New Construction Codes Coming January 1, 2017

buildingAn end-of-year-deadline reminder for PDS Building Services customers:  A series of updated state codes will take effect in 2017, and the formal submittal date of your project will determine whether the current or updated codes will apply.

“Formal submittal” occurs when an applicant receives a project record ID and conditions of permit approval from a PDS Building Services counter technician (or, on projects eligible for online processing, the County’s Citizen Access portal). 

The following new codes – with County of San Diego amendments – will apply to projects formally submitted to PDS after January 1, 2017:

  • 2016 California Building Code
  • 2016 California Residential Code
  • 2016 California Fire Code
  • 2016 California Electrical Code
  • 2016 California Plumbing Code
  • 2016 California Mechanical Code
  • 2016 California Green Building Standards Code
  • 2016 California Building Energy Efficiency Standards

The 2013 codes currently in effect will apply to projects formally submitted prior to January 1, 2017, provided a building permit is issued within one year and construction commences within two years of permit issuance.

Traditionally customer demand for building plan submittal appointments increases significantly in the two months prior to code changes.  The necessary steps preceding appointment scheduling and formal submittal are detailed in the PDS “How to Obtain a Building Permit” summary

County Launches New SGMA Webpage

SGMAIn response to the passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), the County of San Diego Planning & Development Services developed a webpage to ensure that stakeholders and other interested parties are informed about SGMA-related activities in the Borrego Valley, San Diego River Valley, San Luis Rey Valley, and San Pasqual Valley Groundwater Basins.  SGMA, which took effect in January 2015, provides a framework to regulate groundwater for the first time in California’s history.  The intent of SGMA is to strengthen local management of specified groundwater basins that are most critical to the state’s water needs by regulating groundwater and land use management activities.

Check out the County’s SGMA Webpage here:

To Email our SGMA team:

Climate Action Plan Recognized for "Outstanding Public Involvement"

CAPSince March 2016, Planning & Development Services staff has sought input for the County’s Climate Action Plan. Staff solicited input on climate planning priorities from: the Community Planning Group/Sponsor Group Chairs; representatives from over 65 stakeholder groups in the business, environmental and community sectors; staff representing over 11 County departments; and from the public during two public workshops.  The Public Outreach and Engagement Plan for the Climate Action Plan was awarded the “Outstanding Public Involvement” award at the Association of Environmental Professionals San Diego Chapter Awards and Scholarship Banquet on October 6, 2016. Ascent Environmental, Inc assisted County staff in developing and implementing the outreach plan.  This recognition illustrates the County’s commitment to collaborating with regional partners, stakeholders and members of the community throughout the climate planning process.

The public will have additional opportunities to provide input on the County’s Climate Action Plan.  PDS solicited public and agency input on the scope and content of the Environmental Impact Report for the Climate Action Plan.  A Notice of Preparation Document, which contains a description of the probable environmental effects of the project, was distributed on October 20, 2016.  

Interested parties who would like to receive information about the project or help shape the Climate Action Plan by engaging in outreach events may visit the project website or contact Bulmaro Canseco, PDS Advance Planning Project Manager, at (858) 694-2216 or

Comprehensive Renewable Energy Plan Receives Planning Commission Input

Since the September PDS eBlast, Planning & Development Services staff hosted a Technical Advisory Committee meeting and a Community Planning Group/Sponsor Group Chairs meeting to discuss the renewable energy best management practices described in the Draft Phase I Report (EMpower Devices 2015) and Executive Summary Report (Ascent Environmental 2016) for the Comprehensive Renewable Energy Plan.  Staff received written comment letters from Boulevard and Jacumba residents, the Campo/Lake Morena Community Planning Group, Backcountry Against Dumps, and the Boulevard Community Planning Group.  This input was synthesized in the staff report and reported to the Planning Commission.

On Friday, October 14, the Planning Commission reviewed the reports, considered input from the Technical Advisory Committee and the public, and considered the staff findings and recommendations for Phase II.  During the hearing, the Planning Commission received comments from members of the public and asked questions of staff on the CREP.  Overall, the Planning Commission unanimously approved the motion to concur with staff recommendations with some modifications.

Staff plans to seek direction from the Board of Supervisors on January 25, 2017.  For more detailed information, visit the project website and review the Planning Commission Staff Report or contact Laurel Lees, PDS Advance Planning Sustainability Team Manager, at (619) 346-2333 or

Energy-Saving Tips and Quick Updates from San Diego Gas & Electric

The County currently partners with San Diego Gas & Electric through a Local Government Partnership to administer energy efficiency programs using Public Purpose Program Funds from the California Public Utilities Commission.  The following information includes some energy-saving tips and quick updates from San Diego Gas & Electric.

The onset of winter is the perfect time to make sure your building is operating efficiently. Whether you own or lease the building where your business is located, it's important to consider what energy-saving actions you can take to help reduce your business's energy bill.  San Diego Gas & Electric recommends the following five tips to help businesses save energy and money during the upcoming winter months:

1.     Have your HVAC system professionally serviced so it won’t have to work as hard to heat an office building. Cleaning HVAC filters once a month during the winter seasons can boost the system’s efficiency and save money from energy costs in the long run.

