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Property owners wishing to build upon or remodel existing structures on any property within the City of Millbrae must acquire a building permit from the City’s Building Division.
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An Electrical Permit shall not be required for the following:
A Mechanical Permit shall not be required for the following except that a permit is required for vertical and structural support and anchoring of permanent equipment and overhead pipes:
A plumbing permit shall not be required for the following:
Apply for a building permit online. New applicants must first register before submitting their application. Applying for a building permit may require a project plan and other construction documents to be submitted. Project plans must be submitted in PDF format.
A project plan includes an architectural floor plan and an itemized list of work to be completed. Specific projects have different needs, so please contact the Building Division at 650-259-2330 to find out what specific documentation is needed for your permit application to be approved.
The Building Division requires the payment of fees for building permits based on the scope of work and project valuation. The plan check fee is due at the time of plan submittal. Building permit fees are due at the time of permit issuance. The City accepts payments with debit and credit cards. Typical fees include plan check fees, permit fees, and other fees associated with the permit. In addition, a variety of other related fees may be charged based on project scope, including but not limited to Public Works utility capacity facility fees, Construction and Demolition deposits, connection fees, General Plan Maintenance fees, Technology Fees, Documentation Fees, Development Impact Fees, Affordable Housing In-Lieu Fees, Affordable Housing Commercial Linkage Impact Fees, and other fees. For specific fee questions, call the Building Division at 650-259-2330.
To get an estimate of your project permit cost, please check the Millbrae Community Development Department Service and Fee Schedule (PDF).
Development Impact Fees are fees adopted by the City Council based on the provisions set forth in California Government Code Section 66000-66025 (Mitigation Fee Act as established by Assembly Bill 1600 in 1987). These fees are assessed upon new development projects to fully or partially offset the costs of public capital facilities and infrastructure that is needed to serve new demand created by development projects. Most recently, the City Council adopted Resolution Number 21-50 (PDF) on July 13, 2021 establishing Affordable Housing In-Lieu Fees for Residential Development Projects and Commercial Linkage Impact Fees for Commercial Development Projects.
Fees not collected by the Building Division include school fees (PDF), encroachment permit fees and Public Works Utility Capital Facility Impact Fees for water and sewer connections and service.
All building permits for new buildings or additions over 500 square feet must pay developer's fees to both the San Mateo United High School District AND the Millbrae Elementary School District as permitted by the California Education Code section 17620 and California Government Code Section 53080. When a building permit is ready to issue, the permit applicant will be given a copy of the completed application to deliver to the school districts to pay the fees. Then proof of payment must be submitted to the City Building before a permit can be issued. Additional information on these fees including the current amounts can be obtained from the San Mateo Union High School District at 650-558-2288 and the Millbrae Elementary School District at 650-697-5693.
The project valuation is the fair market cost for the project including all labor, fixtures, appliances, flooring, finishes, etc. In total, it is the cost for everything that is part of the project regardless if the owner or the contractor provided it. An itemized list of all costs may be required for the City to verify project construction valuations.
If your project does not require prepared plans, you typically will be issued a permit in 1-2 business days. Such types of permits are: re-roofs, electrical service upgrades, furnace and water heater replacements, and window replacements.
If your project requires plans to be prepared and submitted, all reviews have a 15-business-day review period. If your plans need corrections, the 15-business-day review period still applies once corrected drawings are resubmitted. Certain smaller projects such as simple bath or kitchen remodels are reviewed and issued electronically in 2 to 5 business days, depending upon staff availability.
During the plan check process, Building Division staff will route your plans to other City departments for their review and comments. Once the plan check is completed, you will receive an electronic correspondence containing the corrections or additional information that needs to be changed or added to the plans. This will usually take up to 15 business days from submittal.
After your building permit has been approved, please print your permit and keep it for your records. After your work is complete, you will need to call and request a building inspection to ensure your work complies with all applicable California and local building codes. At the time of the inspection, you will need to show the building inspector your building permit, as well as all documents related to the permit. To request a building inspection, please call 650-259-2330 during operational hours Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4 pm.