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Development Services

Purpose of Professional Certification

The purpose of this information bulletin is to describe the Development Services Department (DSD) Professional Certification process that allows eligible professionals to certify that their discretionary project application package meets the minimum development permit/approval submittal requirements. The intent of this program is to reduce the processing timeline for the intake of new applications for a development permit or policy approval.  This certification applies to all discretionary actions pursuant to the San Diego Municipal Code related to Processes 2 through 5. Professionals who choose to submit this certification must provide the Certification Statement contained in Section III of this bulletin.

Submittal Requirements

The forms, documents, and plans that must be submitted for project review and approval are contained in the 5,Submittal Requirements. Note: For Affordable Housing/Sustainable Building Expedite Program projects, please see IB-538 for special instructions. When submitting, the following is required:

  1. Documents and plans per the Land Development Manual, Volume 1, Chapter 1, Section 4, 5, and Section 6 (for Rezones). Include the decision process level (2, 3, 4 or 5) within the project description in the online application.
  2. Fees and deposits per IB-503.
  3. A completed noticing package per IB-512 and Supplemental Discretionary Project Application Form DS-3035.
  4. The scope of work must contain:
    • Community Planning Area
    • Process Level
    • Approval(s)
    • Description
    • Location
    • Base Zone(s)
    • Overlay Zones

Example: COMMUNITY PLANNING AREA (Process X) Insert Permit/Approval type(s) general description of the development including existing & proposed, square footage of building or suite, number of stories, proposed residential units at (insert street address*). The X.XX acre site is in the (insert Base Zone or Identify Planned District), [Only add the following, if applicable] Costal (Non-appealable or Appealable) overlay zone within the XXXX Community Plan area. Council District (insert number). Information required per Municipal Code 112.0301.

Submittal Process

All discretionary permit applications are submitted electronically through the DSD online permitting system. A detailed User Guide is available with instructions on how to create an account and begin the submittal process. An application submitted by certification will be deemed complete without an initial development permit completeness review when all required digital documents and plans are in the correct digital format (PDF) , and all deposits/fees have been paid. If an invoice has not been paid prior to distribution, the applicant will be contacted, and the project is subject to cancellation.

Designated Historic Properties or Parcels Located in an Adopted Historic District

If the project involves any parcel with a designated historical resource or is located within the boundaries of a designated historic district, a historic review is required. Please refer to Information Bulletin 581, Designated Historical Resource Review for additional information.

Certification Statement

This certification requires professionals to be accountable for knowing and complying with the governing policies, regulations, and submittal requirements applicable to the proposed development. The following certification statement must be signed and appear on the first sheet of the plans or added as an attachment.

I hereby acknowledge and certify that: 

  • I am accountable for knowing and complying with the governing policies, regulations, and submittal requirements applicable to this proposed development.
  • I have performed reasonable research to determine the required approvals and decision process for the proposed project, and that failure to accurately identify an approval or decision process could significantly delay the permitting process or result in a change in fee/deposit requirements.
  • Certifying submittals without a development permit completeness review is a privilege and requires accurate submittals on a consistent basis.
  • Submitting incomplete documents and plans on a consistent basis may result in the denial of future submittals by certification without a development permit completeness review.
  • If required documents or plan content is missing or not in the correct digital format (PDF), the project review will be delayed.
  • I have reviewed the DSD Customer Bill of Rights and understand that DSD strives for an atmosphere of mutual respect, courtesy and accountability on both sides of the table.  I agree to work in good faith with my Development Project Manager, ask clarifying questions, promptly respond to requests for information and documents, and treat all staff with professional courtesy and respect.
  • This submittal package meets all of the minimum submittal requirements contained in Land Development Manual, Volume 1, Chapter 1, Section 4, Section 5, : and/or Section 6 (for Rezones).

For the proposed project, I have determined the appropriate process and approval types to be as follows:

Project Scope (in accordance with above)

Project Process Level (2-5): ______ Project Approval(s) Needed: ___________________
Responsible Certified Professional Name: ___________________________________________________________
Signature: ______________________________________ Date:_______________________________________