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The first step is to fill out a building permit application form. This form must be submitted for all construction and must be completely filled out and signed. If the applicant is lacking any information asked for on the form, this should be brought to the attention of the staff member accepting the application so that he or she can assist the applicant in completing the form.
Construction work must start within 365 days of the issuance of the permit. If work has not been started and no inspections have been called for in this period, the permit will be declared null and void. The permit may be renewed for one-half the original permit fee if no change in the plans are made, but the renewal process may only be used up to one year after issuance. Beyond that time a new application and full fee will be required.
The Building Official may extend an unexpired permit once for a period not exceeding 180 days on written request by the permittee showing reason(s) for not commencing the construction. Visit our
Hard copies are no longer required. We are accepting electronic submittals only. Please send permit applications, plan sets, structural calculations or any other file that is part of your submittal to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
From the 2022 California Residential Code, Title 24, Part 2.5, Section R105.2
Work exempt from permit.
Exemption from permit requirements of this code shall not be deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of this code or any other laws or ordinances of this jurisdiction. Permits shall not be required for the following:
Where equipment replacements and repairs must be performed in an emergency situation, the permit application shall be submitted within the next working business day to the building official.
Application or notice to the building official is not required for ordinary repairs to structures, replacement of lamps or the connection of approved portable electrical equipment to approved permanently installed receptacles. Such repairs shall not include the cutting away of any wall, partition or portion thereof, the removal or cutting of any structural beam or load-bearing support, or the removal or change of any required means of egress, or rearrangement of parts of a structure affecting the egress requirements; nor shall ordinary repairs include addition to, alteration of, replacement or relocation of any water supply, sewer, drainage, drain leader, gas, soil, waste, vent or similar piping, electric wiring or mechanical or other work affecting public health or general safety.
R105.2.3Public service agencies.
A permit shall not be required for the installation, alteration or repair of generation, transmission, distribution, metering or other related equipment that is under the ownership and control of public service agencies by established right.
To submit for a bathroom or kitchen remodel permit, provide a digital set of plan of the kitchen or bathroom on 11 inch x17 inch minimum paper. Provide an existing and proposed floor plan of the room, and identify on the plan all fixtures (e.g. lights, outlets, water closet, lavatory, kitchen sink, etc) on the plan.
Yes, a building permit is required for a shed over 120 square feet and over 8ft high. Setbacks for sheds 120 square feet and under are 5ft rear yard setback and 3ft side yard setback. Any shed larger than 120 square feet and over 8ft in height require Plan review and the setbacks become 10ft rear yard setback and 5ft side yard setback.
Please refer to our (under revision - please email the Permit Technician if you require more information email@example.com)
Opportunities to serve on a board or commission are advertised in local newspapers and on the City's website. Individuals interested in serving on a City board or commission must fill out a "Willing to Serve Form" and submit it to the City Clerk's Office.
Willing to serve forms are kept on file in the City Clerk's Office for a period of two years.
The City Council, either individually or as a group, will interview interested individuals or make appointments to boards and commissions. View the
Please refer to our "Commenting at a City Council Meeting" page
Fill out the City's Liability Claim Form and submit it to the City. Staff will review the claim for further action, if warranted.
The Downtown Streetscape Master Plan is a document that will include design guidelines and concepts to improve the public realm of Main Street in downtown Half Moon Bay. The Streetscape Master Plan will be based on community feedback for how people and vehicles get around downtown, parking, landscaping, furnishings, public art and more. It will also align with and build upon the City of Half Moon Bay’s recent policy and planning efforts (e.g., Parks Master Plan, Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, Green Infrastructure Plan, Local Coastal Land Use Plan).
The project study area includes all of Main Street from Highway 1 at the north to Highway 1 at the south, with a more detailed focus on the four blocks of Heritage Main Street (from the Historic Bridge to Correas Street).
“Redesign[ing] the streetscape on Heritage Main Street in Half Moon Bay to improve mobility, economic activity, and vibrancy” was one of 15 recommendations that came out of the Coastside Recovery Initiative (CRI). As part of the CRI, people observed that aspects of Main Street’s physical design could be improved to increase access, improve mobility, and stimulate more economic activity. This project is a direct response to action items identified through the CRI and demonstrates the City’s commitment to address community-identified needs.
The Streetscape Master Plan is a concept-level document intended to identify both short and long-term improvements to the downtown. It will be based on a thorough review of existing conditions and extensive public engagement. This document will inform private development activity on Main Street as well as peripheral public projects. The Plan is a critical step in the City’s ability to seek and compete for funding to support streetscape improvements through philanthropic, federal, State, and county programs.
Construction is subject to funding availability. The Plan will establish a vision and design concepts that can then be utilized to guide future phases of work. Future phases of work will require financing beyond the City’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP).
No decisions or recommendations have been made at this time. The project team is in the process of soliciting input and feedback from community members and stakeholder groups which will inform the development of the final Plan.
The Downtown Streetscape Master Plan project process is anticipated to wrap up by summer 2024.
The Plan was funded by City General Fund dollars allocated by the City Council to the Capital Improvement Program.
There are multiple ways to get updates and information about this project:
The next opportunity for involvement is a Design Workshop October 23-24th and a Public Meeting at IDES Hall on October 24th from 6 to 7:30 PM. Community members are invited to drop into the “studio” at the Library October 23rd 1pm-5pm and October 24th 9am-12pm to see the design team at work. We encourage you to come to the Public Meeting and if you cannot attend the public meeting, please drop by the Library for “Open Studio” time! After the October Design Workshop, we will post additional information about next steps and ways to stay involved on the project website.
This project is being led by the City on behalf of the community, in partnership with a consultant team. The consultant team is comprised of Toole Design, with support by Opticos Design and Yamabe & Horn. And all of you have an important role to play. Your voices and perspectives are critical for developing ideas and recommendations, and for the ultimate success of this project.
WHEN FLOODING IS PREDICTED
A power outage, either localized or widespread, can be caused by storms or floods, downed power lines or blown transformers, and other reasons.
Take these steps in advance:
A wildfire is an unplanned fire that burns in a natural area such as a forest, grassland, prairie, or open space area. Wildfires can happen very near to developed areas, and can ruin homes, cause injuries or death, and destroy the forest or open space environment.
PG&E has noted that for public safety, they may turn off electricity in high fire-threat areas when extreme fire danger conditions occur. They will attempt to contact customers in advance, when and where possible, to allow enough time to prepare.
In just two minutes, a fire in your home can become life-threatening. In five minutes, a residence can be engulfed in flames. Make your home fire-safe, and make sure you and your family are prepared for fire.
Our region is subject to earthquakes. Aftershocks may occur periodically for several weeks or even months. While impacts to different buildings will vary, the area near the exterior walls of a building is the most dangerous place to be during an earthquake. Windows, facades, and architectural details are often the first parts of the building to collapse. In fact, the major threat of injury during an earthquake is from falling objects and debris, and many injuries are sustained while entering or leaving buildings.
Sign up for Earthquake Notifications
Protect yourself in an earthquake:
During an Earthquake:
Deep sea earthquakes can cause a tidal wave, or tsunami, and that's a risk we face here on the west coast. While less likely than most other types of disasters, it’s a good idea to keep tsunami in mind when assessing your home’s disaster preparedness.
Preparing for a Tsunami
The purpose of the Ordinance is to eliminate sewer obstructions and blockages caused by accumulation of Fats, Oils, Grease and Sand (grit) in the City’s sewer collection system.
The chapter establishes FOG and insoluble waste discharge prohibitions and requirements, provides for City inspections and enforcement, and requires FOG and insoluble waste dischargers to participate in the City’s FOG Control Program and obtain a FOG Waste Discharge Permit as a condition of waste discharge into the City’s sewer collection system.
This Ordinance applies to all "food service establishments" (FSE), "food manufacturer/processors" (FM/P), commercial and industrial businesses and other entities with potential to discharge wastewater containing fats, oils, grease, sand or other insoluble waste to the city sanitary sewer system including, but not limited to, restaurants, grocery stores, meat markets, hotels, factory and office building cafeterias, public and private schools, hospitals, commercial day care centers, churches, and catering services located within the City’s sewer collection system Service Area.
Commercial and Industrial businesses covered by this section include oil, sand, grit and insoluble waste dischargers such as automotive repair businesses, car washes, and commercial trash enclosures within the City’s sewer collection Service Area.
Link: Draft FOG Ordinance
The ordinance will take effect on January 1, 2024, or as approved by the City Council.
You might be operating a “Limited Food Service Establishment.” A limited food preparation establishment is not considered an FSE when engaged only in reheating, hot holding, or assembly of ready to eat food products, provided that there is no wastewater discharge containing FOG. A limited food service establishment should follow kitchen best management practices but does not need a FOG Waste Discharge Permit. Review the FOG Waste Discharge Application to determine if your facility requires a FOGWDP.
Yes, City inspectors will need to ensure your facility is properly disposing used oil.
For those businesses that are already complying with the City's FOG best management practices and inspection protocols, your daily operational practices will remain "business as usual."
