There has been long-standing citizen involvement in the City of San Diego. The City Council adopted policies in the 1960s and 1970s that established and recognized community planning groups as formal mechanisms for community input in the decision-making processes. Community planning groups provide citizens with an opportunity for involvement in advising the City Council, the Planning Commission, and other decision-makers on development projects, general or community plan amendments, rezonings and public facilities. The recommendations of the planning groups are integral components of the planning process, and are highly regarded by the City Council and by staff.
In 1966, the San Diego City Council formalized this government-citizen relationship with the adoption of Council Policy 600-05. The organization and structure of the relationship were further clarified in 1976 by the City Council’s adoption of Council Policy 600-24, ‘Standard Operating Procedures and Responsibilities of Recognized Community Planning Groups.’ Under this policy, citizens who want to participate in the planning process are able to form "officially-recognized" planning groups. The City Council recognizes one official planning group in each community. Groups work with City staff to formulate and implement the General Plan and community plans, and to advise the Planning Commission and City Council on projects.
Read the Linda Vista Community Plan here.
Applicability of the Brown Act to Community Planning Groups and CPC
On October 27, 2006, the City Attorney issued a memorandum of law advising that community planning groups and the Community Planners Committee (CPC) must comply with California's Open Meeting Law, the Ralph M. Brown Act. The purpose of the act is to ensure the actions and deliberations of public bodies occur openly with public access and input. On May 22, 2007, the City Council approved revisions to Council Policy 600-24 to reflect the Brown Act and standardize operations of planning groups. Community Planning Groups have until November 21, 2007, to revise their bylaws using the standardized bylaws shell (PDF). After revising the bylaws and voting to approve the revisions, bylaws should be submitted to the City Planning & Community Investment Department (CPCI) and City Attorney's Office for review. After reviewing the bylaws, CPCI and the Attorney’s Office will work with planning groups on any needed changes and approve the changes. Any proposed deviations will be forwarded to the City Council President for Council consideration.
See PowerPoint on the Brown Act created by the city's Planning Division for Community Orientation Workshop (COW) at http://www.sandiego.gov/planning/community/pdf/cow/09cowbrownact.pdf