Government Affairs Update – COVID-19

“The information below is being obtained through Builder Companies and Civic Officials in real time.
We ask that you trust but verify as this list will be changing periodically.”

Last updated March 25, 2020

State
The California State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health is ordering all individuals living in the State of California to stay home or at their place of residence, except as needed to maintain continuity of operation of the federal critical infrastructure sectors, critical government services, schools, childcare, and construction, including housing construction.

Update to the Governor’s Executive Order (as of March 24):  The list of Essential Critical Infrastructure has updates contained in blue type.  Please refer to page 11 which now includes construction material sources.  Please click here to view the amended order and updated list of essential critical infrastructure workers.

Ancillary Services:  CBIA has addressed questions about whether ancillary services a homebuilder provides includes things like sales offices and other important but not actual physical construction.  Please click here to view.  If you have any questions, please reach out to Nick Cammarota at ncammarota@cbia.org.

Job Site Protocols:  Our top priority is to keep all of our employees and individuals involved in the building industry safe.  CBIA has put together some basic protocols which may prove helpful for you as you oversee your worksite and offices.  Please click here to view.   These are for guidance purposes only.

Guidance Provided by the Governor’s Office on Mortgage loans and Escrow Officers:  There is new information from the Governor’s administration on Escrow Officers and Mortgage lenders which may assist you in your financial transactions.  It can be found immediately below at the Governor’s office website found here.

Other issues we are working on – Realtors and Notaries:  There have been some material published within the Real Estate Industry that effectively states that realtors are to shelter in home.  We have been asked by our executive committee to reach out to the Realtors and seek a better understanding on their actions to date.  Finally, some of our members are having issues finding notaries and have asked us to check into the Secretary of State’s Office on the concept of a Remote Online Notarization (RON).  This is allowed in other states but we are seeing if it can also be done in California.


County of San Diego

The County will continue to hold public meetings of the Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission.  In person participation will be prohibited, but members of the public will be able to provide comments through teleconference during public meetings of the Board and Planning Commission and by submitting e-comments and/or written comments prior to the meeting. Viewing and participation instructions for Planning Commission meetings are available here and instructions for Board meetings are available here. 

Planning & Development Services – Effective March 20, 2020, PDS will temporarily close all lobbies to the public, and provide all essential services as described below:

Customer Drop Off Service

  • Where customers must visit our lobby, we will ask customers to practice social distancing.
  • All permit applications, plans, and resubmittals will be processed as a drop off service.
  • A drop off desk is provided in the lobby of the Permit Center for customers to drop off permit applications, plans, and resubmittal.
  • Customers may pick up plans as usual, once they receive notification the plans are ready for pick up.
  • Customers that visit the office for service, will be contacted staff, to provide assistance or make an appointment for phone of video assistance.

 Phone and Video Calls

  • All customer appointments and meetings will be conducted by phone and video calls.
  • Customers seeking zoning, permit services, property specific information, or other information will be directed to contact PDS by phone, email, or web. Staff will respond within one business day.
  • Staff encourage all customers to use online services, which include self-service reports for parcel information, requesting building inspections, online permits and conduct payments online.

Inspections Services

  • Inspection services will continue in the field and inspectors will achieve social distancing requirements.
  • Applicant assistance in meeting this will be requested.

PDS will continue operating the Customer Service Phone lines Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Many PDS services are available online and can be accessed through Accela Citizen Access (ACA).  ACA services are highlighted below.  For guidance on how to use ACA, click on our Accela Updates page, which contains how-to guides for our online services.

Accela Citizen Access services:

  • Online Payments
  • Permit and Property searches
  • Run reports
  • Print a Building Permit Invoice
  • Apply for Building permits
  • Check Trust Account balances
  • Make a deposit to a Trust Account
  • Schedule Inspections

For parcel information that customers previously visited offices to obtain, PDS has established several self-service reports that allow customers to access much of the information online.  A list of self-services reports is included below.

Self-Service Reports:

  • Initial Study Research Packet
  • Property Summary Report
  • New Building Records
  • Building Permits Issued
  • Building Permit Invoices
  • New/Completed Discretionary applications

Documents associated with many land development permits can be accessed online at the PDS Document Library.  A user guide is available at the top of the library.

Customers may also access our  GIS portal where they can review geospatial data associated with properties in the unincorporated County.

