City of El Centro

Community Development Department

Welcome to the Community Development Department

Angel Hernandez

Community Development Director


Hours of Operation:
Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

1275 W. Main Street
El Centro, CA  92243
Phone : 760-337-4545
Fax : 760-352-4867

Community Development Department

The Community Development Department, which was established by the City Council on August 7, 2012, contains three Divisions ready to serve you – Building & Safety, Code Enforcement, and Planning & Zoning.  The Community Development Department is responsible for coordinating the enforcement of the City’s land use, zoning, sign, subdivision, and development ordinances, including nuisance abatement.

The Planning & Zoning Division ensures the orderly and efficient development of the City in accordance with the City’s development policies as set forth in the Zoning Ordinance and General Plan.

The Building Division provides Building Code enforcement for all construction projects located in the City of El Centro. We do this in a professional, conscientious and customer service oriented manner. We also provide courteous, professional and helpful service at the Building and Safety counter for Architects, Engineers, Developers, Contractors, property owners and the general public.

The goal for the Code Enforcement Division is to improve and preserve all neighborhoods of the City by careful, detailed inspection and record keeping, while working with property owners in a friendly, helpful and compassionate manner.  Maintaining housing stock in an above standard condition is a goal of this division.

Community Development Department -Planning & Zoning’s Land Use Flowchart.

Developers and business owners, please review the Business Guide to learn about City processes and procedures.

Garage Sale Ordinance – Effective July 5th, it is mandatory to obtain a City permit prior to conducting a garage/yard sale.  A violation of the ordinance will result in an infraction and will be enforced through the administrative citation process.  The first citation will have a fine of $100.  

As of January 20, 2023 the City of El Centro has approved a new ordinance with changes regarding garage sales.

  • Residents are still required to obtain a permit to hold a garage sale. The permit is free of charge.
  • No more than one (1) permit will be issued to the same person or for the same address within any calendar month. You can have 12 garage sales a year.
  • Garage sales may take place over two (2) consecutive days.
  • Signs advertising a garage sale shall not be posted on public property, public right-of-way, utility poles, or street sign poles.
  • Sale of items purchased for the purpose of resale are prohibited. Other restrictions apply.

Yard Sales Ordinance Flyer

Angel Hernandez, AICPCommunity Development Director
Frank SotoBuilding Official / Assistant Community Dev. Director
Sara SilvaStaff Assistant
VACANTAssociate Planner
VACANTAssistant Planner
Virgilio AnguianoBuilding Inspector 
Patsy RobinsonPermit Center Technician 
Lizzie RodriguezSecretarial Assistant
Anna GarciaCode Enforcement Officer
Arturo LeyCode Enforcement Officer – Temp
Jasmin VasquezCode Enforcement Clerical Assistant

Zoning Code and Map Update

The city of El Centro is preparing an update to the Zoning Code (Chapter 29 of El Centro Code of Ordinances) and the Zoning Map to implement the goals and policies of the General Plan 2040 update, adopted in June 2021, and the Housing Element update adopted in February 2022. This webpage will be continually updated as the project progress.

Yard Sale Permits

Effective September 1, 2020, the City of El Centro will now be issuing Yard Sales Permits and enforcing citations to those who do not have a permit. 

Garage Sale Ordinance – Effective July 5th, it is mandatory to obtain a City permit prior to conducting a garage/yard sale.  A violation of the ordinance will result in an infraction and will be enforced through the administrative citation process.  The first citation will have a fine of $100.  

As of January 20, 2023 the City of El Centro has approved a new ordinance with changes regarding garage sales.

  • Residents are still required to obtain a permit to hold a garage sale. The permit is free of charge.
  • No more than one (1) permit will be issued to the same person or for the same address within any calendar month. You can have 12 garage sales a year.
  • Garage sales may take place over two (2) consecutive days.
  • Signs advertising a garage sale shall not be posted on public property, public right-of-way, utility poles, or street sign poles.
  • Sale of items purchased for the purpose of resale are prohibited. Other restrictions apply.

Frequently Asked Questions.

What is a violation?

