The State Highway Code (5611) and the local Public Works Code (Article 15, Sec. 706), DPW Order 177,525, requires property owners to maintain the sidewalk adjacent to their property to a condition acceptable to the Director of Public Works. This responsibility includes making repairs as needed when a sidewalk is damaged. Damage on the sidewalk for which a property owner is responsible for include, but are not limited to the following:
Raised / sunken / uneven pavement
Holes or cracks in the pavement
Missing sewer vent covers
When such repair and improvements are required, a Sidewalk Repair Permit is required by the Public Works Code (Article 15, Section 708).
San Francisco Public Works encourages all property owners to take a close look at the sidewalk adjacent to their property. If you believe it is damaged and choose to make the repairs immediately, please contact a reputable concrete contractor. Please note that you or your contractor are required to secure the necessary permits prior to commencing repairs; please contact the Bureau of Street-Use and Mapping at 415-554-5810 for more information.
Where Do I Apply?
If you’ve received a Notice to Repair (NTR) from the City, a permit can be issued at the Main Office at 1155 Market Street, 3rd Floor – sample NTR
If you will be performing voluntary repairs, with no improvements or repairs to the curb, a voluntary sidewalk repair permit can be issued at our counter at the Building Department located at 1660 Mission Street, 5th Floor.
An alternate to replacing your sidewalk with gray concrete, you may instead turn your sidewalk into a glorious garden with a Sidewalk Landscaping Permit from BSM. Public Works may allow sidewalk landscaping through permits issued by the Bureau of Urban Forestry (BUF). In addition to planting trees, this permit allows property owners to convert a portion of the sidewalk in front of their property into an attractive landscaped area. Sidewalk landscaping looks great, provides habitat, reduces flooding, and enhances property values. To apply for a sidewalk landscaping permit please contact BUF at (415) 554-6700, or visit our page.
Notice to Repair Process:
There are 2 ways you could possibly receive a Notice to Repair (NTR) :
SF Public Works - Bureau of Street Use & Mapping receives a complaint regarding damaged sidewalk
SIRP is schedule to assess your neighborhood for damaged sidewalk
Public Works inspector assesses your sidewalk for damage and marks area with white “X’s” or dots in need of repair
A general notice is posted on your property stating repairs are required
You will receive a “Notice to Repair” via USPS Mail that states
a. Total Square Footage (SF) and/or Linear Footage (LF) required for repair
b. Permits required for work to be performed
Work must be commenced within 30-Days of NTR date
Determine if you or a hired contractor will commence work
a. Please note : A California State Licensed Contractor (A or C-8) with a $25,000 City Street Excavation Bond must be selected if work is required to the curb and/or roadway/gutter area.
b. If notice is part of the SIRP program, you have the option of having the City Contractor perform the work. Simply select that choice on the letter and return it within 30 days of receipt.
Proceed to apply for a permit at Public Works-BSM located at 1155 Market Street, 3rd Floor and bring :
a. Notice To Repair (received in mail) - sample
b. Completed Authorized Agent Form
c. Form of Payment (Credit Card, Check payable to SF Public Works, Cash)
If the defects are minor and approval is attained from a SF Public Works Inspector, you may choose to make the repairs yourself by utilizing the instructions per DPW Order 177,526. While a permit is not required for minor repairs, the repairs will be inspected, and if the repairs are deemed to be unacceptable, the damaged section will be replaced and an invoice will be sent to you
Complete work within permitted time
Contact inspector to notify them that work has been completed.
SF Public Works Inspector will re-inspect to make sure all work has been completed and to code.
Permits Requirements :
If work to be performed on sidewalk only :
Sidewalk Repair Permit
Street Space permit (for construction parking/staging)
Board of Appeals surcharge
Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) Parking Meter fee (applicable where meters are present)
Any changes in approved sidewalk repair permit shall be subject to a fee. If expired, the permit shall be considered null and void
If work to be performed on Sidewalk + Curb replacement, including driveway and/or existing encroachments:
A property owner must hire a California State Licensed Contractor (A or C-8) with a $25,000 City Street Excavation Bond before applying for a Street Improvement (SI) Permit. This bond is required for the excavation of the roadway that results from replacement of an existing damaged curb. Please note that without a licensed bonded contractor, a permit cannot be processed or issued. Click here for a list of Concrete Contractors that is provided for the convenience of the recipient and no recommendation is inferred of implied.
Street Improvement Permit: The base fee includes processing, street space occupancy for contractors, a minimum two (2) hours of inspection (additional fees may apply) and a Board of Appeals surcharge. Any changes in approved Street Improvement permit shall be subject to additional fees. If expired, the permit shall be considered null and void.
For repair of sidewalks above or adjacent to existing sub-sidewalk basements, or other encroachments, a Street Improvement and Minor Sidewalk Encroachment (MSE) Permit shall be required. A Street Improvement permit base fee, a Minor Sidewalk Encroachment processing fee (existing encroachments ONLY), a Board of Appeal surcharge, plus an annual assessment fee shall be required. If the existing sub-sidewalk basement requires any structural work or upgrades, a building permit from the Department of Building Inspection (DBI) at 1660 Mission Street must be applied for prior to applying for the Street Improvement and Minor Sidewalk Encroachment Permits.
For existing encroachments that do not require reconstruction or modification, a Minor Sidewalk Encroachment permit is required.
For any other permits that may be required by BSM inspector or to answer any questions about the Permit Process, please call our office at (415) 554-5810 and ask to speak to an available plan checker. Please have your NTR number and/or property address available.
For any questions about the Inspection Process (e.g. 30-day extensions, existing defects, colored dots etc.), please or email the District Inspector whose name appears on your Notice
For your convenience, Public Works inspectors have marked the defective sections of your sidewalk with color-coded dots. Different colored dots denote who is responsible for the repairs:
PUC Water / St. Lighting
Comcast / AT&T
Disclaimer for Owner-Builder work in the right-of-way: Under Assembly Bill 2335 amends California Health and Safety Code, Section 19825, the City wishes to inform you that in incidences where a permit is acquire by you or an agent of owner who is not a license contractor, the property owner will be responsible for the work and assumes potential liabilities. Please click here for details.
For More Information:
SF Public Works • Bureau of Street-Use & Mapping
1155 Market Street, 3rd Floor • San Francisco, CA 94103 - map
Telephone : (415) 554-5810 • Monday-Friday
Operating Hours : 8:00am-5:00pm
Permit Processing Hours : 7:30am-4:00pm