Planning Overview
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Welcome to the City of San Clemente Planning Division website. Here you will find information regarding the General Plan policies and Zoning regulations of the City.


The previous Draft General Plan, “Planning Commission Approved Preliminary Draft General Plan” shows General Plan Advisory Committee (GPAC) and Planning Commission changes in tracked changes format, in both scanned and searchable PDF formats.

Applications Centennial General Plan
Common Questions Current Projects
Design Guidelines Historic Preservation
Housing Landscape Review
Planning Commission Planning Downloads
Specific Plans Staff Directory
Vision San Clemente Zoning Maps
Zoning Ordinance

*NEW* Planning Video: Conditional Use Permit - 10 Easy Steps to Approval

New “Centennial General Plan” Now in Effect
The City’s new “Centennial General Plan” is now in effect. To go directly to a searchable and printable PDF version of the General Plan, click here. The General Plan is an entirely web-based General Plan. The City is updating and improving its website. As part of that process, the Plan will have new interactive features added, including hyperlinks to related documents, expanded search capability and added graphics. The Plan will guide land use and many other important community decisions through 2028 – the centennial year of the City’s founding.

We hope you find the new Centennial General Plan, Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan and Climate Action Plan to be interesting, easy to understand and to use. With adoption of the new General Plan, the City will begin to implement the new Plan’s policies and programs. Upcoming Planning actions include formatting the new Plan as a web-based General Plan, updating the Zoning Ordinance and specific plans, updating the Housing Element, and preparing a Local Coastal Program, to name but a few. For more information on the new Centennial General Plan or other planning documents, contact Jeff Hook, Principal Planner (949) 361-6182, at; or Jim Pechous, City Planner (949) 361-6195,


Current Planning Fees

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.

To find out more information about the Planning profession, visit the American Planning Association.

Contact Information

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.

When are we open?

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.

Click here for more information about days and hours of operation.

Telephone: 949.361.6184
Fax: 949.366.4750
Postal Address: 910 Calle Negocio, Ste. 100, San Clemente, CA 92673 Click here for a map

City of San Clemente
City Hall | 100 Avenida Presidio, San Clemente, CA 92672 | Phone (949) 361-8200  |  FAX (949) 361-8285
Community Development | 910 Calle Negocio, Suite 100, San Clemente, CA, 92673 | Phone (949) 361-6100  |  FAX (949) 361-8281
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