Frequently Asked Questions– Construction “S” Permit

Revised on 06-19-2020

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Q.  How long does it take to get an S-Permit?

A:  This is an over-the-counter permit. When all documents, including Sewerage Facilities Charges, any required easement, sewer capacity and the constructed building are ready, then the S-Permit may be issued in less than 30 minutes.

Q:  How long is an S-Permit valid?

A:  An S-Permit is good for two years from the date of issuance. 

Q:  When does an S-Permit expire?

A:  The S-Permit expires two years from the date that it was issued. If the job is in progress and inspection is on going, then it will not expire.

Q:  How will the City determine if a project is being performed diligently?

A:  The Bureau of Contract Administration of the Department of Public Works will make that determination depending on the job conditions that may delay the project.

Q:  What is the Sewer Facilities Charge (SFC)?

A:  The Sewer Facilities Charge is collected to pay for sewer infrastructure improvements. Monies are collected by the BOE for the Bureau of Sanitation (BOS) which manages the City’s sewer system. The SFC is based upon the volume of flow and the strength (or quality) of sewage discharged into the City’s sewer system. The SFC is due when construction and use triggers a net increase in flow and or sewage strength. The SFC is tied to individual parcels of land and is based on improvements to each parcel. SFC credit is based on the use and area of an existing building and buildings demolished after June 16, 1970. SFC fees are calculated based on the proposed new building use and area. SFC credits are used to offset SFC fees. The amount of the SFC rate is based on use and formulas  developed by the BOS. The current rate was established by Ordinance on June 6, 1996.

Q:  Can I revise the scope of work on my S permit?

A:  S Permits may be revised to accommodate any change in scope of work.  Permit fees will be adjusted, additional fees or refunds will be made to reflect any change.

Q:  What if expiration date on the S Permit passes but I am in the middle of work?

A:  Once the S-Permit is issued and inspection has started, then the project may go on until satisfactorily completed. As long as the applicant is progressing with the work described in the permit diligently and responsibly, then the permit stays in effect until completion of work.

Q:  When is the SCARF applied, or charged?

A:  It applies to all applicants seeking a Sewer Capacity Availability Review (SCAR).  SCARs are generally required for Sewer Facility Certificate applications exceeding 10,000 gpd, or request from a property owner seeking to increase their discharge thru their existing connection by 10,000 gpd of more, or any groundwater related project that discharges 10,000 gpd or more, or any proposed or future development for a project that could result in a discharge of 10,000 gpd.

Q:  Why is the SCARF being charged now when it has not been in the past?

A:  The City has seen a dramatic increase in the number of SCARs over 10,000 gpd in the last few years and has needed to increase its resources, i.e., staff and gauging efforts, to respond to them.  The funds collected thru SCARF will help the City pay for these additional resources and will be paid by developers and property owners that receive the benefit from the SCAR effort.

Q:  Where does the SCARF get paid?

A:  The Department of Public Works, Bureau of Engineering (BOE) collects the fee at its public counter.  Once the dee is paid, BOE will prepare a SCAR request and forward it to the Bureau of Sanitation (BOS) where it’s reviews and then returned to BOE.  BOE then informs the applicant of the results.  In some cases, BOS works directly with the applicant during the review of the SCAR to seek additional information and work out alternative solutions

What is subject to the Street Damage Restoration Fee (SDRF)?

The Street Damage Restoration Fee is applicable to any excavation work on asphalt concrete streets subject to a permit such as an A-Permit, B-Permit, Excavation E-Permit, Excavation U-Permit and Sewer S-Permit. The SDRF fee will not apply to the removal and replacement of curb, gutter, parkway, sidewalk and/or driveway. The District Office can be consulted for further clarification.

What is the new Street Damage Restoration Fee (SDRF)?

The SDRF is set at $8.24 per square foot for Local Streets and $19.44 per square foot (sq.ft.) for Select Streets, and applies to an area that equals the length and width of the excavation cut plus 5 feet on all sides of the excavation. The 5-foot extension area for a cut in asphalt is applicable even if it extends into gutter, curb, sidewalk and/or parkway, due to the fee assessment option adopted by City Council. Excavation cuts in the parkway that are within 5 feet of the street section will not pay an SDRF fee for the extended area.

Will the Street Damage Restoration Fee (SDRF) be applicable to Excavation E-Permits, Excavation U-Permits and Sewer S-Permits? 

Whenever an excavation is made in the street, SDRF will apply. This would be applicable to most excavations involving E-Permits and/or U-Permits. In S-Permits, this will be in situations where a sewer line is being installed without street work being done in the immediate vicinity and the SDRF fee will not apply to the removal and replacement of curb and gutter. The District Office can be consulted for further clarification.

When is the new Street Damage Restoration Fee (SDRF) effective? 

The new SDRF became effective December 6, 2018.

What are the limits of the street to which Street Damage Restoration Fee (SDRF) applies? 

The SDRF applies to the limits of excavation cuts on an asphalt concrete street extending to the edges (typically at gutter edges).

