Have you ever wondered why the permit process in San Francisco is so confusing? Here's why (see image). With a little assistance from my web developer, we mapped out a flowchart of the process. Once we had the steps in place, we stacked the decision tree vertically. There are a lot of steps. From a pure usability standpoint, San Francisco's permit process is a nightmare. Keep in mind this is a simplified flowchart, we didn't chart other city agencies such as mechanical plan check, PUC, BSM, etc. And clients wonder why it's so expensive to build in this town!