About Us

The San Luis Obispo Community Development Department plays a key role in shaping the future of urban development in San Luis Obispo. The Planning and Building divisions develop guiding policies in the City's General Plan, and review new construction through zoning, building permits, subdivision regulations, code enforcement and community design guidelines. Under the direction of the Community Development Director, who is appointed by and is responsible to the City Manager, the Community Development Department serves San Luis Obispo residents directly at the public counter, and indirectly by guiding the City's urban form from concept to construction. The divisions within the department include Long-Range Planning, Development Review and Building and Safety.

An organizational chart of the department can be accessed hereorg chart icon

Mission Statement
Our mission is to serve all persons in a positive and courteous manner and help ensure that San Luis Obispo continues to be a healthy, safe, attractive, and enjoyable place to live, work, or visit. We help plan the City's form and character, support community values, preserve the environment, promote the wise use of resources, and protect public health and safety.

Service Philosophy
The City of San Luis Obispo Community Development Department staff provides high quality service when you need it. We will:

  • Listen to understand your needs
  • Give clear, accurate and prompt answers to your questions
  • Explain how you can achieve your goals under the City's rules
  • Help resolve problems in an open, objective manner
  • Maintain high ethical standards
  • Work to improve our service

Community planning involves the complex interaction of individuals, neighborhood groups, business organizations, environmental groups, other advocacy groups, land developers, and contractors with appointed and elected City officials and the staff. The elected five member City Council appoints people to serve on the Planning Commission, Architectural Review Commission, Cultural Heritage Committee, Handicapped Board of Appeals, and the Construction Board of Appeals. These groups help oversee various parts of the planning and construction programs and provide an important means for citizen participation in city government. The Community Development Department staff are employees that work with the City Council and appointed citizen groups to administer the planning and building programs.