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To ensure the health, safety and well-being of customers and its staff, the Development Services Department (DSD) is responding to the latest directives from Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer and state, federal, and local authorities to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic while providing essential City services. Visit this page for the latest information about DSD's programs and services, which are subject to immediate change.

Facility Closures

**Updated June 30**

  • Each of the DSD physical offices is temporarily closed to the general public, but open to employees.
  • All walk-in and over-the-counter services are suspended. 
  • Payment and Plan drop off are available at the downtown Development Services Center. 
  • No Mask, No Service. Customers must wear a mask or a face covering over their nose and mouth and maintain required social distancing at all times when conducting business at the Development Services Center. Face coverings include fabric coverings, such as scarves, neck gaiters and bandana coverings. DSD staff will not serve customers that are not wearing a mask or face covering.

Quick Permit Drop-offs

**Updated Sept. 11**

  •  PDF icon All new applications for permits, approvals and construction changes are required to submit applications online. Applications received before July 1, can continue to be processed in paper form.
  • Customers may submit projects, resubmittals and documents in the first-floor lobby of the Development Services Center, located at 1222 First Ave. The Project Submittal Manual and PDF icon Information Bulletin #153, respectively, outline submittal and permit issuance requirements. 
  • This is an unstaffed location for document drop off only. Read the posted instructions carefully and place your goldenrod-colored PDF icon Form DS-3500 and corresponding documents on the cart. Physical distancing is in place, so a maximum of eight customers at a time will be allowed into the first-floor lobby to drop project plans and applications. No payments are allowed here. Items left without the completed goldenrod Form DS-3500 will be discarded.
  • The drop-off service is available at the downtown Development Services Center Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. While DSD is closed for business between 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., during weekdays, the first floor will remain open during this time to allow for document and payment drop-off
  • Stamp Transfer in a similar manner, however, a different form is needed; submit all required plans with a completed pink-colored PDF icon Form DS-4000
  • Project Status Help: Operational modifications to facilitate continued operations in response to the COVID-19 emergency have resulted in an increase in questions and duplicative requests, with most inquiring about the status of applications submitted on paper. To help address these questions more expeditiously, DSD created an electronic Project Status Request form. Information requested in this electronic form is needed to search for the documents and obtain the status. Please use this process to submit your request so that we can more efficiently and quickly provide assistance.  Before submitting requests, please check OpenDSD for the status; your information may already be posted here.


Payment Options

**Updated May 5**

  • Payment drop-off can be made in the first-floor lobby of the Development Services Center, located at 1222 First Ave. This payment service is available at the downtown Development Services Center Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. While DSD is closed for business between 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. during weekdays, the first floor will remain open during this time to allow for payment and document drop-off.
  • A touchless drop safe has been installed to drop your payment into the slot of the safe simply. The safe will be checked daily, and payments process the following business day. Water and sewer fees can be dropped off at this location. All payments must be made out to "City Treasurer." Please include in the memo of the check the invoice # or Project # or attach the invoice to the check. This is an unstaffed location for document drop off only. Read the posted instructions carefully. Please email DSDCashiers@sandiego.gov for questions.
  • Cash Payments:
    Cash payments are only accepted by appointment. Email DSDCashiers@sandiego.gov to schedule an appointment. 
  • Payment of school fees: 
    For the San Diego Unified School District, please visit sandiegounified.org/developer-fees for payment information. 

Appointments, Questions and Review Comments/Requirements

**Updated Oct. 19*  

  • Appointment requests are being managed by each division, as most will be served remotely. View the Contact Us page to find the contact information for a section or division for scheduling appointments via email, the web and phone. 
  • DSD staff is still processing projects including intake, plan review and permit issuance, and is now offering inspections by appointment.
  • Project review comments and next time document requirements can now be viewed on OpenDSD. Here is how:
    1. Go to OpenDSD
    2. Enter Project #
    3. Click on Project ID
    4. Click the Review Cycles Tabs
    • Click on the Cycle you wish to view.  Note that only “Closed” cycles will have comments to view.*
    • To view reviewer comments in Closed cycles, click on the “Review ID” number in the box.* Reviewer comments will immediately open for viewing.
    • Next time document requirements will be listed in the area marked “Submittal” below the review information. These are items that will be needed with resubmittals 

*There will be a pop-up and you will have to enter the phone number of the application’s designated Project Contact as identified and set up in the Project Tracking System (PTS).


Plan Pick Up/Will Call

**Updated Aug 14**

  • Effective Aug. 17, DSD will send a customer notification by email when paper plans are ready for pick up.  Customers can pick up documents and plans at DSD after receiving a notification from Plan Pickup. DSD will hold the plans for 15 calendar days from the notification date and recycle the plans if left unclaimed. Do not come to pick up documents unless you have received a customer notification that your item is ready for pick up.

