Planning Services

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Planning and Zoning information assistance is available over the phone by contacting (949) 361-6197 or by email at  Customers can call Planning staff for routine planning information and Zoning questions or make a phone appointment without the need to visit City Hall.


Digital submittal of new and pending planning applications is now available! 

To submit Digital Planning Application Materials: Digital Application Instructions 

To submit Hard Copy Planning Application Materials: Hard Copy Application Instructions 

*Please note, the processing of hard copy application materials will be delayed by 48 hours due to decontamination procedures. 

The City of San Clemente's Planning Division provides guidance and support to help create a community that offers opportunities for people to live, work, and play by implementing the City's vision, goals, and regulations while preserving quality of life.  We strive to provide a high level of customer service by informing, education and assisting. We help protect historic, natural, and City resources which are valuable to the character of our community.  We strive to strengthen relationships to create a positive and professional environment. For information on the following topics, click the links below: 

  • Applications and Fees - Includes planning applications, fees, and review process information.
  • Development Information - Information on Accessory Dwelling Units, Design Guidelines, Landscape Guidelines and Review, and Short-Term Lodging Units.
  • Development Projects Map - Map of proposed, approved, and under construction development projects in the City.
  • Environmental Documents for Development Projects - Web portal of environmental documents for public review and comment.
  • Long Range Planning -  This site includes the Centennial General Plan, Climate Action Plan, Historic Resources and Preservation, the Local Coastal Program, the Housing Element, and the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan. 
  • Zoning Information - Here you will find the Zoning Ordinance, Zoning Map, and Specific Plans.

What is Planning?

The Planning Division is responsible for articulating and implementing the community's vision of the City's natural and built environment as outlined in the General Plan and the various specific plans. Planners review entitlement (Variance, Site Plan Permit, etc.) submittals and ensure that proposals meet City codes. Planners also review administrative permits for signs and landscaping. Planners are also responsible for processing environmental documents, ensuring the compatibility of proposed projects with existing development, promoting historic preservation, preparing long range policy documents and updating the City's General Plan and Zoning Ordinance.

When do I need to contact the Planning Division?

As a homeowner, you should contact the Planning or Building Division if you intend to add a room, or build a wall, shed, pool, patio cover or similar improvement. There may be setback, height, or construction requirements that will affect your proposed design. Furthermore, most projects require a building permit. It is helpful to contact the City before finalizing any improvement plans, to identify any specific requirements, processes or fees. Many homeowner improvements can be reviewed and approved at the public counter of the Community Development Department.

As a business owner, if you are looking to relocate your business within the City, or if you are establishing a new business in the community, contact Planning and Building to determine if the use is permitted and if the site or structure is adequate for your business in accordance with City regulations and the Uniform Building Code. It is wise to contact the City before you buy or lease a property/building, to identify any specific requirements, processes or fees. Older buildings may need to be improved and brought up to current codes and regulations. Depending upon the use, site conditions, and proposed site or structural enhancements, an administrative or discretionary review may be required.

As a developer, if you are looking to build a new structure or provide a major renovation to an existing site or structure, contact the Planning Division early in your design process to: a) ensure the site is appropriate for the proposed use; b) identify design/development standards; and c) determine the appropriate application process.

Contact Information

Community Development Department Offices
910 Calle Negocio, Suite 100
San Clemente, CA 92673
Phone:  (949) 361-6197

The Community Development Department is staffed from 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM Monday to Thursday and 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM alternating Fridays. The Community Development counter is closed from 12:30-2:30, with appointments available from 1:30 to 2:30. The Planning Division is committed to providing excellent customer service so we welcome public input. Please take our Customer Service Survey  

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