2.     Eliminate heat loss from poor caulking and worn weather stripping around doors and windows. In addition, checking the insulation on heating ducts and pipes can decrease chances of bursting the pipes on the coldest days.

3.     Set thermostat for the greatest efficiency to maximize savings. Turn settings down during the time when the building is unoccupied and utilize technology such as programmable communicating thermostats.  Qualified businesses can receive a free programmable thermostat at

4.     Utilize the free energy provided by the sun by opening the blinds and allowing the sun to naturally light and heat up your space.

5.     Avoid space heaters, as they are energy intensive and can be a potential fire hazard if they are left on overnight.

In addition, you may be interested in the following relevant updates and links from SDG&E:

  • Enroll in free classes at SDG&E’s Energy Innovation Center. Learn how to make your business more energy-efficient.
  • SDG&E to install 3,500 electric vehicle charging stations at 350 locations. Join the interest list:
  • SDG&E offers med-sized businesses a no-cost Energy Advisor Tool to analyze energy use and bill charges. Learn more at

For more information about the County's Local Government Partnership with SDG&E, please contact Emma Schoppe, PDS Advance Planning, at (858) 495-5437 or

Codes Corner


Code Compliance responded to a complaint about graffiti along a fence on a vacant lot. We notified the property owner and they quickly removed the graffiti within a week.


Welcome Aboard: Please Welcome the Newest Members of our PDS Family

DruDru Maynus

Land Use/Environmental Planner I, Project Planning Division

Dru joins the Project Planning Division as a Land Use/Environmental Planner I. She brings almost 6 years of experience as an Assistant Environmental Planner. She was responsible for preparing CEQA documents and Environmental Impact Reports/Environmental Impact Statements and Addendums. She was also responsible for posting noticing and the distribution requirements of CEQA and NEPA. Dru earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Urban Studies and Planning from California State University, Northridge.


mike bMichael Blackmun

Land Use Aide, Building Division

Michael joins PDS as a Land Use Aide in the Building Division. Michael earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Urban Planning from Arizona State University and his Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He brings professional experience in writing and presenting technical reports and data collection, and also has extensive academic experience with zoning applications, researching building codes, and analyzing site plans.


corrineCorinne Schwartz

Sr. Departmental Human Resources Officer, Support Services Division

Corinne joins PDS as the Sr. Departmental Human Resources Officer. She has been employed at the County since May 2013, starting at the San Diego County Employees Retirement Association (SDCERA) as a Retirement Analyst. While there, she assisted senior management with budget preparation, fiscal management, business operations functional analysis, strategic planning, and personnel. Corinne was most recently working as a Human Resources Analyst in the Department of Human Resources. Prior to working for the County, she was employed for 8 years in the Human Resources Division at Target. Corinne earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing at St. Cloud State University; and her Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resources from Keller Graduate School of Management.


ricardoRicardo Ramirez

Assistant Engineer, Land Development Division

Ricardo may be a familiar face to some, as he has been working in the Land Development Division as a Student Worker since October 2015. After completing his Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from San Diego State University, he is joining us fulltime as an Engineering Technician I. Ricardo is currently completing his Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering at San Diego State University.


mike kMichael Kim

Land Use/Environmental Planner I, Project Planning Division

Michael joins our Project Planning Division as a Land Use/Environmental Planner I, specializing in landscape architecture. Mike has three years of experience with the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust as a project manager. He had a significant role in the entire design for building and developing community parks. Mike earned his Bachelor’s Degree from California State University Polytechnic, Pomona, and his Master’s Degree from the Rhode Island School of Design. Both degrees were in Landscape Architecture.


brentBrent Panas

Chief, Code Compliance Division

Brent joins our team with over 10 years of code enforcement experience working at the City of San Clemente. He has been working as a Code Compliance Supervisor overseeing enforcement and compliance programs and will bring extensive knowledge about the legal basis and authority of code compliance, best practices, and development and management of performance measures.


mgMike Grue

GIS Technician, Support Services Division

Mike joins our LUEG-GIS team as a GIS Technician. In addition to volunteering for PDS for four months, Mike has over a year of experience as a GIS Analyst where he worked directly with the SanGIS Data Librarian where he learned many aspects of data management, proper documentation techniques, and on-demand map creation. Mike earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Northern Illinois University and recently earned his GIS Certificate of Performance.


michelleMichelle Irace

Land Use/Environmental Planner III, Project Planning Division

Michelle joins our Project Planning team as a Land Use/Environmental Planner III. Michelle has 12 years of experience in the environmental resources field. She has gained professional experience in analyzing a wide variety of projects and preparing technical documents in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), as well as local regulations. Michelle earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies and Planning with a minor in Biology.

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Citizen Access Portal
Research property information and permits. Apply for some permits online.

Self-Service Reports
A list of available reports for public use along with a description of the information included on each report is provided below.

GIS Maps
Determine the zoning and characteristics of properties with our web-based mapping tool.