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Community Planning Groups

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Community Planning Groups?

Image of Community Planning Group discussion

Community planning groups provide City recommendations to the City

Community Planning Groups are citizen organizations that form to advise the City on land use-based community goals and development proposals. CPGs are established in conformance with City policies and are "recognized" to provide official recommendations to the City.



What areas of the city do Community Planning Groups represent?

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One representative sits on the Community Planners Group

The City of San Diego is divided into more than 50 planning areas. There is normally only one recognized planning group per community, and the physical boundaries within which the planning groups operate do not overlap. Exceptions to this include the Mid-City and Southeastern communities, which have been divided into multiple Community Planning Group areas. CPGs generally focus on issues and projects within the boundaries of the community. However, each group sends a representative to sit on the Community Planners Committee to address issues of citywide concern.

How are Community Planning Groups formed?

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Most communities currently have a Community Planning Group

Community Planning Groups already exist for most communities within the City of San Diego. The Planning Department works with group members interested in forming a Community Planning Group where none currently exists. Together, staff and group members prepare an initial group roster as well as group bylaws in conformance with City policies. A hearing before the City Council is then scheduled for final approval and recognition of the new group.

What are the operating responsibilities of Community Planning Groups?

Image of a Community Planning Group in session

A Community Planning Group in session

Community Planning Groups (CPG) are required to adopt operating procedures and responsibilities, otherwise known as bylaws, which must be consistent with the requirements of Council Policy 600-24. The bylaws ensure that the group will represent the community at large, will solicit input from the community and will operate in a fair manner. Operating responsibilities for Community Planning Groups are outlined in Council Policy 600-24.

Community Planning Groups generally have between 12 and 20 voting members from throughout the community. The CPG officers are elected to chair the meetings and perform all duties necessary to carry out the purpose of the committee. Members attend regular committee meetings to review community goals and development proposals. Issues and projects are discussed and then a recommendation is passed by the majority of voting members. The CPG recommendations are submitted to the City for consideration during approval processes.

The CPGs are responsible for reviewing development proposals in their communities and make a recommendation to the decision maker, which may be a Hearing Officer, the Planning Commission and/or the City Council. The recommendations of the group are based upon policies established in the applicable community plan. The CPGs also work with City staff contributing to periodic updates of their community plan.

The CPGs and individuals representing themselves as a planning group member are not permitted to endorse a political candidate. A planning group may allow a candidate to speak at their meeting only if all candidates for the office are allowed a chance to speak. The CPGs may endorse a ballot proposition only if it relates to the group’s activities.

Who can be on a Community Planning Group’s Board?

Community Planning Group members are elected by eligible members of the community. Some bylaws refer to an executive board, with all general members belonging to the group. Group members must be at least eighteen years of age and be affiliated with the community as a property owner, resident or local business person. Eligibility may be further defined by group bylaws.

Where do Community Planning Groups have a voice?

Image of Community Planning Groups review development proposals

Community Planning Groups review development proposals

Community Planning Groups advise the City on the adoption, implementation of amendment of their community plan, which is the long-term planning “blueprint” for development of the community. Community planning groups advise the City on the adoption and implementation of amendments to their community plan (the long-term planning blueprint for development of the community). CPGs also review the more complex development proposals which include those requiring discretionary City approval for conformance with community plan goals and policies.