How to apply for a regionwide permit

Timeline: Typically 1 to 3 months. The BCDC permit is issued within 14 days of the time we receive a full and complete application.

Cost: $200

  1. Confirm your project qualifies for a regionwide permit
    Start by confirming there is a regionwide permit that covers your project. Regionwide permits are available for:

    • Reconstruction, replacement, and maintenance of bulkheads and seawalls in the Bay, certain waterways, managed wetlands, and shoreline band
    • Reconstruction, replacement, incidental additions, and maintenance of service lines, utility cables, pipelines, and outfalls; and installation of new pipelines where majority of work occurs below ground surface and Bay bottom in the Bay, certain waterways, managed wetlands, and shoreline band
    • Construction, reconstruction, replacement, and maintenance of: (1) new docks, piers, boat hoists, associated pilings, and mooring buoys of less than 1,000 square feet; (2) wildlife habitat improvement structures; and (3) other pile-supported, water-oriented uses in the Bay, certain waterways, managed wetlands, and shoreline band
    • New ancillary facilities (e.g., retaining walls, stairs, patios, driveways, etc.) and small additions to and the remodeling, replacement, repair, and maintenance of single- and two-family residences within the shoreline band
    • Repairs, reconstruction, replacement, removal, and maintenance of multi-family residential and non-residential structures and paved areas within the shoreline band
    • Seismic retrofit and repairs of state bridges
    • Repair and maintenance of pile-supported residential structures in the Bay or certain waterway
    • Routine maintenance dredging of existing navigation channels and berthing areas of no more than 100,000 cubic yards with disposal at approved disposal sites
  2. Confirm your project is not disqualified from receiving a regionwide permit
    Your project likely won’t qualify for a regionwide permit if it:

    • could adversely affect the Bay
    • is located within an environmentally sensitive area, like a tidal marsh or eelgrass bed
    • would block important views of the Bay
    • could limit public access to the Bay
    • is located within or adjacent to Suisun Marsh
  3. Prepare your application
    Make sure your application is complete before it is submitted. Your application 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.
  4. Submit your application and pay application fee
    Send the application to with the subject line “Permit Application: PROJECT NAME.”

    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.
  5. Post public notice at the site
    After we receive your application, 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 Commission has acted on the permit application.
  6. Work with your BCDC contact
    A staff member will be assigned to review your application. They will inform you within 30 days if any necessary information is missing. If your BCDC contact informs you that the application 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 application materials, the staff person requires up to 30 days to review them, so it is in your interest to make sure your materials are thorough and accurate.

    Once your BCDC contact determines that the application is complete, your regionwide permit will be issued within 14 days.

For detailed and official instructions about this process, see Chapter 17 of BCDC’s administrative regulations.