Department Services Update
Updated Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Our public service counter remains closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but we continue to provide services using a primarily remote workforce. For instructions on how to access services, please see below.
On this page:
Email for Counter Services
Contact us at one of the email addresses below where your request will be processed as quickly as possible.
- General Information – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Building – email@example.com
- Code Compliance – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Planning – PlanningProjects@smcgov.org
Access Building Services
Apply for a Building Permit
During the current closure, we are accepting applications for building permits in two ways: 1) via our Accela Online Permit Center, or 2) via Email. Please read on for further instructions.
Online Permit Applications - Only the following over-the-counter Building Permits are offered online:
- Electrical service
- Gas line
- Sewer line
- Siding or stucco
- Solar pool heating
- Solar water heating
- Water heater
- Water line
- Windows or doors (size for size)
Please note that some permits may require additional review by the Planning Department prior to issuance.
To apply online for an over-the-counter building permit, please login or register for a free account at our Online Permit Center.
Email Permit Applications - All other building permit applications must be submitted via email. Here are the steps to follow:
- Fill out an application form.
- Print, sign, scan or e-sign and send as a PDF to email@example.com. (Address in the subject line)
- Include plans as one PDF and any supporting documents as one PDF; be sure to include the project location address, submittal cycle number (Cycle 1 for initial submittal), and document type (plans, geotechnical report, structural calcs, etc.). For more information on PDF formatting requirements, file naming conventions, and drawing standards, please see the Electronic File Submittal Requirements.
- Due to the high volume of project applications, it is taking approximately 5 to 7 working days to log in to our system and assign a permit number. Once a permit number has been assigned, you will be notified by a building permit technician regarding payment of fees and next steps in processing.
Please see the Building Permits page for more detailed information on building permit processing steps, fees, and requirements for different permit types.
Resubmittals and Revisions
Resubmittal - To submit additional information or revised plans in connection with a previously submitted pending permit application, send via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be sure to reference project address in the subject line and include the permit number (BLD2020-XXXX), submittal cycle number (2,3, etc.) and document type (plans, structural calcs, etc.).
Revision - To submit revised plans in connection with an issued permit for a project under construction, please send via email to email@example.com. Again, include project address in the subject line and include permit number, cycle number, and document type.
Pick Up a Building Permit
Over the counter online permits are issued electronically, but other building permits may require that you have an in-person appointment to pick up your permit. When your building permit is ready to be issued, one of the Building Technicians will contact you via email to schedule the appointment on a Monday or Wednesday between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. at 455 County Center, Redwood City. Our building remains closed to the public, but staff will meet you in front of the building for your appointment, observing all COVID-19 safety protocols. When you arrive for your appointment, please call 650/599-1590, and staff will meet you to hand off a job card and approved plans, and to collect any outstanding fees.
Schedule a Building Inspection
Inspections are scheduled by calling the Automated Inspection Line at (650) 295-3650. On the day of the inspection, the 2-hour inspection window will be posted on the Automated Inspection Line by 8:00 AM, so please call (650) 295-3650, follow the prompts to enter your permit number, and press option number 5 to get your inspection time. Then call the Building Department’s main line at (650) 599-7311 before 10:00 AM and leave a message with your address first, the permit number next, and the contact name and number of the person that will be onsite for the inspection, as the building inspector will contact this person to perform the inspection remotely.
Within the 2-hr. window the inspector assigns for the inspection, the contact for the inspection will get a text message on his/her cell phone from the building inspector, with a link that the contact will need to click on. This link will ask the contact to allow the inspector access to:
- The cell phone’s Location Services,
Once connection has been established, the inspector can conduct the inspection through remote video, so the inspector can talk to the contact and use the camera on the phone to zoom in and out on the inspector’s end if there is something that needs to be looked into more closely. So it will work similar to a Facetime call on an Iphone, but it is not Facetime, and there is no app that needs to be installed or downloaded on the phone.
Access Planning Services
Obtain General Planning Information
Find Your Zoning District – You will need the property address or Assessor’s Parcel Number (APN – preferred) to find out what zoning district your property is in. Please reference the “Find My Zoning District” webpage and use the Planning GIS Map Viewer. If you don’t have the APN and the address doesn’t come up in the GIS, please contact the Planning Counter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find Application Information on Planning Permits – For application information on planning permits, including required forms, fees, process, and timing, please visit our Planning Permits page.
If You Need Additional Information – If you have additional questions about the zoning regulations, permits required, or need additional information related to potential development of the property, please contact the Planning Counter at email@example.com. In your email, please include the property address or APN (preferred), and specific questions you may have. You may also request a phone call or video conference appointment with a planner if you have many or complex questions. To request an appointment, include “Appointment Request” in the subject line of your email. A planner will contact you within 2 business days to schedule an appointment. Virtual appointments will use Microsoft Teams, a free app for desktop or mobile (compatible with Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, and macOS). Download Microsoft Teams.
Apply for a Planning Permit
Initial Application - During the current closure, we are accepting applications for planning permits via email only. Here are the steps to follow:
- Fill out an application form and review the estimated permit fees, process, and timeline on our Planning Permits page.
- Print, sign, scan or e-sign the form and send as a PDF to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Include application materials via a link from a file sharing program or as PDF file attachments to the email. Include plans as one PDF and supporting documents as separate PDFs; be sure to title each PDF with the project location address, submittal cycle number (Cycle 1 for initial submittal), and document type (plans, biological report, etc.). For more information on PDF formatting requirements, file naming conventions, and drawing standards, please see our Electronic File Submittal Requirements.
- Your permit application will be assigned to one of our Planners within 2 business days. Your planner will contact you regarding the payment of fees and next steps in processing.
Submitted Application - To submit additional correspondence, information, or revised plans in connection with a previously submitted permit application, send via email to the planner assigned to ther permit; see planners’ email addresses on our contact page. Please be sure to reference the permit number (i.e., PLN2020-01234), project location address, submittal cycle number (2,3, etc., if applicable), and document type (public comment, plans, supplemental reports, etc.).
We will continue to investigate zoning, building code and other land use regulation violations, with some limitations as necessary to prevent in-person interactions. Priority will be placed on investigating potential violations that impact public health and safety. Please submit complaints via email to: email@example.com.
View Public Meetings Remotely
Remote access is established for all public meetings hosted by the Department. For further information on how to access a public meeting, go to the meeting page for the meeting date. Instructions for participation will be posted 7 days prior to the meeting date.