Translation Disclaimer

Building and Safety Division
Building and Safety Division

Building Demolitions

It is the expectation of the City of Berkeley that all building demolitions will be carried out in a manner conducive to public safety. This includes the prevention of debris falling into the public right-of-way or onto adjoining properties, and prompt and proper disposal of all debris. Debris is not to be stored on adjoining properties or in the public right-of-way without prior written consent.

The City of Berkeley requires a permit for the demolition of any structure such as existing single-family dwellings, sheds, commercial and industrial structures. Demolition work shall not begin until the required measures for protections of residents and pedestrians have been put in place.Demolition wrecking ball


"J" Number Required: Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) regulations require that a "J Number" be applied for and obtained prior to applying for a Building Permit for demolition of an existing structure. This J Number process is designed to ensure that no asbestos is released in to the air when buildings are demolished in the San Francisco Bay Area.

You will need to obtain a J Number before applying for a Building Permit for demolition even if you know that the building to be demolished contains no asbestos.

PLEASE NOTE: It can take several days to apply for and receive the Acknowledgement form from BAAQMD. Be sure to take this into account when planning your demolition project.

To apply for a J Number, or for more information about the J Number process, please contact the Bay Area Air Quality Management District's Enforcement Division: (415) 749-4762. BAAQMD's J Number form can be downloaded at BAAQMD also provides Compliance Tips and FAQs and Asbestos FAQs.

Permit Requirements:

The California Building Code (Section 105.1) requires that you obtain a permit before demolishing any building.

Process (how to start this type of project)
An application packet for this permit can be picked up at the Permit Service Center, 2120 Milvia Street between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. The submittal of an application requires an appointment. You can make an appointment by calling 981-7502.

How much will it cost
Permit fees are based on the value of the work to be performed including clearing of the site. A final inspection is required after the structure has been completely demolished and the site cleared. For some demolitions, a compaction report will be needed for the final inspection.


Home | Web Policy | Text-Only Site Map | Contact Us
Building and Safety Division, 1947 Center St, 3rd Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704
Questions or comments? Email: Phone: (510) 981-7440
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
TTY: (510) 981-6903