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City Planning Department

Adopted Single-Issue Code Updates

The Housing Policy Team processes single-issue updates and amendments to the Land Development Code (LDC) on an as-needed basis. Single-issue updates may be processed separately from Annual Land Development Code updates for a variety of reasons, including time sensitivity and/or complexity.

Information regarding past single-issue LDC updates can be found below.

2022 Updates

Build Better SD

On August 1, 2022, the City Council adopted Build Better SD. Build Better SD is a citywide initiative to support San Diego’s infrastructure, equity, climate, housing, quality of life, and conservation goals. Build Better SD will create a more effective and equitable development impact fee funding system for public facilities such as libraries, streets, and pedestrian and bike facilities, enabling the City to prioritize public investments in areas with the greatest need and in a manner that ultimately enables the faster delivery of infrastructure projects to our residents. The proposed project includes amendments to the Public Facilities, Services and Safety Element of the City’s General Plan, the San Diego Municipal Code (SDMC) and the Land Development Manual (LDM) to implement Build Better SD. Build Better SD also includes Citywide development impact fees for mobility, fire, and library assets, an update to the City’s Regional Transportation Congestion Improvement Program, restoration of General Plan Maintenance Fees for Accessory Dwelling Units and associated amendments to the SDMC. Also being presented with Build Better SD is the 2021 Annual DIF Report, which is required pursuant to the Mitigation Fee Act.

Housing Action Package 1.0 - ADU Amendment

On April 11, 2022, the City Council adopted the Housing Action Package-ADU Amendment. The proposed amendment to the Accessory Dwelling Unit Bonus for Affordable Accessory Dwelling Units Program would reduce the length of the affordable deed restriction from 15 years to 10 years for low- and very low-income bonus Accessory Dwelling Unit homes subject to affordability requirements. The 15-year restriction for moderate-income Accessory Dwelling Units will remain the same. The Accessory Dwelling Unit Bonus for Affordable Accessory Dwelling Units Program allows for a bonus unit for every deed restricted affordable Accessory Dwelling Unit home provided.

Climate Action Plan-Consistency Regulations

On August 2, 2022, the City Council adopted the Climate Action Plan (CAP). As part of this, councilmembers adopted the City's California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Significance Thresholds for GHG emissions and a replacement of the existing CAP Consistency Checklist with new CAP Consistency Regulations, which will apply to specified ministerial and discretionary projects. The updated Significance Thresholds for GHG emissions required amendments to the City's Land Development Manual (LDM), and the CAP Consistency Regulations amended the San Diego Municipal Code (SDMC) by adding a new division to Chapter 14.

The CAP Update, revised GHG CEQA Significance Thresholds, CAP Consistency Regulations and associated Climate Resiliency Fund and Urban Tree Canopy Fee, and the Addendum to the CAP EIR are collectively referred to as the Climate Action Plan Update Package.

2021 Updates

Airport Amendments

On October 29, 2021, the City Council adopted the Airport Amendments. These amendments repeal the current Airport Approach Overlay Zone (Section 132.0201) and the Airport Environs Overlay Zone (Section 132.0301) and adds use tables within the Airport Land Use Compatibility Overlay Zone for consistency with the Airport Land Use Compatibility Plans.

The City Council also overruled the Airport Land Use Commission's determination of inconsistency via R-313754

Housing Action Package 1.0

On February 8, 2022, the City Council adopted the Housing Action Package 1.0. The Housing Action Package is a part of the Homes for All of Us initiative. Through updates to the Land Development Code, the Housing Action Package aims to incentivize and promote new housing opportunities throughout the city that San Diegans of all income levels can afford. Senate Bill 9 (SB 9), which is also known as the California Housing Opportunity & More Efficiency (HOME) Act, was signed into law in September 2021. SB 9 has the potential to provide new housing opportunities throughout the State by requiring each local jurisdiction to allow an urban lot split and construction of two units on each lot. SB 9 became effective statewide on January 1, 2022. SB 9 allows local agencies to tailor some aspects of its implementation, including setback requirements, parking, urban tree canopy and development impact fees. This Housing Action Package includes additions and amendments to the Land Development Code to implement SB 9 and ensure the requirements align with the City’s existing Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) regulations.

Short Term Residential Ordinance

On May 17, 2022, the City Council adopted the Short Term Residential Occupancy. The STRO ordinance requires all hosts and hosting platforms comply with the STRO ordinance, including the requirement that hosts obtain a license for all short-term residential occupancy of a dwelling unit, or part thereof, for less than one month beginning July 1, 2022. There are four (4) license types with varying requirements on the number of days and types of dwelling available for the short-term residential occupancy. A host may only hold one license and operate one dwelling unit for STRO at a time; licenses are not transferrable between ownership or location/dwelling unit. All licenses will expire two (2) years from the date of issuance and may be renewed in accordance with the ordinance.