However, under the FOG Control Program created by the new Ordinance, you will be required to obtain a "FOG Waste Discharge Permit (FOGWDP)" from the City. When the new Ordinance becomes affective, you will need to fill out a FOGWDP application. The application requests FOG-related information about your facility, such as types of food-processing and kitchen equipment, including a sketch of how your kitchen fixtures are connected to your Grease Capture Device(s). The sketch can be simple and hand-drawn--no need for professional drafting. You will be required to sign the application to certify that your business will achieve consistent compliance with the City's FOG Ordinance.
Please fill out the FOG Waste Discharge Permit application as soon as possible and submit to Denice Hutten, firstname.lastname@example.org. Denice will arrange an initial inspection of your facility to ensure your facility is in compliance with existing FOG regulations as well as the new Ordinance.
In the event that the owner of a food service (FSE) or food processing establishment (FM/P) or the owner of any structure in which an FSE or FM/P is located is found to have contributed to the partial or complete obstruction of a wastewater facility resulting from the discharge of wastewater or waste containing FOG and that the City is required to act immediately to control a public health hazard because of such blockage, such owner(s) shall be jointly responsible to reimburse the city for all costs of abating such condition.
Best Management Practices (BMPs) are operational activities, prohibitions, maintenance procedures, and other management practices to prevent or reduce the direct or indirect introduction of FOG and insoluble waste into the public sewer.
A brochure describing the City's FOG Control Program is at the following link:
FOG Wastewater Discharge Permit (FOG WDP) means a permit issued by the City to a FSE, or other entity that might introduce fats, oils, grease, sand or other insoluble waste into the City’s collection system, authorizing the wastewater discharger or permittee to discharge wastewater into the City’s sewer collection system.
Limk: FOG Waste Discharge Permit Application
Please direct your questions to Denice Hutten, Associate Engineer email@example.com or 650-750-2005.
Any food store, eating place, or food preparer that bakes or cooks food on the premises must apply for a waste discharge permit.
Food service facilities commonly generate fat, oil, and grease (FOG) wastes in the cooking process. Wastewater from kitchen cleaning operations typically contains FOG wastes. FOG wastes can build up in the sewer system, and result in partial or total blockage of the sewer. Blockage can result in sewer backups and overflows.
Federal and state regulations, as well as municipal preventive maintenance costs, are prompting an increased level of sewer system monitoring, maintenance, and recordkeeping. The City has found that while periodic inspection of commercial kitchens helps identify and correct problems, the message about effectively preventing FOG discharge into the sewer system is often lost over time. A permit provides the means to formally convey sewer discharge requirements and the consequences of failure to comply with the requirements. The permit also serves as ready reference to these requirements that can be referred to by facility management and staff at any time.
The permit formally conveys the same items that have been and will be inspected by the City. These include pretreatment system maintenance procedures and maintenance records, and proper handling of pretreatment system waste. The inspector also inspects for records of cooking grease handling and disposal, and other practices that affect discharge of FOG into the sewer system. What is a pretreatment system? An under-counter grease trap and outdoor grease interceptor are examples of pretreatment systems. These are devices that are required to be installed on drain lines that may carry FOG wastes in the wastewater.
At minimum, any kitchen utensil cleaning sink or wok range must drain through a pretreatment system. Pretreatment systems must conform to the Uniform Plumbing Code. A City inspector will provide guidance on this.
The business will be inspected annually to assure compliance with permit requirements. The municipal code authorizes that inspections be conducted during normal business hours and may be unannounced.
No. The City has primary authority over use of the sewer system. The county environmental health inspector typically does not inspect sewer pretreatment systems for proper operation and maintenance. A county inspector will take action on a sewer issue if they determine that the public health is threatened.
Inspections will continue to be conducted just as they have been, albeit more frequently (at least once annually). The Permit provides a more formal procedure to address compliance issues. At the same time, the inspector will continue to work in a cooperative manner with the business owner and offer compliance assistance.
A Notice of Violation (NOV) is issued if the noncompliance has likely not resulted in impairment to the sewer system, such as a recordkeeping issue. There is no fee or fine connected the first NOV. An administrative citation may accompany the NOV for likely discharge of FOG to the sewer and for repeat violations. Follow-up inspection fees may also apply. There are other enforcement remedies available for chronic violations.
The requirement for FOG dischargers to obtain a Waste Discharge permit is new, however, Prior to 2018, staff from Sewer Authority Mid-Coast (SAM) performed random FOG inspections at restaurants and auto repair shops to ensure businesses were complying with Best Management Practices (BMPs) to prevent FOG from entering the City’s sewer collection system. In 2018, the City assumed responsibility to perform the FOG inspections annually.
