Additions & Conversion to Habitable Space

A Building Permit is required for additions to existing structures or conversion of non-habitable space to habitable space within residential buildings, commercial, institutional or industrial structures. Depending on the scope of the work, review from the Bureau of Planning may be required prior to submitting for a building permit.

Date Posted: June 16th, 2021 @ 6:28 PM
Last Updated: July 20th, 2021 @ 11:49 AM

When Is a Permit Required?

Conversion to habitable space graphic icon

Zoning review is required for any project that includes exterior alteration. A Building Permit is required for all additions or conversion to habitable space. For projects involving less than three units, separate Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (MEP) applications are not required, but a full description of any MEP to be performed must be included in the same application.

How to Apply

For Projects that include Exterior Alterations, Step One is Also Required

Step One: Zoning Review (Exterior Alterations Only)

  • Submit a completed Basic Application for Development Review
  • Include plan sets as required in the Basic Application for Development Review submittal
  • A planner will review your submission
  • Once approved, your application will be routed to the Building Permit Counter or you will receive a decision letter from the Bureau of Planning if applicable.

Step Two: Building Permit

  • Submit your Building Permit application, including a description of all Mechanical, Electrical or Plumbing (MEP) work that will be performed
  • Include plan sets as required by the Submittal Checklist for Additions and Alterations (please note: stamp required if prepared by Design professional)

Refer to the following forms and checklists as applicable:

To get started, complete the following:

Once complete, e-mail your completed application form(s) and all associated plans and documents to or via our Digital Inbox for applications over 20MB.


Once we receive your application and have created it in our system, we will review your plans. If your plans require corrections or if we need further information, we will contact you.


Call (510) 238-3891 or find quick answers through our Permit Questions Portal.

Additional Resources