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Director of Building Inspection; Other Executives
Secretary of Commission; Consultants
Powers and Duties
Actions of Commission
Approval of Budgets
Technical Boards and Advisory Committees
Recognizing that the provision of safe and sanitary buildings is essential to the welfare of the inhabitants of the City and County of San Francisco, there is hereby established a Department of Building Inspection which shall consist of a Building Inspection Commission, a Director of Building Inspection, and such employees as may be necessary to carry out the functions and duties of said department. The commission shall organize, reorganize, and manage the department. When the commission assumes management of the department, the Bureau of Building Inspection shall cease to exist. Unless modified or repealed by the commission, all orders, regulations, rules, and policies of the Bureau of Building Inspection will remain in effect. Except as limited below, positions in the Bureau of Building Inspection of the Department of Public Works legally authorized on the date the commission assumes management of the department shall be continued, and incumbents therein legally appointed thereto shall be continued as officers and employees of the department under the conditions governing their respective appointments.
The Department of Building Inspection shall be under the management of a Building Inspection Commission consisting of seven members. Four members shall be appointed by the mayor for a term of two years; provided that the respective terms of office of those first appointed shall be as follows: two for one year, and two for two years from the effective date of this section. Three members shall be appointed by the President of the Board of Supervisors for a term of two years; provided that the respective terms of office of those first appointed shall be as follows: three for one year from the effective date of this section. The initial appointments shall be made no later than fifteen days after the effective date of this section, and the commission's management shall begin no later than forty-five days after the effective date of this section. Vacancies occurring in the offices of appointive members, either during or at expiration of term, shall be filled by the electoral office that made the appointment. The four mayoral appointments shall be comprised of a structural engineer, a licensed architect, a residential builder, and a representative of a community- based non-profit housing development corporation. The three Supervisorial appointments shall be comprised of a residential tenant, a residential landlord, and a member of the general public. The members of the commission shall serve without compensation.
Pursuant to Government Code Section 87103, individuals appointed to the commission under this section are intended to represent and further the interest of the particular industries, trades, or professions specified herein. Accordingly, it is found that for purposes of persons who hold such office, the specified industries, trades, or professions are tantamount to and constitute the public generally within the meaning of Government Code Section 87103.
The Director of Building Inspection shall be the department head and appointing officer of the Department of Building Inspection and shall be qualified by either technical training or administrative experience in the enforcement of building and other construction codes. The Director shall serve as the building official of the City and County and, upon his or her appointment, shall assume all of the powers and duties of the Director of Public Works with respect to the administration and enforcement of the building code and other construction codes. The Director shall have all the powers provided for department heads as set forth in Section 3.501 of this Charter. The Director shall be appointed by the commission and hold office at its pleasure; the person who has civil service status in the position of Superintendent of the Bureau of Building Inspection on the date the commission assumes management of the department shall serve as interim Director pending the appointment of a Director by the commission. Subject to the approval of the commission, and the budgetary and fiscal provisions of this Charter, the Director shall have the power to appoint and remove, at his or her pleasure, up to one deputy superintendent and no more than two assistant superintendents, all of whom shall be exempt from the civil service provisions of this Charter.
The Director shall not serve as an officer or member of any standing or ad hoc committee of any building industry or code development or enforcement organization or public agency other than the City and County of San Francisco without the prior approval of the commission.
The Building Inspection Commission may appoint a secretary, which appointment shall not be subject to the civil service provisions of this Charter. Subject to the provisions of Section 6.302, 6.312 and 6.313 of this Charter, the commission may also contract with engineers or other consultants for such services as it may require.
The Building Inspection Commission shall organize, reorganize, and manage the Department of Building Inspection which shall have responsibility for the enforcement, administration, and interpretation of the City's Housing, Building, Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing Codes, except where this Charter specifically grants that power to another department. The Central Permit Bureau, formerly within the Bureau of Building Inspection, shall also be managed by the commission.
The commission shall inspect and regulate additions, alterations, and repairs in all buildings and structures covered by the San Francisco Housing, Building, Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing Codes. Nothing in this chapter shall diminish or alter the jurisdiction of the Planning Department over changes of use or occupancy under the Planning Code. The commission shall ensure the provision of minimum standards to safeguard life or limb, health, property, and the public welfare by regulating and controlling the safe use of such buildings and structures. The commission shall ensure the vigorous enforcement of City laws mandating the provision of heat and hot water to residential tenants. The commission shall also ensure the enforcement of local, state, and federal disability access laws. The commission shall be a policy-making and supervisory body with all the powers provided for in Section 3.500 of this Charter.
The commission shall constitute the Abatement Appeals Board, and shall assume all powers granted to this entity under this Charter and the San Francisco Building Code. The commission shall appoint and may remove at its pleasure members of the Board of Examiners, Access Appeals Board, and Code Advisory Committee, all of which shall have the powers and duties to the extent set forth in the San Francisco Building Code.
The commission shall have the power to hold hearings and hear appeals on all decisions made by the Department of Public Works regarding permits under one or more of the codes enumerated in this section and on sidewalk or encroachment permits. The commission may reverse, affirm or modify determinations made by the Department of Public Works, Water Department, or Department of Building Inspection on all permits required for a final certificate of completion. The commission's jurisdiction under this section, however, shall not extend to permits appealable to the Planning Commission or Board of Permit Appeals. Departmental decisions on permits subject to commission review shall be made within the time mandates of the state Permit Streamlining Act. Appeals of decisions must be filed with the commission within fifteen days of the challenged determination. The commission shall act on the appeal within a reasonable time. The commission's action shall be final.
The commission shall adopt rules and regulations consistent with fulfilling its responsibilities under this Charter. The commission shall also adopt rules and regulations governing commission meetings and also adopt requirements for notification and mailing for commission business. The commission shall hold public hearings on all proposed amendments to the San Francisco Building Code, Electrical Code, Housing Code, Plumbing Code, and Mechanical Code.
The Building Inspection Commission shall have the sole authority to contract for the publication of the San Francisco Housing, Building, Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing Codes, and any amendments thereto. Other provisions of this Charter and the Administrative Code notwithstanding, the selection of a publisher shall be based on the lowest retail cost to the public of a complete set of these codes.
The commission shall initially be funded out of the 1994-95 budget approved for the Bureau of Building Inspection, and subsequent funding shall come from the budget of the Department of Building Inspection.
The Director of Building Inspection shall submit a proposed department budget for each upcoming fiscal year for approval by the commission. The proposed budget shall be compiled in such detail as shall be required on uniform blanks furnished by the controller. The Building Inspection Commission must hold at least two public hearings on the respective budget proposal.
The final budget for the Department of Building Inspection must be approved by a favorable vote of at least five commissioners.
The technical boards and advisory committees established in the Building Code by ordinance of the Board of Supervisors shall continue in existence as boards and committees within the Department of Building Inspection. Members of the boards and committees shall be appointed by the commission. Incumbents legally appointed to these respective bodies prior to the commission's assumption of management of the department shall serve at the pleasure of the commission.
If any provision of this section, or its application to any person or circumstance, shall be held invalid or unenforceable, the remainder of this section and its applications shall not be affected; every provision of this section is intended to be severable.
The Clerk of the Board of Supervisors is hereby authorized to recodify this amendment as may be necessary.