Wireless Communication Facilities (WCFs) are the antennas, support structures and other equipment or apparatus necessary for providing personal wireless services and information services. The Development Services Department reviews applications for conventional WCFs, as well as applications to use City of San Diego streetlight and traffic signal poles for small cell WCF (SC-WCF) deployment for compliance with the City's Land Development Code.
For information on conventional (“macro cell”) WCFs, all SC-WCFs outside the public right-of-way, and discretionary (non-City-standard) SC-WCFs in the public right-of-way, please contact one of the Telecom project managers below:
On August 6, 2019, the City Council approved an update to the Wireless Communication Facility Regulations (SDMC 141.0420), which became effective September 5, 2019.
As a part of this update, the WCF Guidelines were added to the Land Development Manual.
Applicants should refer to the WCF Guidelines when designing WCFs in the City. These:
Outline three unifying principles that govern WCF design: The Principles of Balance, Context and Least Visibility;
Describe the specific design and processing requirements the City has instituted to implement all WCF policies and regulations, including state and federal law; and
Comprehensively address the design, location, facility type, levels of and incentives for concealment, the Spectrum Act, Substantial Conformance Review, small cells and standards for what should be shown on plans.
Community Plans - Most community plans do not contain requirements for WCFs, relying instead on the General Plan. Recent community plan updates do contain WCF-specific requirements, and all community plans contain goals and policies for urban design and land use that also apply to WCFs.
Facilities on City Property, Including the Public-Right-Of-Way
The City's Real Estate Assets Department invites wireless communication carriers to expand network infrastructure on City property and on City-owned property throughout the County of San Diego. Please contact Carla Gresham at firstname.lastname@example.org or 619-236-6729.
Important: Use of this tool is entirely at the applicant’s risk and should not replace field verification, record search or due diligence. The City will not be held liable for incorrect information. The tool is still under development and is currently limited to helping locate City assets and pole numbers only. All submitted coordinates will still require City review and quality control. Future updates to the tool will include the ability to identify existing pole occupants, submitted applications with permit information and show traffic signals and assets with existing sensors.
As of July 22, 2019, all WCFs in the Downtown area are processed by Development Services. Civic San Diego no longer accepts, processes or reviews WCF applications. Attempted submittals at Civic San Diego will not constitute the start of the applicable shot clock.
San Diego Municipal Code 141.0420(d)(10) requires wireless providers and telecom site management companies to submit site listings annually by January 31. Please use one of the Microsoft Excel spreadsheets below for annual reporting and follow the detailed instructions.
5G Drainage and Grading Training
This July 7, 2021, City of San Diego 5G/Dry Utility Industry-Wide Information Session focuses on drainage and grading plan-review interpretations and addresses various industry-related questions.