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Water Course and Tideland Permits

What is a watercourse permit?

A watercourse permit is needed for any work to construct or repair any pier, retaining wall, bulkhead, building, bridge or other structure in, over, or within fifteen (15') feet of the bank of any watercourse within the city without first obtaining a permit.

Watercourse Permit - $454

What is a tideland permit?

For any fill, excavation or structures within all portions of San Pablo Bay and San Rafael Bay, tidelands, shorelines, waterways, canals, beaches or salt marshes within the city which are below an elevation of 7.5 feet mean lower low water datum and to contiguous land between that elevation line and either a point one hundred feet (100') inland or the nearest publicly maintained road, whichever is closer. The following items shall not be subject to this title:

  1. Any structure, fill or excavation which is not within and which does not encroach on the tidelands and waterways as defined herein;
  2. Any emergency work necessary to prevent or to minimize imminent damage to land or improvements from floodwaters. Such emergency work shall be reported in writing within ten (10) days after the start of such work to the department of public works;
  3. Any structure, fill or excavation which the director of public works or his designee ("director") finds to be minor or incidental, including repair or replacement in kind of an existing structure or structures not requiring any new fill or excavation;
  4. Any structure, fill or excavation which has been approved prior to May 17, 1971, as part of any application, action or permit by the planning commission or the planning director, except that such structure, fill or excavation shall not be deemed to have been approved for a building permit. Where a development is subject to other provisions of the municipal code, approval of any fill, excavation, or structure within the scope of this title, which is contained in the development, shall be subject to the findings of subsection (4) of Section 17.10.040;
  5. Any structure, fill or excavation which is behind secure dikes, which existed prior to June 16, 1971, and which is normally not subject to tidal action by virtue of the dike, or which is only temporarily under tidal action due to defective tide gates;
  6. Within creeks, estuaries and rivers the applicability of this title shall extend downstream from certain defined points as follows:

(A)San Rafael Canal: The bridge at the northbound off-ramp of Highway 101 eastward (Irwin Street),

(B)The north fork of Las Gallinas Creek: Highway 101 eastward,

(C)Any other navigable waters annexed by the city.

Tideland Permit (Dredged Material) - $618

Fees for other Tidelands Permits may vary.


DPW Permits Team


415.485.3355, Option 2

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