Planning Services

COVID-19 Notice

On March 14, Orange County moved into the less-restrictive Red Tier under the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. As a result, many local businesses and activities in Orange County were allowed to either expand capacity or resume operations.

Out of an abundance of caution, City Hall remains closed to the public until further notice. City staff will continue to be available via email and telephone during regular business hours.  

We appreciate your patience and cooperation as we strive to provide optimal service while protecting the health of our customers, our staff, and the general public.

Click here for the latest status of local facilities and services.

Department Overview

Planning Services is responsible for articulating and implementing the community vision of the natural and built environment as outlined in the General Plan, a comprehensive strategy for management of future physical growth and change within the community. Additionally, Planning Services administers the City Zoning Code and other ordinances/codes related to land use and development.

Planning Services coordinates multi-departmental work efforts to address the wide number of planning and development issues Aliso Viejo confronts on a regular basis. Planning Services is responsible for:

  • Processing land use and development applications
  • Ensuring compatibility of proposed projects with existing development
  • Preparing long-range policy documents
  • Providing long- and short-term planning to coordinate and monitor growth and development
  • Processing environmental documents

Land Use & Development Support

City planners provide land use and development support to the City Council and various planning-related committees/commissions. Good land use policy is critical for the future of the City and ensures Aliso Viejo provides a high quality of life for its residents and vibrant local economy for its businesses.

Planning Before Building

In order to ensure that projects meet the requirements of the Aliso Viejo Municipal Code, applicants are now required to discuss and obtain approval for their project from the Planning Department, prior to the submittal of plans to the Building Department. This process begins with the completion and submittal of a Zoning Compliance Application (PS-240) (PDF) to Planning Services. Please note, PS-240 requires a signature and/or letter of authorization from the property owner as well as the applicable residential management associations at the time of submittal.