San Francisco City Hall
San Francisco City Hall
What Is Demolition ?

In general, demolition is the razing, removal, deconstruction, salvaging, or wrecking of portions or all of a structure or building, including interior components and non load-bearing elements.  Demolition typically involves abatement of vector infestations (e.g., rodents, insects) and hazardous materials, including asbestos and lead-based paint, by qualified personnel and potential disposal in a classified landfill.  Demolition can be accomplished by hand, with heavy equipment, or by explosives.

What Codes Control Demolition ?

Chapter 1 of the California Building Code mentions Demolition in the category of activities which require ministerial permits, but has no other regulations.  Many jurisdictions have adopted supplemental regulations, including creating a discretionary permit category which make certain demolitions subject to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and land use controls.  Demolitions are typically subject other regulations, including:

  • bonds
  • public hearing
  • trespass security
  • air quality management
  • public nuisance exemption
  • historical fabric conservation
  • historical landmark preservation
  • hazardous materials abatement
  • Class A or C21 contractor license
  • debris recycling (landfill reduction)
  • notification of surrounding property owners
  • commencement contingent on other permits being issued

Check BUILDING in CALIFORNIA and your local jurisdiction’s website for additional information.