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City of San Diego implements online permitting, safety protocols to keep construction going amid COVID-19

The City of San Diego is moving forward with plans to make permitting available online to keep construction moving.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer on Thursday highlighted significant changes implemented by the City of San Diego’s Development Services Development (DSD) to accept permits online for all new projects and implement safety protocols to protect workers at construction sites.

Mayor Faulconer was joined by DSD Director Elyse Lowe as well as representatives of the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters and the Associated Builders and Contractors of San Diego to talk about the importance of safety as construction continues as an essential service throughout the state.

“This move to fully embrace online permitting is needed now more than ever as our builders navigate their way through a global health pandemic,” Mayor Faulconer said. 

While other cities have slowed construction in response to the pandemic, the City of San Diego moved forward with plans to make permitting available online to keep construction moving. This move expanded the digital permitting process that had already been available for a limited number of permits.

The #DigitalDSD move to online permitting began earlier this month and will be a gradual transition to ensure flexibility for customers and plan reviewers. #DigitalDSD will:

  • Allow the paper submittal option during the transition period so that customers can adjust to the new system.
  • Provide User Guide and videos to help customers understand how to use the new electronic permitting tool.

All permit types are online, including:

  • Building Permits: Ensures construction projects comply with local, state and federal standards for land use, zoning and construction, and verify compliance with the minimum standards that help safeguard life or limb, public health, property and welfare.
  • Construction Change to Building Permit: Apply to submit changes to approved Building, Combination, Fire, Plumbing, Mechanical and Electrical permits that were submitted electronically on or after May 4, 2020.
  • Discretionary Permit: This permit is required when a project needs a decision to allow the proposed use, design feature or project location. Preliminary Review or Multiple Discipline Preliminary Review requests can also be submitted electronically.
  • Electrical Permit: This permit is required for the installation, alteration, addition or replacement of electrical wiring, devices, appliances or equipment, and to comply with the minimum standards necessary to safeguard life or limb, public health, property and welfare.
  • Right-of-Way Permit: This permit is required for any new construction or aboveground or underground improvements in the public right-of-way, including utilities such as water, sewer, gas and electric lines. The public right-of-way is located outside the boundaries of the private property lines. This permit is also required for encroachments into any public or private utility easement.
  • Traffic Control Permit: This permit is required for all public improvement projects, construction projects, and other work that encroaches into the public right-of-way, including sidewalks.
  • For additional information on other permits available online, please visit www.sandiego.gov/development-services

In addition, DSD adopted new COVID 19 Construction Site safety protocols to help keep both customers and employees alike safe.

New safety requirements for construction sites include:

  • Prohibiting gatherings or meetings of 10 or more people
  • Incorporating physical distancing and face covering requirements
  • Implementation of ride-share and carpooling restrictions
  • Employing decontamination procedures
  • Increasing the ratio of toilet facilities to laborers
  • Facilitating increased hand-washing stations
  • Conducting daily symptom checks of workers

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