Updated Thursday September 17, 2020

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.

Email for Counter Services

Contact us at one of the email addresses below where your request will be processed as quickly as possible.

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
  • HVAC
  • Photovoltaic
  • Reroof
  • 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:

  1. Fill out an application form.
  2. Print, sign, scan or e-sign and send as a PDF to buildingcounter@smcgov.org. (Address in the subject line)
  3. 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.
  4. 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 buildingcounter@smcgov.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 buildingcounter@smcgov.org. 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:

  1. The cell phone’s Location Services,
  2. Camera,
  3. Microphone.

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

Apply for a Planning Permit

We will also be will be accepting applications for planning permits via email only. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. If you don't already know it, find your zoning information using the Planning GIS Database.
  2. Fill out an application form.
  3. Print, sign, scan and send to PlanningProjects@smcgov.org. If you don’t have access to printer, it is o.k. to send the form filled out and saved to a PDF.
  4. One of our Planners will contact you regarding submittal of plans and fees
  5. If you have already submitted a planning permit application and have been assigned a project planner, you may contact that planner directly via email for more information or a status update. Planners email addresses can be found on our Department contact page.

Code Compliance

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: codecomplaint@smcgov.org.

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.

View all upcoming public meetings »