Final Subdivision Map Approval Process

To file a Map, please contact the Clerk of the Board at (619) 531-5600 or to schedule an appointment.

General Overview
When a developer decides to begin a new project, a map containing the developer's tentative plans must be provided to several County departments for approval and signatures. The Clerk of the Board receives the map, ensures that the developer has paid their taxes and in some cases, brings the map before the Director of Planning and Development Services, who acts on behalf of the Board of Supervisors, for approval.  After the Director has approved the map, it is brought to the County Recorder's office to be recorded and the developer can then begin work on their new project.  

The process for the developer involves three departments – Treasurer/Tax Collector, Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk, and the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors.  For properties located in the unincorporated area, the Departments of Public Works and Planning and Development Services are involved. Below is a summary of the responsibilities of each department:

  • Treasurer/Tax Collector:  Certifies that taxes are paid and provides an estimate of the upcoming taxes for the project (Map Tax Clearance Certificate).  Also, provides clearances to the Clerk of the Board to release the developer’s securities.
  • Department of Planning and Development Services:  Initial reviewer of maps for properties in the unincorporated areas and dockets them as communications received with the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors.
  • Department of Public Works:   Final approval of the map as technically correct and its compliance with state and local law.
  • Clerk of the Board of Supervisors:  Receives the maps, retains developer’s security until taxes are paid, and processes refunds/release of bonds.
  • Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk:  Records the maps.

How to File Your Map
After the map has received the appropriate approvals from City or County departments, then the Subdivision Map may be brought to the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, Room 402, County Administration Center, 1600 Pacific Highway, between January 1 and September 20. After September 20, ONLY County Subdivision Maps are brought to the Clerk of the Board for approval.  (This date is subject to change by the County Treasurer/Tax Collector's office.)

Below is a checklist of tasks that must be completed before the map can be brought to the Clerk of the Board's office.

  1. Ensure that your final map has all of the necessary signatures prior to presenting it to the Clerk of the Board.  The Clerk of the Board's signature block(s) and the County Recorder's signature block are the only ones that should be blank.

  2. Ensure that there is adequate space on the cover sheet of the Map for the Clerk of the Board's seal.  The seal must be placed on the Map, cannot overlap any other writing on the map and must be placed within the border of the map's cover sheet.

  3. Payment of future taxes may be done at any time prior to recording the map.  Acceptable forms of payment include a cashier's check, tax bond or letter of credit.  Payment may be made in person or by mail to the Clerk of the Board.  **Note: If you pay by cashier's check (must be made payable to the County of San Diego), the property owner or subdivider must be present to complete and sign a Cash Deposit & Tax Payment Authorization Form.  If the owner or subdivider cannot be present, he/she must complete the form and have their signature(s) notarized.

  4. A copy of the Tax Certificate must be presented to the Clerk of the Board in order to verify the amount of future taxes due.  For information about the Map Tax Clearance Certificate Process, please visit the Treasurer/Tax Collector's Frequently Asked Questions.  This copy can be obtained from the Treasurer/Tax Collector in Room 162 of the County Administration Center.  Please note that the Tax Certificate must be requested at least four weeks in advance of when it is needed. 

  5. City and County Maps require a 48-hour waiver letter.  This requirement is usually handled by the Title Company.

  6. If your map requires fill-ins, a Title Agent must be present at the time the Map records.

  7. The County Recorder has additional requirements prior to the map recording.  For more information on these requirements, please call (619) 237-0502.