In San Diego, residents and visitors regularly utilize over 4,5000 miles of sidewalks Citywide. The City of San Diego Transportation Department is responsible for maintenance of sidewalks fronting City-owned property or damage caused by heat expansion, City utility work, grade subsidence and trees within the right-of-way. Normal sidewalk wear and tear, damage caused by private trees, or age damage is the responsibility of the homeowner who can take advantage of the City's Safe Sidewalks Program to help offset the cost of repairs.
New Safe Sidewalks Program - Streamlining Sidewalk Repair Permitting
Starting this Winter to June 2026, the City of San Diego will be offering a permit fee holiday and expedited permit process for sidewalk repairs which will last through June 30, 2026. This program will be available for residents with sidewalk damage adjacent to their property that is their responsibility to address. Per California Streets and Highways Code Sections 5610-5629, property owners are responsible for the repair of sidewalks in front of their property, even though it is within City right-of-way. The City performs temporary asphalt ramping of all known sidewalk-related issues, regardless of maintenance responsibility, but the property owner is responsible for permanent repairs for conditions not included in Council Policy 200-12, including old and deteriorated sidewalks or damage caused by a private tree. Please see the Sidewalk Maintenance Responsibility Infographic for more information on responsibility for sidewalk repair
How to Repair Your Sidewalk Under This Program
Starting this Winter, the Transportation Department will begin sending out Notices of Responsibility letters to private property owners with known sidewalk damage that is under their responsibility to maintain. This letter will contain the following:
1. A Notice of Responsibility (NOR) letter notifying private property owners that they are responsible for the maintenance of damaged sidewalk adjacent to their property and will emphasize the opportunity to perform these repairs with no permit fee and an expedited permitting timeline,
2. A sidewalk maintenance infographic highlighting the maintenance responsibility of the private property owner versus the City of San Diego,
3. A right-of-way permit that includes the conditions to perform the work, and
4. A certification form requiring them to certify that the work was completed and performed in accordance with City standards.
When a private property owner receives the letter, they will be provided with the following steps to complete the repair with no permit fee and an expedited permitting timeline.
1. Select a licensed contractor to perform the repairs. All work must be performed in conformance with City standards for construction. Additional information regarding City standards for construction can be found here.
2. Both you and your contractor must review, complete and sign the enclosed Private Property Owner Sidewalk Repair Permit.
3. Return the completed permit by email to email@example.com or mail to 2781 Caminito Chollas MS44, San Diego, CA 92105. You will receive authorization to proceed with the repairs upon our receipt of the signed permit.
4. Have the contractor perform the repairs
5. Once repairs are finished, complete the enclosed certification form and return it by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to 2781 Caminito Chollas MS44 San Diego, CA 92105. City staff may inspect the work location as deemed necessary.
Sidewalk Repair Process
The Transportation Department is notified daily of damaged sidewalk locations through reports on the Get It Done application. After being notified of a potential damaged sidewalk location via Get It Done, City staff review the request to verify the issue, then perform a temporary repair of the damage with an asphalt ramp (or patch) to smooth the transition of the uplift or issue. This temporary sidewalk repair is done by City staff regardless of maintenance responsibility.
After temporarily repairing the issue, City staff determine if the sidewalk is the responsibility of the City or the private property owner to permanently fix. If it is the responsibility of the City to permanently fix the issue, it is put on a list for sidewalk slicing or replacement, depending on the severity of the damage. If the damage is the responsibility of the private property owner, it is placed on a list to notify the property owner of their responsibility via a Notice of Responsibility letter. This process is depicted in the Sidewalk Maintenance Process and FAQs linked below.