The City of Half Moon Bay has a FY23/24 annual FOG Certification fee of $55.
Please complete and return the City's Application for Waste Discharge permit per the on-line link (In process). You will have an opportunity to go over any questions or concerns with the City staff. The application includes questions regarding current ownership and contact information and the nature of your operations including types and sizes of equipment used and a sketch of the kitchen facilities. and signature.
Please contact the City of Half Moon Bay.
California law requires that each county and city in the state develop and adopt a General Plan. The General Plan consists of a statement of development policies and includes a diagram or diagrams and text setting forth objectives, principles standards, and plan proposals. It is a comprehensive long-term plan for the physical development of the county or city. In this sense, it is a "blueprint" for development.
The General Plan must contain seven state-mandated elements. It may also contain any other elements that the legislative body of the county or city wishes to adopt. The seven (7) mandated elements are: Land Use, Open Space, Conservation, Housing, Circulation, Noise, and Safety. The General Plan may be adopted in any form deemed appropriate or convenient by the legislative body of the county or city, including the combining of elements.
Your parcel’s Zoning Designation can be determined by staff. Please contact the Planning Division at 650-726-8270. When you call, please have your address and/or the assessor parcel number (APN) readily available.
Setbacks are the required minimum distances between a building and the related front, side, exterior side (the street side of a corner lot), or rear property line. These distances determine the distance that construction must be set back from the property line. If you have any questions regarding setbacks, please contact the Planning Division at 650-726-8270, or visit City Hall at 501 Main Street. Please be prepared with the address or APN of the subject site.
Generally, the answer is yes. However, the addition must not: 1) encroach into any required setbacks, 2) extend more than 28 feet in height, comply with Maximum Building Envelope Requirements, Lot Coverage, Floor Area Ratio, and all other development standards for the underlying Zoning District. For a more detailed response, please contact the Planning Division at 650-726-8270 or visit the Planning Counter at City Hall, 501 Main Street.
The type of development allowed for your site depends on many issues. Any development requires compliance with the Development Standards of the underlying Zoning District, Zoning Code (Title 18 of the Municipal Code), the Local Coastal Program/General Plan, Subdivision Map Act, and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). If you know the zoning of your property, please refer to the appropriate section of the Municipal Code on our website page.
If you’re unable to access the Municipal Code, please contact the Planning Division at 650-726-8270. Again, you should have your address and/or APN prior to contact the Planning Department.
The City of Half Moon Bay Planning Division is located at City Hall, 501 Main Street. You may contact the Planning Division by calling 650-726-8270 or via email to inquire about property within Half Moon Bay, including zoning, property usage and development standards. The Planning Counter is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday.
The Planning Division has a current list of projects that are either approved or in the planning stages. Please refer to the Planning Division at 650-726-8270 or contact the Building Department 650-712-5835 for projects currently under construction.
According to Section 18.06.025 of the Municipal Code, a maximum of two domestic foul may be permitted in the Single-Family and R-2 Zoning District at any one time. Three or more domestic foul are permitted in a Single-Family Zoning District upon securing a Use Permit. Roosters are strictly prohibited in all Residential Districts. If your property is not within a single-family residential district, please contact the Planning Division at 650-726-8270.
“Domestic fowl” means chickens, ducks, geese, pea fowl, pigeons, turkeys and other fowl typically used for food or food products, which may create a disturbance to the peace within residential districts.
Contact the Planning Division at 650-726-8270 or download an agenda from the Calendars and Agenda link. Complimentary copies are available at each meeting.
Entitlement processing requires payment of a fee or deposit, please refer to the adopted City Fee Schedule. Please note, a deposit is a retainer and not a fee. The deposit will set up an account which shall be charged at a set hourly rate for all staff processing time. If expenditures exceed 70% of the deposit amount required by the Cost Recovery Fee Program, additional deposits will be requested.
If the final costs are less, the unused portion of the deposit will be returned to me at the conclusion of the process or final inspection of the completed project, whichever occurs later (the necessary staff time will vary according to the complexity of the application and the project). Master Fee Schedule
The maximum height of a solid fence, wall or hedge shall be as follows:
- Front Limited Height. Fences, walls, and hedges located within a required front yard setback area or within the site distance area as defined herein shall be limited to a maximum height of three feet.
- Rear Limited Height. Fences, walls, and hedges located to the rear of the required front yard setback area shall be limited to a maximum height of six feet, unless this area is also within the site distance area as defined herein, in which case the maximum height shall not exceed three feet in the site distance area.
- Trellis or Rails. An additional one foot of fence or wall height is permitted on front yard, rear yard and interior side yard fences, only if the added fencing has openings comprising at least fifty percent of the added area (such as lath trellis or rails).
