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California Coastal Commission Hearing on the City of San Clemente Local Coastal Program Land Use Plan


Important Announcement

Injunction Information - UPDATE 

On February 10th a temporary injunction tied to the City’s compliance with the requirements of California Senate Bill 2 regarding emergency shelters was issued.  This injunction suspends the City’s authority to issue Building Permits, Zone Changes, Variances, and Subdivision Maps for specific areas within the City.  The areas in question are primarily commercial in nature and are broadly defined as follows:  West Pico Corridor Specific Plan (including Calle de Industrias, Calle de Los Molinos, and the Staples Shopping Center); South El Camino Real; North El Camino Real; Del Mar/El Camino Real; Pico/El Camino Real; Camino Capistrano/El Camino Real; Camino de Los Mares; and Los Mares/Estrella.  The vast majority of the City including the major residential areas are not impacted.

***** UPDATE *******UPDATE******* UPDATE *****

On March 16th, the court accepted a stipulation to allow permits with the scopes outlined below to be issued within the impacted areas.

•        Maintenance and repair of existing structures, including, but not limited to, roof repairs/re‐roofs, repairs of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, and emergency repairs

•        Systems upgrades for existing structures, including, but not limited to, solar energy systems, electrical systems, lighting, HVAC, signage, and windows

•        Minor tenant improvements in existing buildings with valuations below $75,000

•        All alterations to existing structures undertaken solely for the purpose of barrier removal pursuant to the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act or the accessibility requirements of the California Building Code

The City is still processing and reviewing all applications, however the City cannot issue any permit or approval beyond the scope outlined above in these areas until the injunction is lifted.  We sincerely apologize if you are affected by the ruling and for any inconvenience it creates.  The City continues to work diligently to resolve this issue and have this injunction lifted. 

If you want to determine if your property/project is impacted, please visit our Permitting Center located at 910 Calle Negocio, Suite 100 or call us at (949)-361-6100 and staff will be able to assist you.   Click here for map of impacted properties.


 Mission and Key Services



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.



 Welcome to the City of San Clemente Planning Division website. Here you will find information regarding long range planning, applications, development information and zoning information. 

Long Range Planning-  Long range planning includes the General Plan and information on Historic Preservation and Resources.
Applications and Fees- Includes Planning applications, fees, review process information, and public hearing packets and agendas. 
Development Information- Development information include Design Guidelines, and Landscape Guidelines and Review.
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.

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Contact Information

Community Development Department Offices
910 Calle Negocio, Suite 100
San Clemente, CA 92672 
Phone:  (949) 361-6184

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.



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