Step by step

Get a Shared Spaces permit for your sidewalk or parking lane

Instructions to get a permit to use the sidewalk or parking lane for your organization or business.

Pandemic Shared Spaces permits will expire on March 31, 2023 In order to operate your Shared Space beyond March 2023, Shared Spaces is encouraging operators to apply as soon as possible, in order to receive feedback on your proposal and approval in advance of the November 1st application deadline.

Follow these steps to get a permit for the Shared Spaces program. Prepare your Application Documents with our application worksheet here. You will need to prepare these items before starting your application.

(To renew a Public Works Table and Chair or Display permit issued before pandemic Shared Spaces permits, email us at commercialpermitrenewals@sfdpw.org.) 

1

Draw your site plan

For existing Shared Spaces permit holders: If you intend to operate on or after April 1, 2023, we will require an updated site plan* that follows the latest design guidelines outlined in the Shared Spaces Manual

For curbside or parking lanes, download our site plan template and design checklist. 

For sidewalk use, you must draw your own site plan. 

*Do not make any structural changes to your Shared Space unless instructed by the Shared Spaces permitting team.

 

 

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2

Take pictures of your site

Follow our instructions to take pictures of your site from specific angles. 

Take pictures of your Shared Space

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3

Get your insurance documents

You must have enough insurance for this program. 

You must prove you have liability insurance and workers compensation insurance. Your policies must meet these requirements.

You must have and keep commercial general liability insurance with at least $1 million in coverage per Occurrence and $2 million aggregate. It must include the City and County of San Francisco, Its Officers, Employees, and Agents as additional insured or a blanket endorsement.

You must have and keep workers compensation insurance in statutory amounts with at least $1 million in Employer’s Liability insurance coverage and a waiver of subrogation. It must include a blanket waiver or one in favor of the City and County of San Francisco, Its Officers, Employees, and Agents.

Here’s an example of a certificate of insurance (COI) form.

Get a copy of your insurance document. You will upload it with your application.  

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4

Get permission from your neighbors

For sidewalk use, you must get your neighbor’s permission to use any of their sidewalk. 

For parking lane use, you must get your neighbor’s permission for more than half of a neighbor’s marked parking space and any encroachment into an unmarked parking space.

If you intend to operate on or after April 1, 2023, we will require neighbor consent with your application. If you only want to operate until March 31, 2023, you can submit an application without neighbor consent.

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5

Prepare your documents

When you apply, you must upload your Certificate of Insurance (COI).

If you have them now, you can upload your:

  • Completed site plan and checklistt
  • Signed neighbor permission (if you are using their space)

See application worksheet here.

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6

Apply for your Shared Spaces permit

Cost:

Free to apply

Time:

20 minutes

Gather all the details for your application and apply.  

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and

Make changes to your plans

We will email you if you need to make changes to the site plan you submitted with your application.

If you do, you will have to make the changes and submit updated plans.

We will let you know if you need to make modifications to your structure. Do not make structural changes to your Shared Space unless instructed by the Shared Spaces permitting team.

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7

Inspection Process

Once your site plan and your application are complete and approved, the Shared Spaces team will: 

  1. Conduct a preliminary inspection of your Shared Space and post a 10-Day Public Notice at the site.  

  1. After the 10-Day Public Notification period has passed, your permit will be conditionally approved, and you will be given time to make modifications to your existing structure or install a new structure that matches the accepted site plan as well as the requirements and design guidelines in the Shared Spaces Manual. 

  1. After construction and/or remodel is complete, you must follow up with Department of Public Works (sharedspacespermit@sfdpw.org) to schedule a final site visit to verify that your Shared Space is compliant. 

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8

Get your permit

We will email you your permit as a PDF document. 

You must print and display your permit in your storefront window. 

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9

Operate your Shared Space

You must maintain your Shared Space. Keep it safe, accessible, clean, and quiet. 

Shared Spaces responsibilities 

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Last updated September 27, 2022