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Streamlined Permitting for Existing Residential Structures

Solar Permit Streamlining for Small Residential Rooftop Solar


Small residential rooftop solar energy systems on existing buildings may be eligible for streamlined approval and inspection if they meet all the following requirements:

  • Installed on single-family or duplex dwellings;
  • No larger than 10 kilowatt (KW) alternating current nameplate rating or 30 KW thermal;
  • Conform to all State codes as may be amended by the City; and
  • Are flush-mounted (extending no more than 24 inches above roofline), or if not flush-mounted, do not exceed maximum building height of the zoning district.

Streamlined Permit Application Process

Applications for streamlined solar permit processing may be submitted online or at the Building and Planning counter at City Hall. Download the Application Checklist to make sure you include all the required documentation with your permit application.

Applications will be reviewed within 3 business days. If an application is incomplete, a correction notice will be issued. If an application is ineligible for streamlining, project review will move forward under standard (non-streamlined) Department procedure. If the application is complete and meets the eligibility criteria, a building permit will be issued.

On-Site Inspection Required

After a permit has been issued and the system is installed, an on-site inspection is required to ensure compliance with all health and safety codes. Inspection requests may be made by phone at (415) 508-2120 or by emailing the Building Department. Inspections will be scheduled within 5 business days of the inspection request. Once you have scheduled your inspection, use the inspection checklists below to prepare for your inspection. If you do not pass the first inspection, a correction notice will be issued and the standard (non-streamlined) inspection process will move forward.

Streamlining Application Documents and Resources