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Book a Virtual Counter Appointment

A laptop with a video call in progress

If you need help getting started to plan, permit or build a project in the City of San Diego, the Development Services Department (DSD) is here to help. For detailed reviews and responses, or for written determinations, DSD provides a Preliminary Review service. For more information on this service, please review Information Bulletin 513.

You can now book free virtual counter appointments to get direct assistance from a DSD representative, who will be able to answer questions about the City of San Diego building and development requirements.

You can schedule a virtual counter appointment during normal business hours, choosing from available meeting times and services. All appointments are conducted using Microsoft Teams.

We look forward to serving you and using new tools and technology at #DigitalDSD, a proactive initiative to modernize all workplace systems and cost-effectively leverage technology to increase productivity and improve service delivery to customers.

 When booking your virtual counter appointment:

  1. Make sure your project is within the City of San Diego;
  2. Select and book your appointment type below; and 
  3. After booking your appointment, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions and a link to join a virtual meeting.  

Preparing for a Virtual Meeting

Before your appointment, remember to:

  • Have a computer, tablet or smartphone with internet access.
  • As the virtual counter appointments will be conducted using Microsoft Teams, please familiarize yourself with this virtual meeting platform. Download Microsoft Teams
  • The use of webcams during the virtual counter appointment is optional.
  • During the virtual counter appointment, DSD representatives can share their computer screens.
  • Be prepared to share your computer screen and electronic project documents during the virtual counter appointment in Microsoft Teams.
  • You will not be able to email files before, during or after meetings.
  • Organize and plan for your virtual counter appointment, have an agenda, and be prepared with all your questions in advance.

Appointment Types

ADUs, Signs & Zoning

For general information on Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), signs and zoning regulations. This service is recommended prior to submitting construction permits or receiving clarification on specific regulations.

  • ADUs and Junior ADUs - Outside the Coastal Overlay Zone
  • Signs – Commercial businesses and places
  • Zoning – Base Zone Development Regulations
    Outside of the Coastal Overlay Zone, Community Plan Implementation Overlay Zone (CPIOZ) or a Specific Plan; maximum height limits, floor area ratio, setback requirements or allowable uses. 

View specific zones, overlay zones and other property information. If you have questions about a specific project number, please contact the individual reviewer(s) directly.

30 minutes 

Digital Permit Application Assistance Counters (In-Person Appointments)

These meetings are designed to assist applicants to create online accounts and learn the digital project submittal permitting system for a future successful submittal process.
One hour in-person at the City Operations Building

Applications for No-Plan Building Permits 

These meetings are for proposed building PDF icon projects that do not require plans.

If you have questions about a specific project number, please contact the individual reviewer(s) directly.

 One hour 

Small Business and Restaurant Assistance Program

These meetings are designed to help qualified small businesses and restaurants with their planning and permitting needs, making it faster and easier to get the permitting, construction and inspection help they need for a speedy recovery.

45 minutes 

Historical Resources

For customers who are considering historic designations, preservation of a property, building or other structure, or need assistance with a potential historical issue.

If you have questions about a specific project number, please contact the individual reviewer(s) directly.

30 minutes 

Planning & Land Development

For general information on zoning, land use and development regulations.

The “Planning” appointment type will handle all other “zoning, land use and development regulations” inquiries not handled by Zoning. These including questions related to: 

  • ADUs and Junior ADUs within the Coastal Overlay Zone
  • A Planned District Ordinance 
  • Affordable Housing
  • Parking Standards Transit-Priority Areas (TPA) and Discretionary permits
  • Coastal Overlay Zone, environmentally-sensitive lands, specific plans, Community Plan Implementation Overlay Zones, etc.

View specific zones, overlay zones and other property information. If you have questions about a specific project number, please contact the individual reviewer(s) directly.

30 minutes 

Landscape and Brush Management

For general information related to the landscape and brush management regulations.

View property information to assist you with landscape and brush management evaluations. If you have questions about a specific project number, please contact the individual reviewer(s) directly.

30 minutes 

Downtown Development

For customers seeking information on or who have development review questions about projects located within the Downtown Community Plan area only.

If you have questions about a specific project number, please contact the individual reviewer(s) directly.

30 minutes 

Records Review (In-Person Appointments)

For customers who need to review archived building plans or records. Complete an online form to receive an appointment. 

No Mask, No Service. Customers with confirmed appointments 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. 

45 minutes in-person at the City Operations Building

Plan Pick Up (Curbside)

These in-person appointments are only for customers that have received an email notification that their submitted plans are ready for pick-up. Park your vehicle at 1222 1st Ave. parking lot (corner of West A Street and 1st Ave.) and follow the directional signage. Remain in your car and City staff will deliver your plans to you.

**This service is not for items left at Will Call.** 

15 minutes in-person at the parking lot corner of West A Street and 1st Ave. located on the north side of the City Operations Building

Right-of-Way/Engineering Permits

For customers that need assistance with grading, drainage or a public-improvement projects in the public right-of-way including:

  • curb, gutter or sidewalk replacements;
  • retaining walls three feet or less in height;
  • repair or replacement of driveways;
  • sidewalk underdrains;
  • utilities such as water, sewer, gas and electric lines; and
  • encroachments.

If you have questions about a specific project number, please contact the individual reviewer(s) directly.

30 minutes 

Traffic Control 

For customers who are planning to close traffic lanes, sidewalks, parking areas and parking meters; process traffic control and dumpster permits for construction; want to apply for a Temporary Outdoor Business Operations permit, or who have questions about traffic control in the City’s right-of-way.

If you have questions about a specific project number, please contact the individual reviewer(s) directly.

30 minutes