Community Development

The Building, Code Compliance, and Planning public counter is open by appointment only:

  • Mondays and Wednesdays only

  • 8:00 am to 10:00 am and 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

  • 15 minute maximum appointment time

  • Maximum of 2 persons per appointment

To schedule an appointment, please contact (email preferred):

BUILDING: 619-667-1176
CODE COMPLIANCE: 619-667-1189
PLANNING: 619-667-1177

Department Overview

The Community Development Department is responsible for land development programs and services to help create a safe, healthy, and economically viable community. These programs provide guidance for new development and property maintenance as well as a long-term vision for the City contained in the General Plan.


The services we provide are:

  • Building Permits
  • Environmental Review
  • Housing Programs
  • Redevelopment Activities
  • Building Permits
  • Plan Review
  • Code Inspection
  • Planning and Zoning Review
  • Code Enforcement


Community Redevelopment

Housing Element Update

The City is currently in the process of updating the City’s primary housing policy document, the Housing Element of the General Plan. Please see the Housing Element Update webpage for more information.

La Mesa Transit Oriented Development Feasibility Study

The City is undertaking a study to evaluate the potential for creating transit oriented developments at two transit stations: the Amaya Drive Station and the Spring Street Station. Please see the La Mesa Transit Oriented Development Feasibility  Study webpage for more information.

Temporary Outdoor Dining, Display, or Service Authorization

The City of La Mesa issued Executive Order 3-2020 on July 9, 2020, and Executive Order 4-2020 on July 16, 2020, which temporarily allow the use of public and private outdoor areas by business for dining, display of products, or provision of services, provided those businesses obtain written authorization from the Director of Community Development and comply with all social distancing and other COVID-19 related health orders and all other City, County (e.g., emergency orders, Department of Environmental Health), State (e.g., Alcoholic Beverage Control) and Federal laws (e.g., Americans with Disabilities Act).

The Executive Orders were issued to provide opportunities for dining, retail, service, and other commercial businesses in light of the restrictions placed upon them by the State and San Diego County Public Health Orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications to receive authorization for outdoor dining, or display or service, can be accessed at the links below, and temporary outdoor regulations established pursuant to the Orders are linked below and included with the appropriate applications. Businesses that propose temporary outdoor use areas within the public right-of-way must provide insurance in accordance with the Sidewalk Café Insurance Requirements, also attached to the applications and linked below. There is no fee charged to receive authorization to use public and private outdoor areas for dining.

Temporary Outdoor Dining Authorization Application
Temporary Outdoor Dining Regulations
Temporary Outdoor Display or Service Authorization Application
Temporary Outdoor Display or Service Regulations
Sidewalk Café Insurance Requirements

Alvarado Specific Plan

The Alvarado Specific Plan is a privately proposed plan to redevelop the San Diego RV Park property on Alvarado Road between 70th Street and Comanche Drive. The Plan would allow for a housing project that could include as many as 950 apartment units, and may include a student housing component. The draft Plan and other project information are available on the Alvarado Specific Plan webpage.

Climate Action Plan

Interactive Zoning Map

Projects Under Review

Information on active development projects, upcoming administrative hearings, pending administrative determinations, and public reviews of environmental documents.

New! Interactive Planning Applications Map

The Planning Applications Map is a useful research tool that provides an archive of planning applications submitted since the 1980s. Search by address to find past history of development applications, use permits, mapping actions, and more.

Planning & Development Maps

The following maps are available for viewing:


  1.   Do I need a building permit?          Edit this item         
  2.   How do I file a zoning code complaint?          Edit this item         
  3.   Does the City have any affordable housing projects or programs?