Your County Government Community
Services
Healthy
Kids & Families
Business
Resources
Environment Public Safety Jobs

Planning & Development Services

About Us
Accela Updates
Divisions
A-Z Services
Online Services
How to / I want to:
Building / Discretionary Forms and Handouts
General Plan
General Plan Update Process
Zoning Ordinance
Public Review
Multiple Species Conservation Program
Public Hearing Information
Community/Advisory Groups
Performance Review Committee

Building Division News

Printer Friendly
Font Size Extra Large Font Size Large Font Size Default

APPLY ONLINE FOR
RESIDENTIAL ROOF-MOUNTED
SOLAR PV PROJECTS
JUNE 30, 2013

The Planning & Development Services, Building Division can now accept permit applications online for residential roof-mounted solar photo voltaic projects with no meter upgrade, residential electric heat pump/AC repair or replacement and residential glazing (window) replacement with no net area change.  Using Accela Citizen Access, these applications can now be submitted along with applications for permits to replace residential water heaters, gas line repairs and lawn sprinkler installations.

This new process virtually eliminates the need for applicants for these types of permits to drive to the County Permit Center offices.  This is in keeping with the County's efforts to reduce emissions as well as provide better customer service.


ONLINE PERMIT RESEARCH SYSTEM
ACCELA CITIZEN ACCESS IMPROVES
GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCY
DEPLOYED JANUARY, 2013

Accela Citizen Access (ACA), the automated online solution for permit history research and land-based information was deployed by the Land Use and Environment Group to improve public access to records of permits and other transactions.

The public can now generate reports of building permit and newly created record activity based on time parameters selected by the user as well.  The new ACA system offers substantially improved functionality over the previous system, which was originally deployed in the 1990s, and is part of the County's continuing efforts to streamline government.


LAND MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
UPGRADE OFFICE CLOSURE
NOVEMBER 19 THROUGH 23, 2012

The permit counters will be CLOSED Thanksgiving week November 19th through the 23rd for a permit software upgrade.  This new software will allow us to improve our customer service.

To facilitate this upgrade our offices will close at 4:00 PM, Friday, November 16th, re-opening at 8:00 AM, Monday, November 26th.  There may also be service delays during the week of November 13th through the 16th for training, and the 26th through the 30th as the new system is implemented.  Thank you for your patience.


NEW INTERACTIVE PDF PERMIT APPLICATIONS
AVAILABLE EFFECTIVE MAY 3, 2012

The Building Division has released PDF interactive versions of the three types of building permit applications to replace the antiquated paper NCR type versions previously used.  This change enables customers to fill out required form fields electronically, print the forms and bring them to the County Permit Center for processing.

The electronic versions of permit applications should save customers a trip to our offices when signatures are needed from property owners or mobile home park managers who are not available to submit the applications themselves.


NEW BUILDING SELF-CERTIFICATION
PROGRAM EFFECTIVE JANUARY 3, 2011

The County of San Diego’s Self-Certification Program allows a California-licensed Contractors, Architects or Engineers to self-certify inspection of building standards code requirements on select minor residential building permits without Building Division inspections.

The new program allows for self-certification of building standards code requirements on building permits for water heater replacement (except tankless and solar), demolition permit, new or replacement air conditioner condenser, window replacement, exterior siding or plastering, fencing and walls (over 6 feet in height and meeting all setbacks), interior drywall, manufactured home foundation retrofit, re-plumbing or re-piping of existing plumbing, or non-structural roof replacement (re-roof). The SCP is only available for existing single family dwellings or accessory structures.

To participate in the Self-Certification Program, download and review form PDS 136 and bring the completed documentation to the Building Counter when applying for a permit.


NEW BUILDING CODES EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2011

The California Building Standards Commission (CBSC) unanimously adopted the 2010 editions of the California Building, Fire, Mechanical and Plumbing Codes. The California Codes were published on July 1, 2010 and local jurisdictions then have 180 days to complete their amendments, for an effective date of January 1, 2011.

The 2010 editions of the California Building Codes will be based on the following model codes:

  • 2009 International Building Code (IBC)
  • 2009 International Residential Code (IRC)
  • 2009 International Fire Code (IFC)
  • 2009 Uniform Mechanical Code (UMC)
  • 2009 Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC)
  • 2008 National Electrical Code (NEC)
  • 2010 California Green Building Standards (CALGreen) Code

The new codes will be effective January 1, 2011 and will govern all projects that are submitted for plan check on or after the effective date. Permit applications that have been submitted and paid plan check fees prior to January 1, 2011 will be reviewed and permitted under the 2007 California Codes as long as the plan check has not expired.


