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San Diego Zoning / Business / Residential Permitting Portals

San Diego, CA, USA
In Collaboration With
City of San Diego

Government Champion

Economic Development, Mayor's office, Development Services


250 Thousand USD
250 Thousand USD

Project Status

Operational since 2016

At a Glance

The City of San Diego partnered with OpenCounter to streamline permit discovery and application. The goal was to provide a tool that would educate entrepreneurs about the requirements and costs of their projects, and spare them from trips to City Hall. In 2018, the city added Residential scoping to the site.

Problem Addressed

“My favorite pizza place in San Diego is called Lefty’s. I was sitting there in one of their two locations thinking about the challenges they faced opening up their second location in town. As a research project, I had staff pull every permit they had to get. That paper is still in my office and it is 1.5 inches thick. It took eight hours of discovery time just to gather that paperwork. Through the process I realized that we could provide better service for businesses looking to expand or start in San Diego.” - Erik Caldwell - ED Director

The City of San Diego used/is using online permit discovery and scoping to address this/these challenge(s).

Solution(s) Used

An online portal to making multi-departmental permitting, zoning and land use easier to understand and navigate for local project owners and applicants.


  1. 5,000 hours of staff time saved
  2. Normalized regulations
  3. Better metrics

Something Unique

Unified front end for ED and Development Services.

Who Should Consider?

Any government struggling with service delivery in permitting and licensing.

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