Skip to main content

Parks & Recreation

Open Space Parks Brush Management Program


Our Responsibility?

Of the 27,673 total acres of open space managed by the Parks and Recreation Department's Open Space Division, approximately 916 acres are located within 100 feet of structures. Among other duties related to open space land management, the Open Space Division is responsible for conducting brush management (vegetation thinning) on city owned open space adjacent to privately-owned lots which are developed with "previously conforming" (legal) structures built prior to establishment of the city's first brush management regulations in 1989.

The Open Space Division conducts brush management in accordance with Section 142.0412 of the San Diego Municipal Code and the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department's Canyon Fire Safety guidelines and policies related to brush management.

To learn more, please reference the following material:

Section 142.0412 of the San Diego Municipal Code

San Diego Fire-Rescue Department's Canyon Fire Safety guidelines

United States Fish and Wildlife Service Letter to FEMA

Environmental Impact Report Project No. 31245

Addendum to a Subsequent Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Assessment Project No. 31245

How you can help

Due to limited public access between city streets and brush management locations, crews often need to haul deadwood and cut brush more than 300 feet across steep slopes in order to haul it away. By offering crews access through your property, you can make the brush management program more efficient. If you would like to offer this access, please complete the City of San Diego/Homeowner Brush Management Access Agreement.


City of San Diego/Homeowner Brush Management Access Agreement

Please send completed agreement to:
Brush Management Schedule Coordinator
202 C St., MS 5D
San Diego, CA 92101

Conducting brush management on managed lands

You or your contractor may also thin brush on city property behind your property by obtaining a Right of Entry permit. To obtain a permit, please fill out and submit the Right of Entry Request. A blank Right of Entry Permit will be sent to you for signature and is not valid until also executed by the City. Keep in mind that if you are using a contractor to perform brush management on city property the contractor will need to be insured with a minimum $1 million liability policy and the City of San Diego will need to be named on the policy as the additional insured.

Area Maps and Scheduling

The Open Space Division schedules brush management based on a prioritization of all City lands, from highest to lowest, by the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. Currently all the Open Space Division managed property inside and outside the VHFHSZ has been prioritized as listed below (Priority Areas 1-11).


Area Maps and Schedule


If you would like to perform brush management on city open space please submit the “Right of Entry Request Form”. After submittal city personnel will schedule a site visit with the applicant to verify that the work described in the form is needed and to go over what can and can’t be done on environmentally protected city open space. The applicant will be required to sign the permit. The permit will then be brought back to be signed by the City Attorney. Only after the permit is signed by the City attorney can brush management activities commence on city property. The process takes between 5 to 10 business days


Right of Entry Request Form