NEW ONLINE APPOINTMENTS
FOR ZONING AND DPW GRADING
SUBMITTALS · AUGUST 16TH, 2010

The  Planning & Development Services is pleased to announce that our customers can now schedule appointments online for certain types of permit applications!

Here are the types of appointments that can be scheduled online:

  • To submit applications for discretionary permits filed with the Zoning Counter.
  • To submit applications for the Department of Public Works major grading permits with the Land Development Counter.

To schedule appointments online, customers need to fill out a short registration form (found under "new customers" at the appointments link) to receive their ID number.  They can then type in their ID number and e-mail in the appropriate boxes at the online link to schedule their appointment. 

When the appointment has been scheduled, simply print out a copy of the barcode that is displayed.  When you arrive at our County Permit Center at 5201 Ruffin Road, San Diego, 92123, use the lobby self-serve kiosk to scan your printed barcode and the machine will automatically notify our staff that you have arrived for your appointment.  


NEW ONLINE TRANSPORTATION
IMPACT FEE ESTIMATOR APPLICATION
AVAILABLE ONLINE · MARCH 22nd, 2010

The Transportation Impact Fee (TIF) estimator is an easy-to-use application that allows you to estimate transportation impact fees for building projects.  All you need is the use (i.e., single family dwelling, commercial retail store, etc.), the Community Planning Area and the number of units that will be proposed.  Follow the link below to access the TIF estimator application.


SELF SERVE AUTOMATED
CUSTOMER SCREENING KIOSK
DEPLOYED · MARCH 17th, 2010

The Building Division introduced another new service to make it easier for customers visiting the County Permit Center offices: a computerized self-serve kiosk that will automatically direct many customers to the correct counter.

Until now, customers have started out at the central information booth, where a staff member determines which counters customers need to visit, and in what order. The central booth remains available and serves an important function because many customers have complicated business that can entail visiting several counters in varying orders.

However, regular customers who understand the land-use process, and less experienced customers who have simple business, can get stuck waiting in line while staff members help people with complicated business. The self-serve kiosk will help avoid that problem and speed up the process for all customers.


GREEN BUILDING
ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND
AND RENEWABLE ENERGY
INFORMATION NOW AVAILABLE
ONLINE · JANUARY 12th, 2010

The County of San Diego is concerned with protecting the environment and encouraging resource-efficient building and planning.  As part of this effort, the Planning & Development Services offers a Green Building Incentive Program, enforces mandatory energy efficiency requirements, and promotes and supports additional energy saving and resource conservation measures that advance the goal of sustainability.

As part of the County's outreach to help our constituents prepare for new Energy Efficiency Standards, the Building Division has made information available on the PDS web site on Energy Efficiency Green Building and Renewable Energy.


PERMIT EXPIRATION
AND RENEWAL INFORMATION
NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE
DECEMBER 24th, 2009

Customers with questions about how to renew an expired permit or how a permit expires can now find answers to their most frequently asked questions on the PDS web site at the Building Permit Expiration and Renewal - Summary web page.  Complete information on expiration and renewal of permits is available in the Amendments to the County Building Code, also available online.


PARKS DEPARTMENT
DWELLING PERMIT FEE
SCHEDULE AVAILABLE ONLINE
NOVEMBER 2nd, 2009

As a service to customers who are planning a new dwelling development project, the Planning & Development Services, Building Division has made available online the fee schedule for Park Lands Dedication Ordinance fees associated with issuance of a permit for a new dwelling.  Unless previously paid, these fees are collected by the Building Division at dwelling permit issuance on behalf of the Parks and Recreation Department.

The Plan Check and Permit Fee Estimator utility, which has been available since July 1st, 2008, and the new Park fee schedule are a part of the Planning & Development Services's continuing efforts to improve service to the residents of the unincorporated areas of the County of San Diego.


REAL TIME WAIT TIMES
ONLINE · OCTOBER 21st, 2009

Real time lobby wait times for the 5201 Ruffin road County Permit Center Land Use Counters can now been seen online.  The new page shows customers an average of the current wait times for the various counter areas, which can be refreshed with the click of a button.

Customers can use this information, along with the graphs showing average counter wait times throughout the day for each day of the week, to plan trips to the County Permit Center at the most advantageous times.


BUILDING PERMIT EXTENSIONS
TAKE EFFECT AUGUST 21st, 2009

Builders and property owners who have active building permits in the unincorporated County now have an extra year to start their building project.

County Supervisors voted unanimously in May to extend the initial expiration date of County building permits from one year to two years, in a move to help people who are finding it hard in the current recession to get the money they need to start building. The extension, which went into effect August 21st, means that people will be able to keep their active building permits open another year without having to submit new building plans or pay new plan-check and permit fees.  For more information, please call 858-565-5920 or 800-411-0017.


