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The insider's guide to San Diego municipality codes

Jan 2, 2020 6:55:17 AM

As land development professionals constantly surrounded by industry jargon, it’s easy to forget the foundational knowledge of what we’re complying with and why San Diego's municipal codes are there.

Even if you reference municipality codes all day every day, it’s good to refresh our knowledge and jog our memories for a solid understanding and possibly acquiring new information on the way. 

Before we get any further, let’s refresh what municipal codes are, what they do and why we need to comply with them. 

What are municipal codes? 

Governed by state and local law, municipal codes are a collection of laws passed by your local governing body (determined by county, city, village or township) that govern geographic areas (as long as they don’t conflict with wider-held laws).

Municipality codes can cover anything from food trucks to historic preservation, designed to incentivize positive actions and prevent negative ones from harming the local communities. It’s these municipal codes that make your neighborhoods nice places to live, the cities fun to explore, and keeps everything where it should be. 

Municipal ordinances are continuously undergoing additions, revisions or deletions. It’s very important to be careful when you’re researching and creating designs that the municipal codes are up-to-date and apply to your project’s property.

So why do we need to comply with them? 

Every municipality code, in San Diego and across the U.S., is upheld by the state law. Periodically updated as new ordinances are adopted by townships or cities, they are enforced by zoning enforcement officers within your county.

While short-term consequences of not complying with municipality codes can include fines, unhappy or lost clients, delayed project timelines or extra work for you and your team, the long-term impacts of ignoring municipal codes can lead to environmental damage, harm to others or mass financial loss of your own company.

They’re in place to protect the infrastructure of your environment, and organize the municipality in a logical and enjoyable manner for everyone there. 

What About San Diego’s Municipal Codes? 

As with any other municipality or local government, San Diego’s municipal codes are written, controlled and updated by the San Diego Office of the City Clerk. You can browse the new ordinances adopted by the city council online, and look through archives of outdated municipality codes in person at their offices. 

While they aren’t updated or changed every single year, it’s a good idea to make sure that whatever municipality codes you’re using are the correct codes enforced. You can submit public records requests, apply for licenses and certifications, and even browse the San Diego municipal codes by chapter on the San Diego City Clerk’s office website. 

If your property doesn’t fall within San Diego’s municipality, a different set of records will apply for you. 

PermitDocs: The Perfect Property Information Management Tool

PermitDocs is your all-in-one source for land development information – we don’t just supply the municipality codes at a click, we also provide all of the zoning and building codes relevant for your projects. 

And, PermitDocs allows you to share, communicate and collaborate over all of this land information – bringing the boots and the suits together so that your team can communicate in real-time, reduce risk while planning and building, and feel confident that you’re making well-informed decisions with reliable information. 

With PermitDocs, you can access all of the documents required for each project, share them with anyone, and streamline your research process. It’s never been easier to quickly deliver outstanding projects to your clients. 

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