San Diego

Accessibility Tools

About Planning

Photo of Planning Department Staff

Welcome to the Planning Department! We are proud to be carrying on the long and distinguished history of city planning here in San Diego.

Planning in San Diego has a long and proud history, dating back to John Nolen's path-breaking plans for the City in 1908 and the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park. We devote much of our time to implementing the "City of Villages" concept contained in the 2008 General Plan, largely by updating the City's 50 community plans on a regular basis. As a mature city with a dwindling amount of raw land, San Diego must use its remaining land resources wisely and focus on infill development to maintain both our prosperity and our quality of life. The community plan updates are undertaken by our Long-Range Planning Division.

Our Facilities Financing section works hand-in-hand with Long-Range Planning to make sure that, as San Diego grows, we also have the financial resources available to build the public infrastructure and facilities required to support that growth.

The Planning Department is also the "wheelhouse" for San Diego's implementation of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). In our Environmental & Resources Analysis Division, we update the City's CEQA significance thresholds, conduct CEQA analysis on community plans and City capital projects, and coordinate CEQA practices citywide. Environmental & Resources Analysis also implements our Multiple Species Conservation Plan, and our Historic Preservation and Parks Planning efforts, which are closely linked to community plan updates and facilities financing efforts.

We have become a leader among cities for our visionary approach to planning. The innovative strategies we have created have received local, state and national awards, and made us a model for other cities to follow.


Our Programs and Sections

The Long Range Planning Division includes General Plan monitoring and conformance, Community Planning, Mobility Planning, and Maps & Urban Analysis. This division focuses on comprehensive community plan updates, plan implementation, monitoring, and amendments, administering planning grants to further planning initiatives, and support citywide efforts to further the City of Villages smart growth strategy for growth and development.

The Environmental & Resource Analysis Division includes Historic Preservation Planning, Multiple Species Conservation Program and CEQA Policy and Review. This division is responsible for the City's "CEQA Policy Wheelhouse" which provides policy guidance on environmental review, as well as environmental review for plan updates, amendments and city projects and focuses on policy and project-level review for the Multiple Species Conservation Program, Historic Preservation, and Park Planning.

The Facilities Financing section manages the impact fee programs associated with land development designed to fund the community serving infrastructure.


You must have Javascript enabled to use this form.