NEW BUILDING PERMIT PROCESS
REDUCES CUSTOMER WAIT TIMES

New procedures implemented on May 11th, 2009 have helped to reduce wait times for customers visiting the County's 5201 Ruffin Road permit center offices to apply for building permits.

The new procedure helps guide customers through the permit application process more intuitively, which has reduced delays caused by confusion. Efforts have also been made to reduce the number of times customers are transferred between counters within the permit center.

These changes have already decreased building permit customer average wait times by over 10 minutes.  As we continue to refine the new process we hope to see further improvement.


NEW OFFICE HOURS FOR ALL PERMIT
CENTER COUNTERS START ON JUNE 15th, 2009

Starting on June 15th, 2009 the Ruffin Road permit center office hours of operation will be from 8 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays).  Counters will be closed from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. daily.


AVERAGE BUILDING DIVISION LOBBY
WAIT TIMES POSTED ONLINE AS OF
SEPTEMBER 4th, 2008

The PDS Building Division now posts charts showing average lobby wait times for each day of the week.  The charts represent averages generated from the preceding four weeks of customer activity at the Planning & Development Services's building counter.  This information is made available to help you decide the best time to visit the Building Division.


 

NEW ONLINE PLAN CHECK AND PERMIT FEE
ESTIMATOR AVAILABLE AS OF JULY 1st, 2008!

This easy-to-use application allows you to estimate plan check and permit fees for building projects.  When you have determined the square footage of the building you propose to build, follow the link below to access the fee estimator application and follow the simple instructions for use.


NEW & IMPROVED ONLINE PERMIT APPLICATION
SYSTEM · KIVANET CITIZEN DEPLOYED JUNE 2nd, 2008!

The Land Use & Environment Group (LUEG) deployed KivaNet Citizen (since upgraded to Accela Citizen Access), an online system that enables you to submit a permit application for limited permit types without having to go to County offices in person.

As initially released, for parcels within the unincorporated areas of San Diego County ONLY, KivaNet Citizen can be used to apply to the Building Division for permits to replace residential water heaters, gas line repairs and lawn sprinkler installations online.  (Note: Online permits for water heater replacements do not permit alteration or modification to the electrical or gas system.) These are no-fee, Homeowner Relief permits.

Click HERE for more information.


LAND INFORMATION & PERMIT RESEARCH
AVAILABLE ONLINE AS OF NOVEMBER 21st, 2007

With the support of District 2 and the County's upper management, the Planning & Development Services has deployed the online land information system research tool that allows the public to research the permit history and other attributes of parcels within the unincorporated areas of San Diego County.

You will need the property address or Assessor Parcel Number (APN) to use the County of San Diego Land Information tool.  Please review the help documentation in order to make best use of the land information system.


ONLINE PARCEL ZONING RESEARCH
AVAILABLE ONLINE AS OF SEPTEMBER 25th, 2007

The Planning & Development Services has deployed an online Geographic Information System (GIS) research tool that allows the public to research the Zoning attributes of property.

You will need the property address or Assessor Parcel Number (APN) to use the LUEG GIS tool.


Update: June 2nd, 2008: The e-mail application system for online permit applications has been replaced by an improved automated system.  Please see above for information on KivaNet Citizen.

ONLINE EMAIL-IN BUILDING PERMIT APPLICATIONS FOR
LIMITED PERMIT TYPES AVAILABLE JUNE 27th, 2007!

Applicants for residential water heater replacements, gas line repairs or lawn sprinkler permits can apply online.

There are no fees for these permit types.

Adobe Acrobat 7 required.  Please allow three working days to respond. Online permits for water heater replacements do not permit alteration or modification to the electrical or gas system.


NEW! CONSTRUCTION AND DEMOLITION DEBRIS
RECYCLING ORDINANCE EFFECTIVE JULY 9th, 2007

In order to meet the State's AB939 waste diversion goals, the County Board of Supervisors adopted sections 68.5087 through 68.518 of the County Code of Regulatory Ordinances in order ensure the recycling of construction and demolition debris on qualifying unincorporated county projects.

This permit will be issued by the Department of Public Works Building Counter.

A fully refundable performance guarantee will be required on projects 40,000 square feet or greater, or subsequent projects on commercial or tract projects where total build out is 40,000 square feet or greater.

Visit http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/dpw/recycling/c&dhome.html for detailed information.