  • Will-call located on the 3rd floor at DSD is for special items and stamp transfers. You will be notified by DSD staff by email once your item is placed in will-call.

  • When ready, customers may pick up their project files outside of the third-floor entryway at City Operations Building. This service is available at the downtown Development Services Center Monday through Thursday, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Fridays, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. While DSD is closed for business between 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. during weekdays, the first floor will remain open during this time to allow for document drop-off and payment drop-off.

  • If you received notification prior to Aug. 17, customers should email their Plan Pick Up requests to DSDPlanPickUp@sandiego.gov. Customers will receive a reply email when project plans or documents are ready for pick up. Do not come to pick up documents unless you have completed this step and have received confirmation that your item is ready for pick up.


Inspection Services

**Updated June 11**

  • During inspections, follow these required construction site COVID-19 safety protocols:
    COVID-19 Safety Protocols
    for Construction Sites
     Protocolos de Seguridad COVID-19
     para Obras en Construcción
  • Starting July 1, all construction changes will be processed electronically. 
  • Field Inspections are ongoing. These new field Inspection protocols must be followed for your safety and the safety of inspectors. You may be asked to provide photos instead of an in-person residential interior inspection. Inspectors will also ask you questions about your health, including if you are in COVID-19 isolation or are experiencing any symptoms. Your inspection may be performed at a later date if deemed necessary.
  • Call 858-492-5070 between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday with requests for and questions about: 
    1. Emergency gas leak or electrical restoration inspections;
    2. Mobile home permits; 
    3. Registration and renewal of Special Inspectors; and
    4. Construction Material Testing Laboratories and Agencies.

Permit and Application Extensions

**Updated Sept. 14** 

The San Diego City Council approved an interim urgency ordinance that provides extensions for various Development Services permits, as outlined below.  

  • Development permits that have not expired prior to March 12, 2020, will be granted a 365-day extension of the expiration date of the Development Permit in addition to any extensions already permitted by the San Diego Municipal Code, unless the State dictates otherwise.
  • Building, electrical, plumbing, mechanical, fire, grading and public right-of-way permit applications that have not expired prior to March 12, 2020, are granted an additional 365-day extension of their utilization or expiration dates in addition to any extensions already permitted by the San Diego Municipal Code and Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer's PDF icon Executive Order 2020-2. These projects shall comply with state building standards in effect at the time of permit issuance.
  • Development Permit applications will receive an additional 60 days to the time provided in Municipal Code section PDF icon 126.0115 to submit or resubmit requested materials, information, fees, or deposits before the Development Permit application file will be closed by the City. 
  • Development Permits that have not expired prior to March 12, 2020, will be granted a 365-day extension of the expiration date of the Development Permit in addition to any extensions already permitted by the San Diego Municipal Code, unless the State dictates otherwise. However, this extension will not apply to cannabis outlet and production facility permits that have been issued pursuant to San Diego Municipal Code sections PDF icon 141.0504 and PDF icon 141.1004.

Rapid Review

**Updated Aug. 6** 

Formerly known as Over-the-Counter, Rapid Review is now available for some minor projects to help reduce the time it takes customers to obtain a permit for minor projects. Eligibility for Rapid Review is determined by DSD staff at submittal based on the proposed scope of the project. If eligible, DSD staff will automatically place the project into Rapid Review. Note that in some cases, specific disciplines may not be able to perform a Rapid Review based on the project scope.

Some of the more common Rapid Review eligible minor projects include:

  1. Construction permits for single-story and single-dwelling unit additions. See PDF icon Information Bulletin 140, “How to Obtain a Permit to Build a Residential Addition";
  2. Accessory structures for single-dwelling units (carports, patio covers, fences, retaining walls) using City of San Diego standard designs contained in Information Bulletins;
  3. Construction permits for minor interior remodels for commercial tenant improvements; and
  4. Standard public improvements as identified on PDF icon Information Bulletin 165, “How to Obtain a Public Right-of-Way Permit for Standard Public Improvements.” 

Check on the Status of Your Project: Visit OpenDSD to follow the progress of your project and reviewer comments.


Express Plan Check

**Updated Sept. 11** 

Express Plan Check for new applications is now reinstated. Submit your requests here. Learn about quicker processing opportunities.  


COVID-19 Information

Stay informed about COVID-19 by visiting the City's COVID-19 Information page, the Center for Disease Control website and the County of San Diego Health and Human Services website.


Email Updates

Visit sandiego.gov/dsd-email to keep up-to-date with DSD via email.

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