From traffic congestion to neighborhood parking, from protection of natural areas to development of a vacant site, these are all issues that deal with housing future residents, and fall under the "big picture" of land use planning.
While federal laws govern the City of San Diego's land use policies and regulations, the largest outside influence comes from the State Planning and Zoning Law. The California Government Code gives local governments the authority to create land use policies within their jurisdictional boundaries and the ability to create a citywide land use and policy document called the General Plan. Large cities such as San Diego also have several community plans which focus on land use and policy plans for more specific geographic areas. The community plans must work as part of the overall General Plan and must not contain policies or recommendations that are contradictory to other parts of the General Plan or to other community plans.
Citizen involvement has been a long-standing concept in the City of San Diego. The city Council recognizes one official planning committee within each community which then works with City staff to formulate and implement the General Plan and community plans. Learn more about Citizen and Community Involvement.
There are many different Land Use Planning Activities & Agencies, which contribute to the General Plan and community plans to give the City of San Diego a well-balanced plan for future growth.
In addition to land use policy development, a primary responsibility of both the Planning Department and Development Services is the review of proposed development projects in San Diego for conformance with local and state development policies and regulations. Read more about Private Development and Environmental Review.
The Development Services Department's Code Enforcement Division enforces numerous regulations found in the City's Municipal Code. Regulations that are enforced include building code, California state housing law, encroachments into the public right-of-way, grading, graffiti, noise, Title 24 disabled access, and zoning. The Code Enforcement Division works in partnership with citizens to promote and maintain a safe and desirable living and working environment.
The City of San Diego has numerous key decision forums that develop, implement and administer regulations found in the Municipal Code. These Boards and Commissions include the City Council, Planning Commission, Historical Resources Board, San Diego Housing Commission, Park and Recreation Board, and the Hearing Officer.