What is a Select Street?

In terms of the new Street Damage Restoration Fee, a Select Street is a street designated by the Bureau of Street Services as a street requiring a thicker pavement design to accommodate greater traffic loads. The Bureau of Street Services shall maintain a public record of its street designations. This street designation is visible via NavigateLA’s Street Centerlines Report, listed under Class as SE.

What is a Local Street?

In terms of the new Street Damage Restoration Fee, a Local Street shall be a street not designated as a Select Street. The Bureau of Street Services shall maintain a public record of its street designations. This street designation is visible via NavigateLA’s Street Centerlines Report, listed under Class as LO.

Does the age of the street affect the new Street Damage Restoration Fee (SDRF)?

No, the new SDRF is not relative to the age of the street.

Does the new Street Damage Restoration Fee (SDRF) apply to excavation work on a concrete street?

Full slab replacement is required in lieu of paying the SDRF for any excavation on a concrete street. A slab may be defined as the area of concrete surrounded by a joint (i.e. construction/expansion joint, etc.). In the event a concrete street does not consist of slabs but a large(r) concrete panel, the District Office can be consulted for further clarification.

Are there any exemptions from payment of the Street Damage Restoration Fee (SDRF)?

Yes, there are two exemptions to the SDRF:

  1. Any excavation in a street scheduled for resurfacing under the City’s Annual Street Renewal Plan within the one year prior to the scheduled resurfacing is exempt from the SDRF.
  2. Exemption for excavation made up to 23 months prior to scheduled resurfacing may be granted after further consideration. The following must be provided at the time of request for consideration:
    1. Complete review of the City’s Five-Year Street Renewal Plan and one-year Annual Street Renewal Plan prepared by the Director of the Bureau of Street Services (BSS) prior to applying for an excavation permit
    2. Prepare and submit to the BSS a five-year street excavation plan and a one-year street excavation plan, in a form acceptable to the Bureau, prior to applying for an excavation permit. Such plans must include the following:
      1. The location of the applicant’s existing facilities in any City street, alley, sidewalk or other public place; and,
      2. A description of all of the applicant’s planned excavation work in any City street, alley, sidewalk or other public place.
    3. To continue to qualify for the SDRF exemption:
      1. Submit annually, by April 15 of each year following the submission of the initial five-year street excavation plan and one-year street excavation plan, a revised and updated five-year street excavation plan and one-year street excavation plan; and,
      2. All excavations in any Local Street or any Select Street must be shown on the applicant’s one-year street excavation plan, and must take place within 23 months prior to City’s planned resurfacing or rehabilitation projects as shown in the City’s Five-Year Street Renewal Plan and one-year Annual Street Renewal Plan.

Can I excavate anytime within one year following the resurfacing of the street? 

Yes. However, in lieu of paying the SDRF, permittee must repave the entire street block from curb face to curb face (typically referred to as the One-Year Street Moratorium).

Are there any exceptions to the One-Year Street Moratorium?

Yes, there are two exemptions to the One-Year Street Moratorium:

  1. Exceptions may be made when it can be sufficiently demonstrated to the Director of the Bureau of Street Services (BSS) that the City’s 30-day notice of a scheduled street resurfacing project was not mailed to the correct property owner of record at the time of notification, and the property owner made significant efforts to promptly notify BSS of any planned street excavations. 
  2. Exceptions may be made on Emergency Work. Emergency Work is defined under LAMC 62.61 as immediate and unplanned action that must be taken to alleviate a hazardous condition, which represents an immediate threat to life, health, safety, or property. This includes continuous efforts to effect the restoration of interrupted utility services (electrical, water, gas, wastewater and telecommunications). Bureau of Engineering’s Special Order SO06-0807, Step 4, prescribes the requirements on Street Damage Restoration Fee and right-of-way restoration for Emergency Work during the One-Year Street Moratorium.

Will the Street Damage Restoration Fee (SDRF) be increased or decreased in the future?

The Board of Public Works (Board) will calculate an adjusted SDRF annually on July 1, in accordance with the California Department of Transportation Price Index for Selected Highway Construction Items. The proposed revised SDRF is effective upon its adoption by resolution approved by the Board following a public hearing.

Do I have to pay a Slurry Seal Damage Restoration Fee (SSDRF)?

The SSDRF was discontinued on December 6, 2018.

When is the Street Damage Restoration Fee (SDRF) collected?

In the interim, the SDRF collection will take place via monthly billing, except for those user accounts that have billing restrictions. BOE won’t require collection of SDRF amounts above $5,000 but can collect payment over-the-counter prior to permit issuance until a revised payment collection policy is determined.

Does the Street Damage Restoration Fee (SDRF) apply to alleys?

If the Alley does not have a centerline shown on the geocoding module, it means that it does not have a section ID and in this case we should not charge an SDRF. The Utility Agency may select “Alley (No Centerline)” under the Surface Type selection within the geocoding module in the Online U-Permit Applications System and that should waive the associated fees automatically.