TPA Parking Reform

On November 16, 2021, the City Council adopted the TPA Parking Reform. To align the City’s parking policies with its climate and long-range mobility goals, the Mobility Department is proposing a Municipal Code amendment that includes eliminating minimum parking requirements for a majority of non-residential land uses within transit priority areas (TPA’s), as well as neighborhood serving commercial land uses citywide. This effort complements many of the City’s previous efforts, most immediately, the recently completed effort to reduce parking requirements for multi-family residential developments within TPA’s, as well as the City’s Climate Action Plan and Complete Communities-Mobility Choices Initiative. Overall, the project seeks to help reduce reliance on vehicles, which reduces vehicle generated greenhouse gas emissions and traffic congestion. The project also seeks to help streamline the non-residential development process by removing parking requirements and giving business operators, employers and developers flexibility to choose how much parking is needed for their customers and employees. This project also includes amendments to parking regulations outside of TPA’s and in other zones. It also includes cleanup of parking regulations for Planned Districts and some bicycle parking regulations.

Spaces as Places

On October 26, 2021, the City Council adopted Spaces as Places. Spaces as Places is the City of San Diego’s proposed program to transition temporary outdoor spaces, which were allowed to replace indoor capacity in response to the COVID-19 pandemic which significantly restricted indoor operations, to permanent places that safely bring people together to dine, play and gather. The Spaces as Places program will offer a menu of options to allow for the creation of a variety of quality outdoor places for dining, walking, biking, public artwork, and other enjoyable public interaction for the post-pandemic world, in a manner that increases the safe and enjoyable use of public spaces throughout the City.

2020 Updates

Cannabis Advertising Billboards

The amendments to the Municipal Code regulating the advertising of cannabis on billboards in order to help prevent the illegal consumption and purchase of cannabis or cannabis products by youth as well as have the ability to enforce regulations at the local level. This item was approved on 1/28/2020 and signed by the Mayor on 1/30/2020.

Movable Tiny Homes

On June 20, 2022, the City Council adopted Movable Tiny Homes. Spaces as Places is the City of San Diego’s proposed program to transition temporary outdoor spaces, which were allowed to replace indoor capacity in response to the COVID-19 pandemic which significantly restricted indoor operations, to permanent places that safely bring people together to dine, play and gather. The Spaces as Places program will offer a menu of options to allow for the creation of a variety of quality outdoor places for dining, walking, biking, public artwork, and other enjoyable public interaction for the post-pandemic world, in a manner that increases the safe and enjoyable use of public spaces throughout the City.

Moderate Income Housing Regulations

On July 28, 2020, the City Council adopted Moderate Income Housing Regulations. This item is an amendment to the San Diego Municipal Code and the City’s Local Coastal Program to add regulations to incentivize construction of moderate income housing.

Complete Communities

Complete Communities Housing Solutions and Mobility Choices Program was adopted at the November 9, 2020 City Council meeting. Complete Communities: Housing Solutions and Mobility Choices proposed amendments to the SDMC to provide incentives to increase housing production and improve the mobility network around existing transit and development. The initiative removes regulatory barriers to producing housing, invests in walking, biking, and transit infrastructure, while also investing in neighborhood and mobility amenities, such as street trees, bicycle facilities, and promenades.

These types of investments increase the quality of neighborhoods where new housing is proposed by creating more active, pedestrian-oriented spaces and support mode shift to non-vehicular modes of travel, this in turn helps the City meet its Climate Action Plan (CAP) goals. Prioritizing these investments in areas where they are needed most is also a central intent of the Complete Communities initiative. Complete Communities Housing Solutions and Mobility Choices were approved as two separate ordinances.

The Mobility Choices package included the Mobility Choices Regulation Ordinance, a Resolution to Adopt the Active Transportation In Lieu Fee, and the following amendments to the Land Development Manual (LDM): an updated Appendix A: CEQA Significance Determination Threshold for Transportation, a new Appendix R: Transportation Study Manual, and a new Appendix T: Mobility Choices Implementation Guidelines, the amendment to the LDM was adopted through a Resolution to Amend the Land Development Manual.

The Land Development Manual, Appendix R, The Transportation Study Manual (TSM) is an update to the City’s current Transportation Impact Study Manual, last updated in 1998. The TSM provides detailed CEQA transportation analysis guidelines using VMT-based metrics to determine a development’s environmental impacts. Additionally, the TSM ensures that best planning practices for a development are incorporated through a Local Mobility Analysis (LMA). The LMA evaluates the effects of a development on mobility, access, circulation, and related safety elements in the proximate area of the development for all modes. The LMA includes guidance for analyzing and accommodating non-single occupancy modes: pedestrian, bicyclists, and transit. The TSM focuses on VMT reducing measures.

