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Development Services

The Port of San Diego is the primary discretionary permitting authority for Port and Tenant improvements within the Port’s jurisdiction.

looking towards Portside pier - a building that sits on the water next to the Star of India

Who Needs to Initiate a Project for Review?

Physical changes to land and water on Port Tidelands will require project review including every minor improvement, major redevelopment, and temporary event.  

This process is for: 

  • Port Master Tenants/Subtenants
  • New Prospective Tenants
  • Member Cities
  • Special Events or Temporary Events

The Process Begins Here

Every project review has its own unique nuances and details. Contacting the appropriate Asset Manager in the Real Estate Department is the first step. 

Please have the following information ready when you call:

  • Master Tenant’s name, point of contact, and contact information 
  • Contractor’s Company name, point of contact, and contact information 
  • Project address or site map identifying project on Tidelands 
  • Grant information and milestones, if applicable 

CLICK HERE for the current Asset Manager list

  • If you are unsure who the asset manager is, call anyone on the list. 

Once your Asset Manager determines that you have substantial property rights, you will submit an Initial Services Request to initiate project review with the Development Services Department. 

Initial Service Request

Once Development services receives your Initial Services Request, they will request for you to submit a Tenant Project Application (signed by the Port Tenant), Stormwater Checklist, Project Description, and Drawings/Visual Simulation in order to properly understand the scope of the project.  For reference, below are submittal items listed along with examples for major project types.  As each project is unique, there is likely more information Development Services will be requesting during the process in order to properly review your project.  


Submittal Lists and Examples

 **Please note, this is initial information in order to start project and there will be more information needed during the process in order to complete the review.  In addition, some projects may require several lists below to address the overall proposed project.

  1. Building Improvements and Repairs
  2. Events
  3. Ground-Up Construction 
  4. In-Water Work 
  5. Landscape
  6. Parking Lot and Restriping
  7. Pre-Construction Assessment 
  8. Renewable Energy 
  9. Signage
  10. Underground Utility
  11. Wireless

Development Services Department

  • Mission and Vision

    Mission and Vision


    With a service-first approach, Development Services satisfies regulatory requirements for development through the review and processing of Port and Tenant projects for compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the Port Master Plan and the California Coastal Act, the Port’s development policies, and other applicable laws and regulations.


    To guide development of a world-class waterfront through excellence in customer service, enhancement and protection of the environment, and furtherance of high quality public and private spaces on tidelands.


    • Continuously evaluate and improve the Port and tenant project review process
    • Attract visitors from all over the world through high quality development on San Diego Bay
    • Create and sustain positive relationships throughout the San Diego region
    • Recruit, retain, and prepare for advancement a highly skilled, diverse workforce
  • Project Review

    Project Review

  • Current Planning

    Current Planning

    • Prepare and process CEQA and Coastal Determinations for Port and tenant projects, events and agreements
    • Oversee preparation and processing of CEQA documents for tenant projects
    • Prepare environmental review language for staff reports for monthly Board of Port Commissioner meetings
    • Prepare and process Coastal Development Permits for Board review
    • Coordinate with the California Coastal Commission for tenant projects and events
    • Coordinate with Planning to ensure consistency with the Port Master Plan and Port Master Plan Update
    • Prepare and process Port Master Plan Amendments (except those which are processed by Planning for comprehensive Port Master Plan updates and location-specific planning initiatives)
  • Enforcement


    • Monitor and enforce conditions of approval in project reviews and CEQA/Coastal documents.
    • Coordinate with the Real Estate department to ensure lease obligations reflect conditions of approval.


What's Happening at the Port?