COUNTY RAISES AWARENESS
ABOUT ASBESTOS IN YOUR HOME

"Don't Mess With Asbestos" · You may never even think about it because it's invisible, but it could be in the air you breathe if you are remodeling or demolishing your home.

Earlier this year, the County launched an educational campaign to raise public awareness about the hazards of asbestos.  The campaign stressed that there is no known safe level of exposure to asbestos.  The County is encouraging workers to 'Check Before You Wreck.' Check for asbestos before renovating or demolishing buildings or homes, especially if built before 1980.

For more information on asbestos, visit the County's new asbestos Web site at www.sdasbestos.org.


DID YOU KNOW?

THE NEW BUILDING DEPARTMENT
ISSUE RESOLUTION PROGRAM

Recently, the Building Division developed an Issue Resolution Program to help address conflicts resulting from plan check corrections and building inspections.  In summary, the purpose of the program is to provide permit applicants an opportunity to quickly and inexpensively have their concern regarding plan check/inspection corrections heard and considered by County management.

Issues considered under this procedure can include disagreements with staff interpretations of codes or ordinances, requests for additional information or studies, complaints regarding customer service being provided by the County, or disagreements regarding project related processing requirements.  With the exception of customer service complaints, it is required that the project applicant tries to resolve these issues with projects staff BEFORE applying for this process.  The program was implemented the week of April 24th, 2006.

More detailed information on the Issue Resolution Program, including an application form, is available online.


BEGINNING AUGUST 1st, 2006, BPPR
APPROVAL REQUIRED FOR APPOINTMENTS

Too many missed appointments have caused increases in the wait time for an appointment at the offices of the Building Division.  In an effort to reduce those wait times, as of August 1st, 2006, it is necessary to obtain approval from the BPPR counter before an appointment will be made.

To make an appointment, please present the original of the BPPR form packet with sign-off on page two to the Building counter along with your plans.  Beginning August 1st we will no longer make appointments over the phone.


VISA AND MASTERCARD NOW ACCEPTED AT
COUNTY BUILDING DEPARTMENT OFFICE

The County PDS, Building Division office now accepts Visa and Mastercard.


PERMITS ISSUED IN AREAS THAT
ARE NOW WITHIN CITY LIMITS

The County Building Department does not keep records of permits that were issued on properties that have since been annexed by a city.  When an area is annexed, the County turns over all permit information to the annexing city.

If the city in which your property resides does not have the permit information you seek, please visit the County Assessor's office at 1600 Pacific Highway.  Some limited summary information for permitted structures is kept by the Assessor for most parcels, but please note that they do not keep complete permit information.


BUILDING PLAN PRE-SUBMITTAL REVIEW (BPPR) NEWS

As we approach the 2nd anniversary of the BPPR counter, many customers are still unfamiliar with some of our requirements for the process.  Here are a few tips to help get through our review the first time.

  • Make sure that you have checked with the Zoning Counter for required setbacks, allowed uses and legal lot status.
  • Always bring 2 complete sets of plans.
  • Be sure that the plot plan meets all of the requirements of form PDS 090.  The plot plan must be drawn to a standard engineer's scale and the entire parcel must be shown, regardless of size.
  • When submitting a minor grading plan, the plans must meet the requirements of PDS form #90 and form #173.  This means the grading plan must be prepared on an unaltered PDS grading template and the entire parcel must be shown, there are no exceptions to this requirement.
  • The grading plans and Grading Application (PDS 352) must contain the owner's signature prior to BPPR approval.  The Right-of-Entry (PDS 620), Owner/Builder (PDS 421) and Stormwater (LUEG-SW) forms must be signed by the owner at time of submittal to the Building Technician.
  • A building permit for the SFD/structure must be submitted prior to a minor grading permit.  The grading permit is then tied to the building permit.  If there is no building permit, then the grading must be processed through the Department of Public Works.
  • The BPPR staff will transfer all customers to the Department of Public Works (DPW) for review after BPPR approval (with the exception of roof mounted solar systems).  There may be a charge for the review by DPW.  If so, the fee must be paid at the time of the review.  Only after approvals have been obtained by BPPR and DPW will the permit application be accepted by the Building Division Technician.
  • Plan changes require clean copies of the plot plan with all changes clearly identified and no copies of any previous stamps.

ESGIL HAS TAKEN OVER PERMIT ISSUANCE
& INSPECTIONS FOR THE CITY OF DEL MAR
MAY 3, 2004

Effective May 3rd, 2004, the County of San Diego will no longer process building applications for Del Mar residents. Esgil, building consultant for the City of Del Mar, will now process all new construction permits for the City.  Please contact Mary Jo Wilson, Del Mar Building Department, at (858) 755-9313 for more information.