  • Effective outside the Coastal Zone: 1/08/2021
  • Effective within the Coastal Zone: 9/07/2022

Inclusionary Affordable Housing

On December 10, 2019, the City Council adopted the Inclusionary Affordable Housing (Inclusionary) regulations as amendments to the Municipal Code and Local Coastal Program. Regulations pertaining to the Inclusionary policy are incorporated in Chapter 14, Article 2, Division 13 of the Land Development Code (LDC) which is also part of the Local Coastal Program. On August 13, 2021, the CCC took action to conditionally certify the code amendments with three modifications to the regulations.

  • Effective outside the Coastal Zone: 7/01/2020
  • Effective within the Coastal Zone: 8/13/2021

2019 Updates

Mixed Use Zones

The amendments added new mixed-use base zones and accompanying regulations to the Land Development Code.

Administrative Appeal Process

The amendments clarified that when an appeal of a permit approval is withdrawn, a public hearing on the appeal is no longer required.

Live-Work Quarters Regulations

The amendments expanded the Live-Work Quarters use to two additional zones (CO-1 and CV-1); reduced the minimum floor area from 750 square feet to 500 square feet; increased the residential floor area ratio from 33 percent to 49 percent; no longer limited the use to artists or artisans; allowed commercial uses, offices, and the presence of employees provided they are overseen by the resident; and clarified that no additional parking is required.

Placemaking Regulations

The amendments established clear regulations for “placemaking,” a planning concept that refers to creating spaces that serve the needs of neighborhoods by enhancing streetscapes and allowing creative uses of public right-of-way or private property; particularly of land that is unused or underused, in order to create more vibrant and livable communities.

2019 Housing Legislation Code Update

This package of amendments addressed California State housing law requirements, including a number of bills passed at the end of 2019. These included changes to State density bonus, housing for the homeless, and accessory dwelling unit laws, along with other miscellaneous housing laws. The 2020 Housing Legislation Code Package amended the Land Development Code to implement and comply with State law, and included additional local amendments tailored to San Diego's specific housing needs. This item was approved on 10/27/2020 and signed by the Mayor on 10/30/2020.

Fiesta Island Amendment

On June 17, 2019, the City Council adopted the Fiesta Island Amendment. The Fiesta Island Amendment is an update to the Mission Bay Park Master Plan that was adopted in 1994 and last amended in 2002. Mission Bay Park is a Regional Park that provides recreational amenities to all residents of the City of San Diego, as well as visitors to the San Diego area. The Fiesta Island Amendment to the Mission Bay Park Master Plan updates the land uses and vision for Fiesta Island. The Amendment includes maps, diagrams, and supporting policy recommendations in the Master Plan that will guide future uses and improvements to the approximately 470-acre planning area in four subareas. The Amendment includes recommendations for Island-wide improvements to recreation facilities and uses, access and circulation, parking, soft-surface trails and paved multi-use paths, grading and landscaping, habitat areas, water quality, eelgrass bed plantings, and enhancements to directional signs, and utilities upgrades.

2018 Updates

Affordable Housing Regulations

The amendments implemented AB 2501, AB 2556, AB 2442 and AB 1934 and provided additional affordable housing incentives.

Affordable Housing/In-Fill Projects and Sustainable Development

The amendments revised the City's Expedite Program to incorporate new City initiatives, goals and strategies, which included increased and improved (1) housing affordability; (2) development in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods; (3) development near public transit; (4) sustainable development; (5) reduced permit and review process timelines; and (6) consistency with the Climate Action Plan.

Companion Unit/Junior Unit Regulations

The amendments implemented SB 1069, AB 2299 and AB 2406.

Marijuana Production Facilities

The amendments allowed for the commercial cultivation, distribution and storage, production and testing of medical and recreational marijuana and marijuana products in accordance with Proposition 64.

Testing and Marijuana Production Facilities

The amendments allowed for the issuance of conditional use permits for the commercial cultivation, distribution and storage, production of medical and recreational marijuana and marijuana products, and to allow testing labs for medical and recreational marijuana products by-right in accordance with Proposition 64.

2017 Updates

Marijuana Regulations

The amendments updated the medical marijuana consumer cooperative land use regulations in accordance with Proposition 215 to apply to the retain or all marijuana.

Affordable Density Bonus Regulations

The amendments further incentivized the construction of affordable housing through the Affordable Housing Density Bonus Regulations by (1) increasing the maximum density bonus available; (2) increasing the maximum number of incentives; (3) reducing the decision process level when a Planned District Ordinance permit is required; (4) reducing the parking ratio in high transit frequency areas, consistent with AB 744; and (5) allowing the affordable units to be located off-site, subject to certain criteria.