- If your property is on a corner or within 100-feet of a waterway (creek, ditch, etc) or sensitive habitat area, please contact the Planning Division prior to installing any fence, staff may be contacted at 650-726-8270.
Any excavation, modification, construction activity or encroachment within the City’s right-of-way (ROW) or easement requires an encroachment permit from the City. The City’s street ROW most commonly covers streets and sidewalks and often a few feet beyond to the property line. The City also has various forms of public easements over private certain properties for public sewer, storm drains, utilities, access, view corridors or such other public use. Your property’s Title Report should identify such easements. Encroachment permits are required for both temporary and long-term encroachments. Typical activities that usually trigger the need for an encroachment permit include:
- Awnings that reach over sidewalks
- Placement of benches, chairs, or planters
- Sewer, water, or gas repairs or connections
- Sidewalk or driveway repairs
- Temporary debris boxes
Contact the permit technician at 650-712-6660. Please refer to the Street Encroachment section of this website for more information.
The City maintains the street lights along Main Street from Highway 1 to Filbert Street and the 300-500 blocks of Seymour Street.
Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) maintains all the other street lights. To contact PG&E, click the link or call them at 800-743-5002.
For City Lights call (650) 726-7177 or email Public Works. Please provide the following:
- Your name and phone number
- Street name and address where the light pole is located, the cross street, and, if possible, the pole number
- Type of problem with the street light: i.e. burn-out, cycles on and off repeatedly, light burns 24 hours a day, broken glassware
During each rainy season, Half Moon Bay residents can fill up sand bags at the Train Depot 110 Higgins Canyon Road.
To report a pothole or missing signs, contact the Public Works Department at 650-726-7177 or via email and include the issue, street name, address and location.
Please click this link
Call a plumber to clean out the sewer lateral as most problems originate there. If the problem is not in the property owner’s pipes, contact Sewer Authority Mid-Coastside (SAM) at 650-726-0124. SAM will clear blockages that occur in sewer lines beyond the property owner's lines.
Please contact SAM for other sewer emergencies such as sewage escaping the collection system.
Graffiti Abatement Hotline at 650-712-7310. To report graffiti vandalism in progress, residents should call 911. If you want to report information about “taggers” anonymously, please call the HMB Sheriff Sub Station at 650-726-8288. When reporting graffiti, the following should be included:
- Location: The address, or closest address, of the affected area. If graffiti is located at an intersection, include cross roads and directional clues (NE, SE, SW, NW).
- Type: Include the type of property that received the graffiti, such as a wall, curbside, telephone pole or fence. If graffiti is located on utility poles, boxes and/or phone booths please include the company name (PG&E, Comcast, etc.) and any other identifying information that will help pin-point the location.
- Business Name: Permission must be obtained from the property owner to clean private property.
- Contact Information: name and phone number. Your contact information will not be shared.
Property releases are done by appointment only. Call our Property Officer at 650-599-1570 and make an appointment to obtain your property. You may be asked to show proof of ownership such as a receipt. Ask the Property Officer what kind of paperwork you will need to bring with you.
A short-term rental (STR) is a residential or mixed-use property that contains a dwelling unit or habitable portion thereof that is offered to be rented for periods of 30 consecutive days or less.
An unhosted short-term rental is a short-term rental where no resident is present in the rental unit during the course of the rental. An unhosted short-term rental shall be operated no more than sixty (60) nights per calendar year within residential zoning districts.
A hosted short-term rental is a short-term rental where a resident, who is the operator and acting as a host, occupies one or more bedrooms in a dwelling unit while other areas of the unit are rented for the purpose of transient overnight lodging. There is no limitation on the number of nights a hosted short-term rental may be rented.
A primary residence is a residential property at which a person resides the majority of the time, carries basic living activities, and the place he or she usually returns to, in the event of travel. Primary residence is where the resident registers their property tax bill, voter registration, vehicle registration, etc.
Short-term vacation rentals may not operate from mobile homes, recreational vehicles, multi-family developments with four or more units, and any development containing units restricted to be affordable to lower-income households or farmworker housing. Short-term rentals are also prohibited in accessory dwelling units (ADU), except in some cases pursuant to chapter 18.33 of the Municipal Code.
First, we suggest speaking with City Staff to discuss Short-Term Rental provisions within Half Moon Bay (tel:650-726-8270). Second, you will want to fill out an application and include the required information, which can be found in the application checklist, and pay the fee. Finally, staff will verify if the proposed short-term rental is consistent with the Half Moon Bay Short-Term Rental and Home Occupation Ordinance and request any additional information needed prior to registering the STR.