Key Phone Numbers

Building Counter                           858-694-2168

Land Development Counter          858-694-3284

Zoning Counter                             858-694-2601 or 858-495-5441

Environmental Health Counter      858-565-5173

Meetings that may require physical attendance will be scheduled by staff in locations that can accommodate the required social distancing guidance.

Public Works Update –  Customers are encouraged to utilize online, phone, and e-mail services when submitting plans, maps, and other information. Starting Friday, March 20, and until further notice, DPW’s counters will be closed to personal interactions.

Face-to-face meetings will only take place as a last resort, only when necessary precautions can be enforced, and must be pre-arranged by phone or email. Available services can be found at the following:

County Surveyor
Survey Records System website: https://srs.sandiegocounty.gov/
County Surveyor website: https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/dpw/surveyor.html
Phone: (858) 694-3253

Private Development Construction Inspection (PDCI)
PDCI Front Desk Phone: (858) 694-3165
Email: kim.patrick@sdcounty.ca.gov

Right-of-Way Enforcement Officer Phone: (858) 753-3450
Email: dpw.rightofwayenforcement@sdcounty.ca.gov

Watercourse Enforcement Officer Phone: (619) 359-9809
Email: teni.garcia@sdcounty.ca.gov

Watershed Protection Program
To report stormwater pollution or irrigation runoff in the unincorporated area of the County, please call 1-888-846-0800, e-mail us at watersheds@sdcounty.ca.gov,  or visit us at https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/dpw/watersheds/Reporting.html. ProjectCleanWater.org is a regional water quality resource for all of San Diego County, South Orange County, and South Riverside County where you can find information and report stormwater pollution concerns to any of the regional jurisdictions at http://www.projectcleanwater.org/report-pollution/.

To obtain structural BPM inspection and maintenance information for general information about maintenance of stormwater treatment devices in the unincorporated area of the County, please call (858) 495-5323, visit https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/dpw/watersheds/DevelopmentandConstruction/S-BMPs.html, or e-mail us at BMP.Program@sdcounty.ca.gov.

Flood Control
Flood Control Phone: (858) 495-5318

For steps to determine if drainage facilities on your property are maintained by the County, see https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/dpw/flood/Public-drainagefacility-on-private-property.html.

To determine if there is a FEMA-mapped floodplain on a property, enter address, place, or coordinates in FEMA Map Services Center, please use the online tool at https://msc.fema.gov/portal/search.

Waste and Recycling
Please see the waste and recycling website at https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/dpw/recycling.html for information and assistance on reducing waste, composting, and available resources to start or improve your home or business recycling program.

Collection Services
Private recycling and franchised waste companies provide recycling and trash collection services throughout the unincorporated area. For a list of service providers for your area, a list of franchised waste haulers is available at https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/dam/sdc/dpw/SOLID_WASTE_PLANNING_and_RECYCLING/Files/Haulers-by-Area%20June%202019.pdf,  and a list of recycling haulers is available at https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/dam/sdc/dpw/SOLID_WASTE_PLANNING_and_RECYCLING/Files/UnincorpRecyclingServices.pdf.

County Assessor’s Office: Reports that project recordings will continue. In the event of a building shutdown select staff will remain on site to process E-recordings and by-mail recordings. All Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk locations remain open at this time, 8 am to 5 pm. However, due to the County of San Diego’s declaration of a public health emergency, the Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk will be practicing social distancing.

Construction & Demolition Ordinance – updated 3/23/2020: The County of San Diego has recently adopted changes to its Construction & Demolition (C&D) Recycling Ordinance.  These changes will apply to projects with permits issued on or after April 1, 2020.  A meeting to review the changes and answer questions will be held on Monday,  March 30th from 10 – 11:30 a.mThe meeting will be held virtually.  Please click here to join on March 30. More information on the ordinance can be found here.

North County Multiple Species Conservation Plan Public Workshops: All public meetings (3/17, 3/25, 4/9) are postponed and staff are assessing options in substitution of meetings. If you have any questions, or would like to submit written comments, please contact Chelsea Oakes at MSCP@sdcounty.ca.gov or (858) 505-6677.

Development Fee Package Proposal: The proposal, which was originally scheduled to be presented to the Planning Commission on 3/20, has been postponed.

For up to date information about COVID-19, including resource documents such as frequently asked questions, informational posters, and guidance, please visit www.coronavirus-sd.com.


City of San Diego
Development Services continues to put all of their department changes on the DSD web page found here.  This webpage will be updated daily.

