Chief Building Official

City of San Rafael

The City of San Rafael seeks a Chief Building Official with substantial experience working on residential projects, plan reviews, permit processing, commercial structures and code compliance.  We are looking for someone with exceptional interpersonal skills, who enjoys mentoring and leading others and building positive relationships with other city departments, community clients, design professionals and contractors.  The department boasts an impressive record of leadership stability; in the past 45 years the City has only had two Chief Building Officials!  San Rafael employees are encouraged to bring new ideas to everyday work challenges and find it rewarding to work in a forward-thinking and collaborative environment.


For more details please see the complete recruitment brochure:



This position directs and controls all matters related to the Building Division, including:  overseeing a variety of complex building code inspections, leading and mentoring staff, and overseeing site development functions, permit issuance, fee collection, etc. As part of your daily job you will:

  • Have knowledge of building and safety laws, codes and regulations, and methods, materials and practices employed in building and site development design, construction and inspection.
  • Plan check various projects including complex residential, commercial and industrial buildings.
  • Inspect the quality of work material and construction methods for foundation, excavation, framing, concrete, steel erection, lathing, plastering, tile work, electrical, plumbing, etc.
  • Issue construction and occupancy permits, and final inspection certifications.
  • Conduct field inspections and plan checks.
  • Work effectively and collaborate successfully with internal and external departments and outside entities to process complex projects that require multiple approvals across organizations.
  • Troubleshoot escalated issues with inspectors and front counter staff related to code interpretation, plan checks, building permits, disputes, etc.
  • Recommend updates to codes and ordinances and explore updates to the permit fees.
  • Work with Marin Builder’s Association, local architects, commerce, ADA committee, Health and Safety, and other community stakeholders and groups.
  • Work effectively with outside consultants who support the Building Division with complicated reviews and geotechnical, hydrology, structural, and other consulting services.
  • Respond to fire scenes or other emergencies, if requested by emergency personnel, to consult on matters of structural safety or to assist in investigations.
  • Give talks and tabletop demonstrations to civic organizations, school groups & other interested parties.
  • Build a solid and effective partnership with the Public Works Department which supports the Building Division with civil engineering, geotechnical reviews, peer design, drainage, etc.
  • Create a culture of employee development and customer service focus, breaking down systematic silos, and improve efficiencies and the customer experience. 
  • Keep informed of current trends in building, fire safety, code enforcement, court rulings and new legislation to provide recommendations to policies and procedures.
  • Oversee the development and achievement of division goals; improve standards and performance.
  • Participate in the development of the annual budget, budget forecasting, staffing and resource needs.
  • Prepare and coordinate reports on construction activity and issues.
  • Make presentations to City Council and work effectively with other City Executive Management.



  • Any combination of experience and education that could likely provide the required knowledge and abilities.  A typical way to obtain the knowledge, skills and abilities would be:
  • 6 years of progressively responsible professional experience in construction related inspection and design review, and code enforcement
  • 3 years in a supervisory capacity
  • Practical experience with principles and practices of organization, administration, budgeting and personnel management.
  • An Associate degree from an accredited college with major work in construction, engineering or related field.
  • ICC Building Official certification, required within a year of hire.
  • Valid CA Driver’s License is required



  • ICC Building Inspector
  • ICC Plans Examiner
  • Certified Access Specialist (CASp)




This position is open until filled, however for first consideration apply by March 14; candidates are encouraged to submit as soon as possible.

  • Apply At:



  • Interviews will be on April 2nd and 3rd (candidates invited to interview will need to be available for both days)


Please contact your recruiter, Wendi Brown, with any questions: