Thursday, August 9, 2012

Construction Permit Tips for Small Business

By: Laila Iskandar, Development Services Small Business Liaison, City of San Diego

Whether you are moving to a new location or expanding an existing space; you have to comply with City Ordinance and regulations.

PRIOR to signing a lease, committing to a site or making a major business decision to expand or relocate your business; there are a few questions you may want to ask the City or other agencies. The following is a list of issues that you should consider to enable you to make an informed decision.

I. Determine the zoning designation, permitted use and the regulations governing your property:
The first step in determining the zoning regulations that apply to your property is to find the base zone, which governs the uses permitted and the development regulations of the site. Zoning information is available through our website at:

Once you determine the base zone, you should refer to Land Development Code for your property development regulations and the permitted use. You also need to check on any previous development approvals or easements on site.

II. Identify other development regulations that apply to your property:
Once you have found the use and development regulations for your base zone and any overlay zones, if applicable, look in Municipal Code Chapter 14 for additional city-wide, general development regulations that apply in all zones. Also, check the Land Development Manual for information on fees, processing and re- view of development approval applications on line at:

III. Will the proposed use require additional parking?
Whether you are moving to a new location or expanding an existing space; parking could be an important issue that should be considered in the early stages before making final decision. Check on Parking Ratio for different uses at:

IV. Determine if your property contains historical resources:
a. Potential Historical Resource
b. Designated Historical Site or District

V. Determine the type of permit or approval review:
Based on the scope of work, you may be required to obtain a permit. To determine if a building permit will be required or not see “Information Bulletin 115: Building Permit Exemptions.” It is important to verify if a Development Permit or Policy Approval is required for your proposed project prior to applying to a construction permit or to operate your business.

VI. Is the proposed use in compliance with the building & fire codes? Or it would require more exits or sprinklers?
It is important to verify that the proposed building/use is in compliance with the current California Construction Codes. The following are the current codes: 2010 California Residen- tial Code, 2010 California Building Code, 2010 California Electrical Code, 2010 California Plumbing Code, 2010 California Mechanical Code, 2010 California Fire Code and 2010 Califor- nia Green Building Code

VII. What about disabled access?
Verify that the proposed space is in compliance with the current Title 24 access provisions in accordance with CBC Section 1134B “Accessibility for Existing Buildings”.

VIII. Business Tax Certificate
The contact information to apply for a Business Tax Certificate is:

For more information, to help identify various requirements and/or potential issues, resolutions and layout key steps of the process; please contact Development Services Small Business Liaison Laila Iskandar at (619) 446-5297 or via email at


  1. Small business is very popular among the people as it is easy to manage and and also gives huge profit. You have given such valuable construction permit tips for small business that really helps all small business owners a lot.

  2. Arranging working capital is one of the major obstacles for most of the businesses to stand it quite perfectly and on a long term basis. In this regard, only the financial professionals are the first and foremost option to run any business successfully and get more backup in any type of financial crisis.