Water & Sewer Payments

Mail Invoices and a Check to:

City of San Diego Public Utilities Department
Customer Care Center
PO Box 129020
San Diego, CA 92112-9020

Once received, notify DSD at dsdprojectinfo@sandiego.gov and your Project Manager will clear the Tier 1 holds.

San Diego City Council Hearing – March 25: The City of San Diego today enacted an eviction moratorium that provides relief to residential and commercial tenants facing financial hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The City Council also unanimously approved a multimillion-dollar Small Business Relief Fund proposed last week by Mayor Kevin Faulconer.  With the backing of Mayor Faulconer and Council President Gómez, the emergency law temporarily halting evictions in the City of San Diego was passed unanimously and goes into effect immediately. It will last until May 31, 2020. The news release can be found here.

Planning Commission: Due to the current state of emergency related to COVID-19, the Planning Commission meeting of Thursday, April 9, 2020 at 9 a.m. will be adjourned. Please go to the Planning Commission website to find information regarding upcoming meetings. If you have questions you may email planningcommission@sandiego.gov.

Development Services Department’s Field Inspection Services have resumed as of Monday, March 23.  

Planning Department: Most employees are working remotely, and will continue to be available by email and voicemail to conduct business and respond to inquiries. The Planning Department office at 9485 Aero Drive is now closed to the public. Meetings will take place via phone or web conference. The Department information line (619-235-5200) will remain open. If you are not able to speak to someone directly, please leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible. You can also email us at planning@sandiego.gov.

The next regularly scheduled meetings of the City Council are Monday, April 6, 2020, at 2:00 p.m., and Tuesday, April 7, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. The City Council will meet in Closed Session on Tuesday from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (Public Comment on Closed Session items will be taken during the 10 a.m. Council Session.) Until further notice, City Council meetings will be conducted pursuant to the provisions of California Executive Order 29-20, which suspends certain requirements of the Ralph M. Brown Act.

During the current State of Emergency and in the interest of public health and safety, most—and possibly all—of the City Councilmembers will be participating in City Council meetings by teleconference. In accordance with the Executive Order, there will be no members public in attendance at the Council Meetings. We are providing alternatives to in-person attendance for viewing and participating in City Council meetings.

In lieu of in-person attendance, members of the public may submit their comments on agendized items using this public comment form. If you have an attachment to your comment, you may send it to cityclerk@sandiego.gov and it will be distributed to the Councilmembers. Please note: Comments submitted using the public comment form (which will be read into the record) are limited to 200 words.

The public may view the meetings on public television (within the City of San Diego only) on City TV Channel 24 for Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable or Channel 99 for AT&T, or view the meetings online using live streaming at this link (link is external).


San Diego Gas & Electric
Jurisdictions are curtailing planned power outages as more people are working from home. BIA and SDG&E are working together to minimize disruptions to new home connections.


City of Chula Vista
The City is out in the field inspecting and are reviewing plans remotely today and for foreseeable future.  They are working through the final procedures for customer plan drop off, pick up, and routing and will get their online payment ability up soon so they can take in new application and permit issuance payments.  Once finalized, they will post updates on the Development Services website found here.  


City of Carlsbad

While they will not be providing in-person services, they are not shutting down operations.  Please see below important building related services:

  • Counter Inquiries and Submittal Drop-offs: All walk-in and over-the-counter services are suspended. However, customers may pick up and drop off plans/applications at the white popup tents that are located outside of our building at 1635 Faraday Avenue. Please make sure your members contact the appropriate CD division before they pick up/drop off plans (especially during this rainy period). All received documents and plan sets will be processed by CD staff pursuant to standard practices/processes.
    • Building Division: (760) 602-2719
    • Land Use Engineering (760) 602-2750
    • Planning Division: (760) 602-4610
    • Fire Prevention: (760) 602-4665.
  •  Field Inspection Services:  Field inspections will continue; However, all homeowners, property owners and licensed contractors are required to maintain adequate social distancing (six feet separation) during the inspection. 
  • Telephone Appointments: All previously scheduled face-to-face appointments will be rescheduled to be conducted over the phone or email. We are also implementing measures that will improve our ability to conduct more video chatting and online submittals.

City of Del Mar, Encinitas, & City of Solana Beach
The Cities of Del Mar, Encinitas, & Solana Beach will be resuming inspections starting March 25.  Building Inspector to not do any inspections on occupied residential and or commercial buildings.  They are working on a protocol for video type inspections for some of the occupied buildings. All 3 Cities have contracted an Inspector from Esgil to handle Building Inspections.


