Anyone know a GREAT architect or expeditor to get me through SF Planning?

Hi everyone, I’m trying to get a permit to build another unit on my property in SF. My previous architect was inexperienced and as a result, my project has been stuck in planning for a year. I need someone who is familiar with the hard and soft rules, someone who know how to talk to the planners. Any help is welcome! Thanks in advance


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Are you trying to add second unit to a single family house? Make sure that you understand rent control before proceeding

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Are you sfdragonboy?

Why can not you use your old username?

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Elt1 is an architect.

Structural Engineer. I would rather get a root canal than submit plans to SF . They have expeditors in house at the building department. Pay extra and get faster approval. Legal bribe…


No, I’m not sfdragonboy. I was trying to @ him bc he mentioned his architect in another thread. As a newbie, I didn’t know got to message him or if that’s even possible.

I would rather get a full mouth reconstruction than deal with SF planning! Maybe you know of an architect who enjoys being tortured? Haha

They have in house expeditors? Really? Do I just go to the building department and ask for them?

It’s a 3 unit building. I’m trying to add a 4th one. Already rent-controlled :frowning: the 4th will be as well even though it’s a new construction. SF planning considers it “building expansion”.

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It is quite ironic, that despite all the hollow rhetoric, cities are determined to make building more housing more difficult than ever.

Not an endorsement. FYI

I recommend Steve Simpson AIA


What part of the process are you stuck at? Have you already done the neighborhood pre app mtg? 311? Has anyone filed a DR?

We’ve done the pre-app meeting, not 311 yet. There may be a problematic neighbor, who happens to be a real estate developer himself (how ironic).

Right now, my design is fine under the planning code, but the planner wants us to follow residential design guidelines and “make it prettier”. Residential design guidelines seem pretty ambiguous, so we have wasted a lot of time going back and forth.

Thanks! Will check them out. Would love to have more leads though

Have you done a block survey yet? Meaning … go take 100 pictures of both sides of the block. Stitch the photos together. P-shop your renderings into the photostich.

Show the planner that your design already looks better than 90pc of thr stuff on the block…

He is one of our active users, somehow did not like us recent times, looks like left the forum or became lurker.

@sfdragonboy, you have a new fan/visitors too. Will you come back?

Same is the case with @tomato, now became lurker :sweat_smile:

lol. i am here, just not looking as much :slight_smile:

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Dragonboy not even a lurker anymore. Last seen February 11 so he is off the site for good. @manch upset him too much with his anti-Sunset rhetoric :smile:

Welcome back @tomato hope you’re back for good.

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Is that a thing? I think I will. The house right next to mine looks super run down.

@sfdragonboy yes, please stop lurking and come back! :smile: I need to know your architect and ask him/her to work their magic on SF planning

I forgot to ask, have you used SF Permitting or Steve Simpson personally?

Steve Simpson and I go back thirty years. SF permit I googled.

I did it.