Please refer to our Planning and Zoning page for information on how to submit planning and building permit applications by appointment.
The Development Services Department oversees planning and development of the community in accordance with the City's General Plan, Land Use Code, Architectural Design Guidelines and the California Building Code (CBC).
The department provides the following functions:
- Current and long-range land use planning
- Building safety permitting and inspections
- Code enforcement
- Housing services
- Historic preservation
Joel Rojas, Director of Development Services
Joel Rojas has over 33 years of municipal government experience including 18 years serving as the Community Development Director for the coastal City of Rancho Palos Verdes. Joel has a Master's Degree in Architecture and Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Joel has spoken as a panelist on a variety of topics at numerous professional conferences and is a member of American Planning Association (APA). Joel is active in the League of California Cities (Cal Cities) as the immediate past president of Cal Cities' Planning and Community Development Department.
Development Services Director Joel Rojas can be reached at (949) 234-4410 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Is City approval required for my planned improvement?
The City will need to approve of all mechanical, electrical, plumbing and structural improvements to a property, as well as any new structures on a property over 36 inches in height. Additionally, any exterior modifications on a commercial site or Home Owners Association common property will need to be reviewed by the City’s Planning Division for consistency with the original development plans. For additional questions, please email the Building Department.
- What is the zoning of my property?
- How do I submit my planning application and/or apply for a permit?
The Planning and Building Counters at San Juan Capistrano City Hall are open by appointment to accept all applications from 7:30 am to 5 pm, Monday through Thursday. Please schedule an appointment online.
- How do I submit plans to the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA)?
To determine if a proposed project requires OCFA review, applicants will need to complete an OCFA Residential Screen Check form or OCFA Commerical/Multifamily/Tract Screen Check form.
New Outdoor Non-Cooking, Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces, Fire Pits, Fire Rings, and Similar Devices, Exterior to Residential Occupancies or Un-Enclosed Accessory Structures that are located on the perimeter of a community containing, or adjacent to slopes or hills, or adjacent to an open space or wildland area containing non-irrigated vegetation, or in a State Responsibility Area or Local Responsibility Area “Fire Hazard Severity Zone”, as defined by the State, or (D) near an area that could be affected by a wildfire in the open space may also require OCFA review.
Any projects that are determined to require OCFA review will need to be submitted directly to OCFA Headquarters located at 1 Fire Authority Rd., Irvine, CA 92602.
- How long does plan review take? How do I check the status of my permit?
Once in the E-Trakit Portal, follow the steps below:
- Enter the permit number. Alternatively, you may use the drop down box to select and enter the site address.
- Click on the permit to view permit information.
- Click on the 'REVIEWS' tab to view the current status of each department's review.
- How can I discuss my correction letter with a Plans Examiner?
Applicants may contact their plans examiner directly by telephone or email. Plans examiner contact information can be found on the correction letter. Please include the plan check number and address in your communication. For plan routing, all plans shall be routed through the City of San Juan Capistrano to ensure review by all necessary departments.
- How do I file a Code Enforcement Complaint?
- How do I schedule a Building Inspection or view inspection timeframes & results?
Building inspection requests a may be scheduled online or by voice message on the Building Inspection Request Line.
Inspection results including inspection corrections can also be viewed online through the City E-Trakit Citizen Portal. Learn how to make an inspection requests or view inspection results.
Anyone associated with the building permit can schedule an inspection: the general contractor, the homeowner, the trade contractor, or their official agents.
It is solely the responsibility of the permit holder to keep a permit active by actively performing work toward the completion of the project as permitted by scheduling an inspection.