San Diego

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Preliminary Review

A preliminary review is a flat, fee-based service tailored to your specific project. A preliminary review helps you obtain general information on the regulations that apply to your project, find out which permits you must obtain, the review process that applies to your development, and it helps you obtain interpretations on how the City will apply code provisions to specific situations. Staff responses to your specific questions will be documented and provided to you at the completion of the review.

Plan Your Project

What You Should Know

  • Your project will be assigned to a reviewer who will prepare a written response to your questions approximately five (5) working days after the submittal date. Single Preliminary Review for historical determinations will take approximately 10 working days after the submittal date.

  • The Preliminary Review fee does not include meetings with DSD staff. You may request a preliminary review meeting with the reviewer(s) to discuss the results of the preliminary review. An additional fee is required for this meeting, based upon an hourly rate for each staff person requested to attend the meeting.

  • Check DSD’s Zoning & Parcel Information page to learn more about the zoning and other land-use regulations that may apply to your property.

  • Your project may require a historic review to determine conformance with the PDF icon historic resources regulations if your project is located:

    • On a site with a designated historic resource
    • Within a designated historic district
    • On a site containing a structure of 45 years or more.
  • Please review  PDF icon Information Bulletin 581 for additional information. 
  • Prepare the PDF icon Preliminary Review Questionnaire (DS-375) for submittal after receiving a Project Tracking System number when you apply for a Preliminary Review in Step 2 in Apply for a Permit.  


  • Preliminary review fees are either based on single discipline or multiple disciplines. You can add more than one single discipline to your preliminary review request depending on your project scope. For more information, see PDF icon Information Bulletin 513 - Preliminary Review.


  • No inspections required.


  • No exemptions apply.

Compliant Outdoor Expansion

Additional Resources

Information Bulletins for various projects and permit types are available.