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Storage Container

A mobile storage container permit is required to occupy any part of the street or sidewalk with a mobile storage container. Permits are issued directly to authorized companies and are not available to the general public. Article 15 Section 726 (PWC).

A mobile storage container is a temporary facility that may be placed, may occupy the public right-of-way and used by property owners or tenants for short-terms storage of items, including, but not limited to: clothing, equipment, goods, household/office fixtures or furnishings, materials, and merchandise. The containers shall be used only for the purpose of loading and transporting the items specified above. 

 

Placement of Containers

A mobile storage container shall be placed in the roadway area of the right-of-way, level with the existing street grade/slope and parallel to the curb with its outer edge no more than eight feet from the face of the curb. The container shall not occupy more than the designated parking lane width along the frontage of the subject property. Its placement shall also be subject to all existing parking regulations unless specifically exempted from compliance therewith by written approval of the Director of Public Works. Further, no mobile storage container shall be placed in the sidewalk area without permission of said Director. A minimum clear path of travel for pedestrians of four feet shall be maintained at all times on sidewalks. In commercial areas and/or in other areas with a high volume of pedestrians, a minimum six foot path of travel shall be provided and maintained.

 

Insurance and Bond Requirements

All mobile storage container operators shall file and maintain a performance bond in the minimum amount of $25,000 with Public Works. All operators are also required to maintain and submit proof of General Liability Insurance in the minimum amount $2,000,000, naming the City and County of San Francisco as additional insured on the policy(ies).

 

Required Permits

All companies operating and providing mobile storage containers, who plan to locate them in the public right of ways, shall obtain an annual permit from Public Works. The permits will allow the holder to place a container in the public right of way subject to provisions of Section 726. An applicant for an annual permit shall submit to Public Works a written request for a permit no sooner than 15 days prior to the first day of occupancy of the public right of way with a mobile storage container. The application shall contain the name of the company or individual seeking the annual permit, local contact information, an annual permit fee of $500.00, the deposit set forth in Section 726.3, and any other information specified in this departmental order or other regulations. 

Annual mobile storage container permits may be obtained at:

    Bureau of Street-Use & Mapping
    1155 Market Street, 3rd Floor
    San Francisco, CA 94103
    Telephone (415) 554-5810

 

Individual Location Permit

An individual location permit may be obtained for each mobile storage container that is proposed to be placed within the public right of way. Only annual permit holders may apply for individual location permits. 

  1. Said permit holders shall submit a written request to Public Works no later than three days prior to occupancy of the public right of way with a mobile storage container at a specific location with the following information :

    • Name of the annual permit holder 

    • Local contact information for the permit holder 

    • Proposed location of the mobile storage container(s) 

    • Name and contact information for the property owner or tenant who will use the container 

    • Any other information specified in this departmental order or other regulations 

  2. The individual location permit fee shall be as specified in the fee schedule per day of occupancy. When the permit is to be issued for a period not to exceed 24 hours, or for the first three days of occupancy, said fee(s) may be paid separately for each individual location permit or deducted from the deposit. 

  3. No individual location permit shall be issued for a period that exceeds seven days. 

  4. The property owner shall apply for a Temporary Occupancy Permit and post "No Parking" signs at least 72 hours in advance for the occupancy of the public right of way. 

The director, in his or her discretion, may approve, conditionally approve or disapprove a Mobile Storage Container Permit. 

The director's decision on an annual permit shall be appealable to the Board of Appeals. 

 

Other Requirements

  • A valid registration number or permit shall be affixed to either end of the mobile storage container. 

  • Debris boxes shall be placed in the roadway area parallel to the curb with its outer edge no more than 8 feet from the face of the curb. 

  • No mobile storage container or debris box shall be placed within the public right of way without prior approval from Public Works. No container shall be delivered, placed or removed in a residential area between the hours of 7:00 pm and 6:00 am. 

  • Four reflective type warning devices, each having a red reflecting area of at least 3 inches in diameter shall be installed on the exterior ends of each container. The reflective device shall be placed so that one device shall be located near each edge that abuts the side of the box and shall be no less than 24 inches or more than 45 inches from the ground level. Both ends of each box shall be painted entirely in 4-inch wide alternate diagonal striping with a color to be approved by Public Works. 

  • All contents of a mobile storage container shall be completely covered at all times while being transported. 

  • The owner's name, address, telephone number and debris box identification number shall be clearly printed on both sides of each box. 