City of El Cajon
Essential services remain operational. Public interaction is limited and business is encouraged via phone, email or their Citizen Self Service portal found here.  Plan checking, permit issuance and inspections are still in place.

BUILDING: PAC_CSR@cityofelcajon.us
PLANNING: Planning@cityofelcajon.us
HOUSING: Housing@cityofelcajon.us

More information can be found on their website.


City of Escondido
Staff continues to process projects, review applications, and conduct inspections until further notice, although the format for meeting with applicants and “drop in visitors” may change. Planning, Building and Engineering open, but admittance to City Hall will be by appointment only. Any other issues will be handled ad hoc. Please click here to monitor the latest COVID-19 virus updates. The website will be updated as practices evolve.


City of Imperial Beach
The City of Imperial Beach has moved to entirely online processing of permits, plan checks, payments, and inquiries as City Hall and other public facility buildings are closed for the time being. At this time, critical path inspections are being carried out as long as social distancing requirements can be maintained and staff is researching the potential of self-certifications for specific projects or other alternatives that meet inspection standards. City staff is still working and facilitating projects where possible and have provided key contacts for the Community Development Department so that any interested party can receive up to date information about how to process permits. Please click here for more information.


City of La Mesa
March 24’s Regular City Council Meeting has been cancelled. Effective at 12:00 a.m. on March 18, 2020, City Hall will be temporarily closed to the public until further notice, only providing essential services and by appointment only. Community members who need to make payments may deposit them into the drop box located outside of La Mesa City Hall. All public safety and public works services will remain operational. To make an appointment please email or call:

Planning: sthompson@cityoflamesa.us or 619.667.1348

Building: kcarlos@cityoflamesa.us or 619.667.1176

Code Compliance: 619.667.1189

Engineering: pweng@cityoflamesa.us or 619.667.1166

Cashier: ebullers@cityoflamesa.us or 619.667.1111


City of Lemon Grove
Starting  March 24, City Hall will be closed and staff will be available by appointment only. City staff emails and phone numbers can be found here.


City of Oceanside
Services are still open including plan checks and inspections.  More information can be found on their website.


City of Poway

The City of Poway is allowing existing construction projects to continue and providing inspection services with a much reduced staff.  They are allowing facetime, video and photos, when it is appropriate, in order to not hold up building inspections.  They are accepting resubmittals and construction changes for projects already in process.  Currently, they are only processing NEW building permits for roof-mount solar permits and over-the-counter permits for electric upgrades, water heaters and heaters.  Interior inspections (such as T.I.’s and new building interiors) are at the discretion of the inspector and may need to wait until the pandemic has subsided.  The City is exploring how to take in new applications, conduct plan checks and process permits with the limited staff they have at City Hall.  The City will post on their website if/when that happens.


City of San Marcos
On March 24, 2020, the San Marcos City Council took action to protect residential and commercial tenants from the possibility of eviction by reason of financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and approved a temporary moratorium against such evictions.  Please click here for more information.

The City is now in “essential services” mode for the foreseeable future. The City’s full attention is on maintaining basic services and supporting the community at this time. Some Planning and Engineering staff will continue to work on existing projects remotely on a limited basis. Please click here to monitor the City’s dedicated website for ongoing updates.

Planning and development review staff are working off sight and building inspections are ongoing.


City of Santee
The City of Santee will only be accepting and/or processing essential Encroachment Permits until further notice. Essential permits include those for:

  1. Emergency repairs
  2. Maintaining safety
  3. Permits critical to infrastructure needs

In regards to inspections, the only permits that should be requesting inspections are those that have previously started construction and need to be closed out for public safety reasons, or those that fall into one of the essential encroachment permit categories listed above. Further, night inspections should only be requested for emergency work.

Please remember only essential encroachment permit submittals will be processed, and all are to be submitted electronically via email: EncroachmentPermits@CityofSanteeCA.gov until further notice.

For emergency work permits, please make sure to indicate “Emergency Work” on the subject line and contact the Department of Development Services Inspection Line at (619) 258-4100 x 168.

Future updates will be posted here.


City of Vista
Vista is not accepting any new permit applications, but are still providing essential services to those projects that are in plan check, or permitted and under construction.


If you have any questions, please reach out to BIA staff:

Matt Adams, Vice President
matt@biasandiego.org

 Mike McSweeney, Sr. Public Policy Advisor
Mmcsweeney@biasandiego.org

 Angeli Calinog, Policy Advisor
angeli@biasandiego.org