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When a new business moves into an existing commercial or industrial tenant space, tenant improvements are the proposed interior alterations or additions (both structural and nonstructural). This applies to new buildings after the completion of the shell construction or when an existing business changes or modifies its use and/or expands within an existing building.
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Almost every construction project requires a permit. A Building permit is required for:
If you're not sure whether you need a permit, contact the Building Division at 650-616-7074. Building is only one of the departments and/or agencies that may be involved in the approval process. Depending on the scope of your project, you may need approvals from other departments and agencies.
To apply for a tenant improvement permit application, please visit our Community Development Department Customer Service Counter located at 567 El Camino Real.
After a Community Development Department Technician verifies that the application package is complete, and you pay the Plan Check Fees, a set of plans/documents will be forwarded to relevant departments for review; Building Safety, Planning, Public Services, and Fire. Approval from all departments/divisions is required prior to permit issuance.
The plan check process is then tracked in our Automated Tracking System and the project is assigned a standard turn-around time. The standard turn-around time for an initial review is 10 calendar days. The standard turn-around time for follow-up reviews (rechecks) is 5 calendar days.
A business license is an annual tax for doing business within the incorporated area of the City of San Bruno. The San Bruno Municipal Code requires that you obtain a registration when you conduct any business activity within the City - even if your business is located outside the city limits or you have a business registration from another city.
Building Division verifies conformance with applicable Disabled Access requirements related to existing buildings and tenant improvements in existing buildings. Per State law (California Building Standards Code - Title 24), existing buildings and facilities must comply when alterations, additions or repairs are to be made. Verification of compliance includes:
Small projects (2015 construction valuation up to $147,863) may qualify for an unreasonable hardship exception. See Application for Unreasonable Hardship Exception, Form. Granting an unreasonable hardship exception does not exempt all non-complying features. You still need to spend an amount equal to 20% of the project cost, and only that amount, on making some or all of the non-complying features comply. Existing non-complying features that will cost more than 20% of the project cost to make them comply, or will push the cumulative cost above the 20% limit, may qualify for an exemption. Your plans must show those accessibility features that will be brought to compliance and those existing non-complying features that may qualify for an exemption. For additional information or clarification contact our Chief Building Official at 650-616-7020.
Yes. Permanent and temporary signs require review and approval prior to the issuance of permits and installations. Check with the Planning Division before using or installing ANY type of sign, flag or banner, even balloons.
No. Your business location must be inspected by the necessary city departments before your license is issued and it is open to the general public. In certain circumstances, a prospective business location may not pass the initial inspection which could delay the issuance of your business license.
A complete tenant improvement permit application package consist of the following:
After you obtain all the required approvals and pay the Permit Fee, the Community Development Department will issue you a building permit. Now you can start construction. At certain stages of construction, your contractor must request a building inspection. See below for the typical sequence of required inspections for a Tenant Improvement:
To schedule an inspection by a building inspector, please call the building inspection voicemail system at 650-616-7076. Please do not contact the building inspector directly.
New businesses often require site inspections by multiple city departments. You will need to contact the different departments directly to schedule the appropriate inspections.