Community Development

 Department Overview
The Community Development Department is responsible for land development programs and services to help create a safe, healthy, and economically viable community. These programs provide guidance for new development and property maintenance as well as a long-term vision for the City contained in the General Plan.

The services we provide are:

  • Building Permits
  • Environmental Review
  • Housing Programs
  • Redevelopment Activities
  • Building Permits
  • Plan Review
  • Code Inspection
  • Planning and Zoning Review
  • Code Enforcement

NEW!! Temporary Outdoor Dining, Display, or Service Authorization

The City of La Mesa issued Executive Order 3-2020 on July 9, 2020, and Executive Order 4-2020 on July 16, 2020, which temporarily allow the use of public and private outdoor areas by business for dining, display of products, or provision of services, provided those businesses obtain written authorization from the Director of Community Development and comply with all social distancing and other COVID-19 related health orders and all other City, County (e.g., emergency orders, Department of Environmental Health), State (e.g., Alcoholic Beverage Control) and Federal laws (e.g., Americans with Disabilities Act).

The Executive Orders were issued to provide opportunities for dining, retail, service, and other commercial businesses in light of the restrictions placed upon them by the State and San Diego County Public Health Orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications to receive authorization for outdoor dining, or display or service, can be accessed at the links below, and temporary outdoor regulations established pursuant to the Orders are linked below and included with the appropriate applications. Businesses that propose temporary outdoor use areas within the public right-of-way must provide insurance in accordance with the Sidewalk Café Insurance Requirements, also attached to the applications and linked below. There is no fee charged to receive authorization to use public and private outdoor areas for dining.

Temporary Outdoor Dining Authorization Application
Temporary Outdoor Dining Regulations
Temporary Outdoor Display or Service Authorization Application
Temporary Outdoor Display or Service Regulations
Sidewalk Café Insurance Requirements


Community Redevelopment

Alvarado Specific Plan

The Alvarado Specific Plan is a privately proposed plan to redevelop the San Diego RV Park property on Alvarado Road between 70th Street and Comanche Drive. The Plan would allow for a housing project that could include as many as 950 apartment units, and may include a student housing component. The draft Plan and other project information are available on the Alvarado Specific Plan webpage.

Climate Action Plan

Interactive Zoning Map

NEW! Interactive Development Project Map

Active Development Projects List

The Active Development Projects list is a list of current major projects in process throughout the City. The list includes the project location, type of development, a brief description, the name of the applicant, and the current status of the project. The list is updated monthly.

New! Interactive Planning Applications Map

The Planning Applications Map is a useful research tool that provides an archive of planning applications submitted since the 1980s. Search by address to find past history of development applications, use permits, mapping actions, and more.


  1.   Do I need a building permit?          Edit this item          
  2.   How do I file a zoning code complaint?          Edit this item          
  3.   Does the City have any affordable housing projects or programs?