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Issue Resolution

The County recognizes that land development can be complex and that each project is unique. In order to provide simple, accessible, and transparent methods for customers to resolve issues, Planning & Development Services (PDS) has adopted two issue resolution processes: 1. Second Opinion and 2. Project Issue Resolution (PIR) Conference. The goal of Issue Resolution is to help facilitate processing of each permit application in an efficient and timely manner by elevating technical project issues to our Executive Management Team or other County staff. PDS wants to ensure that your concerns are heard, taken into consideration, and evaluated whether you are a one-time or frequent customer.


Customers are encouraged to request a Second Opinion from senior staff or management if there is a disagreement with a project manager or County staff involving the interpretation or applicability of a code. PDS staff works to understand the concerns of our customers. Our staff is empowered to practice creative and proactive problem-solving skills to resolve issues at the first opportunity. We understand that differing interpretations and perspectives occur, so the implementation of Issue Resolution through Second Opinion and PIR Conferences allow, our staff to work with the customer to resolve those issues. In some circumstances, staff of one division may reach out to senior staff or management of another division in order to obtain a Second Opinion, depending on the subject matter or code thatrequires a determination.


A PIR Conference is a scheduled meeting where a project manager and their supervisor identify County staff and a member of Executive Management to attend a meeting with a customer and their team in order to reach a resolution. The project manager and their supervisor will introduce the project and related issues, and the attendees will discuss potential processing solutions. Following a PIR Conference, meeting minutes and a determination will be issued providing a summary of the meeting. PIR Conferences are intended for situations after all issues or concerns have been communicated and reviewed by a project manager and their supervisor or if a determination cannot be reached through Second Opinion. 

How does the PIR Conference process work?

If a PIR Conference is requested, a copy of a completed Project Issue Resolution Conference Form must be submitted to the assigned project manager. Once a completed form has been submitted, the  project manager will determine the appropriate staff to attend the meeting, and PDS staff will then schedule a meeting for the PIR Conference. In most situations, a meeting can be scheduled in 2-3 weeks, however, depending on the project complexity and required attendees, it can take up to 3-4 weeks to schedule.

At the PIR Conference, PDS staff and Executive Management will review the issues outlined on the Project Issue Resolution Form to make a determination. Following the meeting, PDS staff will provide the applicant with meeting notes and a Project Issue Resolution Conference Results Form outlining determinations and results from the meeting. Charges may be made in accordance with the County fee ordinances.

Exceptions to Project Issue Resolution Conferences

  • Reconsiderations of final decisions (including appeals) or recommendations made by the Director or any other formal County of San Diego decision-making body.
  • Replacement of any other appeal mechanisms, such as California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) determinations, or administrative appeals, but, may be used to augment these processes.
  • This project is only available to project applicants.
  • Code Compliance case citations and warnings as there is a separate appeals process.