
  • SFDBI is responsible for the design review, permitting and construction inspection of the sub-sidewalk basement structure.
  • SFDPW is responsible for issuing a subsidewalk basement Encroachment Permit (DPW Code Section 723.2) and applying an assessment fee based on legislation enacted in 2005 by the Board of Supervisors. The assessment fee is applicable for all permitted and un-permitted sub-sidewalk basements. The purpose of the Encroachment permit is to identify the sub-sidewalk basement and record it on the property so that the property owner and successors of interest can be annually assessed.

Annual assessment fees are calculated as follows:
  • Minor Sidewalk Encroachment fee: 
    • The fee is $3.41/Square Foot per year minus the square footage for any applicable transformer vault.
  • Vault Transformer Encroachment fee:  
    • The fee is $14.02/square foot per year.
Note:  The fees are CPI adjusted on an annual basis and are subject to change.

  • For detailed information about this process, please click here
  • For a 2012 fee schedule for items that pertain to sub-sidewalk basements, click here.
  • For information on the process to abandon an existing sub-sidewalk basement, click here.
If you have additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact your BOMA San Francisco Advocacy Team at and  Thank you!

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