Board Structure & Jurisdiction

Board Structure 

The Board of Appeals is comprised of five Board members appointed for staggered four-year terms. Three members are appointed by the Mayor and two by the President of the Board of Supervisors. The Board is staffed by an Executive Director, Legal Assistant, and Clerks. A list of current Board members may be found here.



The Board’s jurisdiction is derived from San Francisco Charter Section 4.106, by provisions in Article 1 of the San Francisco Business and Tax Regulations Code, and other City ordinances. Copies of the key laws governing the Board may be found here.

The Board hears and decides appeals involving the granting, denial, suspension, or revocation of permits, licenses, and other entitlements by various City commissions and departments. The granting or denial of variances and other determinations by the Zoning Administrator, and certain decisions of the Planning Commission and Historic Preservation Commission are also appealable to the Board. However, building and demolition permits that are issued pursuant to Conditional Use authorization by the Planning Commission may not be appealed to the Board.

The Board has limited jurisdiction over certain permits issued by the Port Commission, pursuant to a Memorandum of Understanding. It has no jurisdiction over permits issued by the Recreation and Park Department or Commission, nor does it hear appeals of criminal matters, domestic relations matters, or other areas regulated by the State of California or the federal government.