San Diego Business Journal

Restructured County Planning Department Gets New Name, Home

Friday, September 28, 2012

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors has formally approved the restructuring and replacement of the county’s Department of Planning and Land Use, with what is now known as the Department of Planning & Development Services.

Officials said the department, led by Director Mark Wardlaw, was formed to streamline permit processing and review while reducing customer costs, following recommendations of a “Red Tape Reduction” task force. The county has transferred 160 employee positions from the former Planning and Land Use department to the new one, with another 18 from the Department of Public Works.

The new department’s website said it combines review processes formerly divided among three departments — Planning and Land Use, Public Works, and Parks & Recreation.

The planning department has moved from its former home on Ruffin Road and is now operating at 5510 Overland Ave., in the new County Operations Center in Kearny Mesa. According to a department statement, the new office includes a business center in the permit lobby with workstations, office supplies and a copy machine, with free Wi-Fi available in the lobby and on the third floor.

There is also a café in the permit center, and speakers posted outside the center and in restrooms, so customers do not miss their number when it is called. Permit center visitors can park on the ground floor of the next-door parking structure, and there is available surface parking throughout the campus.