  • Advertisement on any box is strictly prohibited. 

  • Mobile storage containers shall be locked and covered at all times unless contents are being removed or added to the container. 

  • All mobile storage containers shall be governed by existing parking and traffic regulations, including but not limited to: tow-away zones, accessible curb ramps, bus stops, blue zones for disability parking and fire hydrants. If the SFMTA Blue Book requirements cannot be satisfied, you will need to obtain a Special Traffic Permit from SFMTA, located at 1 South Van Ness Ave.,7th Floor San Francisco, telephone: (415) 701-4500. 

  • Upon registration, the registrant(s) and all agents of the mobile storage container companies shall be bound by the Public Works Code and all other applicable laws, codes and ordinances. 

  • By acceptance of each registration number and/or permit number issued for a debris box and/or mobile storage container , this shall bind the owner of the debris box and/or mobile storage container to indemnify and hold harmless the City and County of San Francisco, its officers, agents and employees. 

  • An individual location permit sign shall be posted on the street-facade of each storage container. The sign shall include the name of the annual permit holder, a 24-hour local contact person and telephone number for the permittee; the name and address of the property owner or tenant who is renting the storage container, the duration of the permit, including the starting and completion dates, a geographic description of the public right of way occupied under the permit, the annual and individual location permit numbers, and the Public Works Street Space hotline telephone number. All information contained on the sign shall be legible. An additional sign shall be posted on the storage container's side that faces the fronting property. This informational sign shall also include the 24-hour local contact person and telephone number for the permittee and Street Space hotline. Public Works shall provide sign templates for each annual permit holder. It shall be the responsibility of the annual permittee to insert the required information, mount the sign, keep the sign posted during the entire term of the permit, and ensure proper maintenance of the sign. 

 

Violations and Penalties

Violations of may result in a financial penalty. Non-conformance to any related City regulation may result in the revocation of the annual and/or individual permits.

Failure to comply with the rules and regulations of this order are deemed as violations, and may be subject to the issuance of Notice of Violations and associated penalties. 

Violations may include, but are not limited to: 

  1. Placement of container in restricted traffic street zones shall result in a $1,000/day fine and/or cost of removal. 

  2. Placement of the container on a sidewalk area without special permits shall result in a $1,000/day fine and/or cost of removal. 

  3. No permits posted on mobile storage container shall result in a $100/day fine, plus the cost of a seven-day permit 

  4. Absent or missing registration number on Mobile Storage Container shall result in a $1,000/day fine. 

  5. Mobile Storage Container with missing or damaged reflectors or safety striping shall result in a $1,000/day fine. 

  6. Failure to notify Public Works prior to placement of a mobile storage container in the right of way shall result in a $1,000/day fine. 

  7. Failure to pay fines may result in the following penalties: invalidation of all current permits held by the debris box and/or mobile storage container permittee(s). 

 

Removal of mobile storage containers 

The director of Public Works is authorized to order the immediate removal of a mobile storage container when, in his or her opinion, the storage container constitutes a safety hazard or public nuisance, or when the presence of an emergency requires removal. Upon the Director's notification of the removal, the responsible annual permit holder or person(s) shall immediately remove the storage container from the right of way. If the permittee or person(s) do not remove the storage container immediately, the Director may order Public Works to remove the container. The permittee or person shall pay Public Works for the costs of removal. If a permittee does not pay such cost, the Director shall deduct said cost from the permittee's deposit. No mobile storage container shall be placed at that location until all the conditions, which have caused the removal of said container, have been abated to the satisfaction of the Director. In addition, any use of the mobile storage containers that is inconsistent with Public Works Code Sections 726 et seq. shall be grounds for immediate removal.

 

Fees

Mobile storage container permits are issued on a per-day (per container over three days) basis and include SFMTA meter fees. A processing fee shall be applied to any permit requiring modification. See the fee schedule for updated fees. Any requested permit shall be submitted a minimum of 72 hours in advance of the proposed occupancy.

 

Violations

Violations of Public Works Code may result in the imposition of a financial penalty. Nonconformance to any related City regulation may result in the revocation of the permit. Violations of these requirements may be subject to financial penalties of up to $1,000 per day. 

 

Mobile Storage Container Companies

An applicant shall submit a written request no sooner than 15 days prior to initiation of the first occupation of the public right-of-way with a mobile storage container. The request shall contain the name of the company, local contact information, and any other information specified in department orders or regulations.

 

For more information on how to become an authorized agent:

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