Set up an ADU pre-application meeting

Consider having a meeting with City staff to review code issues before you submit your plans (not mandatory).

Decide if you need a pre-application meeting

Talk with City staff from the Department of Building Inspection (DBI), the Fire Department, and Planning before you submit. You only need to include the Fire Department if you are building 3 units or more.

The meeting gives you a chance to ask questions before you submit your permit application. 

Before the meeting you should submit a:

  • 
set of schematic drawings, describing existing conditions and the proposed project
  • list of specific code-related questions

After the meeting you will get notes and what we agreed in writing. You should attach these to your submission.

What we decide in the pre-application meeting is binding. When you apply for your building permit, we will use that agreement will measure your project’s compliance. If you do not want a pre-application meeting, you can contact the City about your ADU project

Fees for a 2 hour meeting:

SF Planning (mandatory)

  • $455 for 5 units or less

  • $1,076 for 6 units or more

Department of Building Inspection (DBI) 


  • Building review $347.82 (mandatory)

  • Mechanical review $347.82 

  • (if the meeting goes over 2 hours, DBI charges $173.91 an hour)

Fire (only needed for ADUs with 5 units or more)


  • $390

  • (if the meeting goes over 2 hours, Fire charges $130 an hour)

You will need to send a check when you submit your plans. If you have questions about how much to pay, send a check to cover planning and DBI. You can pay the remainder at your meeting.

Get help

Department of Building Inspection

1660 Mission Street

San Francisco, CA 94103

Mon to Fri, 7:30 am to 5:00 pm

Last updated October 22, 2019