How to apply for a non-material permit amendment

If you have a BCDC permit and need to modify the project for which you received approval, or to change the terms of the permit, you can apply for a permit amendment. A permit amendment that is smaller in scope and that does not materially change the permit that you received from BCDC is called a “non-material amendment.”

The key difference between applying for a material and non-material permit amendment is that a non-material permit amendment is issued by BCDC’s Executive Director and the project typically does not need to be voted on by the Commission.

Timeline: Typically 4 to 8 months, but varies greatly depending on your overall project timeline. The BCDC permit is issued within 90 days of the time we receive a full and complete amendment request.

Cost: $300 to $480,000, calculated based on the total project cost

  1. Confirm you qualify for a non-material permit amendment
    To be eligible for a non-material permit amendment, the changes to your project must be listed as “minor repairs or improvement” in the Commission’s administrative regulations. You can contact BCDC staff to confirm if your project is eligible.
  2. Schedule a pre-application meeting
    You may schedule a pre-application meeting with a BCDC staff person. However, this step is not always necessary for minor changes to approved projects, so you can skip this step if the proposed changes are straight-forward.
  3. Obtain local discretionary approvals and other needed permits
    If the changes to your project require discretionary approvals from your local government, you must receive these approvals before BCDC can act on your amendment request. Examples of local discretionary approvals may include:

    • lot line adjustments
    • subdivision approvals
    • rezonings
    • conditional use permits
    • planned unit development approvals
    • engineering review
    • other actions taken by planning commissions, port authorities, special committees, boards of supervisors or city councils, and regional bodies
    Permits or authorizations from other agencies are also required for most major projects before BCDC can act on your amendment request.
  4. Prepare your amendment request
    You can prepare your amendment request by filling out the BCDC permit application form, or by preparing a letter that contains the same information as required by that form.

    Make sure your amendment request is complete before it is submitted. Your amendment request can be processed far more quickly and efficiently if it is complete and includes all required attachments.

    Detailed instructions are available to help you fill out the BCDC permit application form.
  5. Submit your amendment request and pay application fee
    Send the amendment request to with the subject line “Permit Amendment Request: [BCDC PERMIT NUMBER].”

    The application fee must be paid by check payable to “San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission.” Send the check to our offices via USPS, UPS, or FedEx.
  6. Post public notice at the site
    After we receive your amendment request, we will send you a PDF “public notice” to print and post at the project site to advertise the pending application. This notice must be posted at a prominent location at the site of the project (or multiple locations at larger sites) and in a location where it is visible to the public.

    Please ensure that the notice remains in place and in good condition until the amendment request has been approved or denied.
  7. Work with your BCDC contact
    A staff member will be assigned to review your amendment request. They will inform you within 30 days if any necessary information is missing. If your BCDC contact informs you that the amendment request is missing any required information or exhibits, you must submit these materials before we can begin our review process.

    Each time you resubmit missing or incomplete materials, the staff person requires up to 30 days to review them, so it is in your interest to make sure your amendment request is thorough and accurate.
  8. If your amendment request is approved, submit required plans and comply with other requirements of your permit
    Projects are typically required to submit construction plans to BCDC and comply with other requirements prior to the time that you start work on the project.

    Work with the BCDC compliance team to ensure that you meet all the requirements of your amended permit.

For detailed and official instructions about this process, see Chapter 8 of BCDC’s administrative regulations.