Code Enforcement administers an enforcement program that investigates and corrects violations of the City’s Municipal Codes that govern the use and maintenance of private, residential property and commericial property. Code Enforcement also investigates and conducts inspections involving vehicle abatement, blight and nuisance, weed abatement, unsafe, illegal or unlicensed construction or conversions, and illegal dumping.

Here are examples of some of the code violations that we investigate:

Parking in yards

Vehicles may not be parked on the lawn or dirt. Vehicles can be parked in your driveway if they are licensed and operational.

Weeds and overgrown vegetation

Dead, decayed or diseased weeds, shrubs or brush…overgrown vegetation likely to harbor rats, mice or other vermin.

Lot abatement

Vacant lots are to be free of trash, debris and dry vegetation.

Trash and Debris

Lumber, reuse, abandoned, discarded or unused objects or equipment such as furniture and appliances, cannot be visible from the public right-of-way nor be stored as to constitute a health or safety hazard.

What is not a violation?

Code Enforcement does not handle neighbor disputes or civil problems involving one individual against another that do not violate public law. Examples of civil issues are: fencing repair disputes; overhanging tree branches (when one neighbor’s trees or plants drop leaves, debris or cause damage to another’s property); enforcement of private conditions, convenants and restrictions.

Enforcement Options:

If a code violations occurs, the following are options Code Enforcement Officer may use to ensure compliance:Notice of violations, correction notices, inspection notices and order, summary abatement, citations, inspection and abatement warrants, and warnings.

Twelve Ways to Improve Your Neigborhood Right Now.

  1. Report crime promptly
  2. Report nuisances and other non-criminal problems promptly
  3. Take away the opportunity for crime.
  4. Meet the youth who live on your block and know them by name.
  5. Make a list of the names and phone numbers of every neighbor on your block.
  6. Make a list of landlords in your areas as well.
  7. Turn your porch light on.8. Walk around the block.
  8. Drive slowly on neighborhood streets.
  9. Pick up the litter near your home, even if you didn’t put it there.
  10. Help your neighborhood association or similar groups.

Bids & Proposals

Housing Element Update 2021-2029

The City of El Centro is requesting proposals from consultants who are qualified to prepare an update to the City of El Centro (“City”) Housing Element of the General Plan for the 2021- 2029 planning period. The selected consultant shall review the existing Housing Element and shall revise the document to reflect current conditions, City policies, and methods to meet the housing requirements mandated by the State of California. 

Under the direction of the Director of Community Development, the consultant will prepare the updated Housing Element and associated environmental document. The consultant will provide a range of services as necessary to carry out the needs and requests of the City, including the facilitation of public meetings, development of public outreach strategies, and development of a community-wide survey tool. 


Enviornmental Assessment Committee

The Enviornmental Assessment Committee (EAC) consisting of the Community Development Director, City Manager, Director of Public Works/City Engineer, Police Chief, Fire Chief, and Building Official, or their designee conduct an initial study on all projects that are not exempt from CEQA and assess the enviornmental impacts associated with a project.

Administrative Committee

The Administrative Committee (AC) consists of the Community Development Director, City Manager, Director of Public Works/City Engineer, Police Chief, Fire Chief, and Building Official, or their designee. The AC assists the Community Development Director, Planning Commission, and City Council to better expedite certain administrative reviews as established by the Council. It is also established to function as a board of zoning adjustment in maters regarding administrative variances.

The Administrative Committee and the Environmental Assessment Committee meet on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month at 9:00 a.m. in the Economic Development Large Conference Room, 1249 W. Main Street. Agendas are mailed to applicants the Friday before the meeting date and are posted at City Hall and on the City’s website.

Monthly Project Report

To view the monthly project report for the Community Development Department – Planning & Zoning Division please choose from the list below. Monthly reports are posted for the previous completed month and will be posted the 10th of every month for your viewing.

If you have any questions regarding any of the projects, please do not hesitate to contact the respective City Planner at your convenience.

Current Monthly Project Report:

MAY 2021

Planning Documents

General Plan

Every city and county in California is required to adopt a comprehensive plan of their physical development. The General Plan is a set of long-term goals and policies that decision makers will use to guide growth and development and address the community’s goals. The plan is divided into various elements that include the Land Use Element, Circulation Element, Housing Element, Conservation Element, Open Space Element, Noise Element, Safety Element, and any additional topics of local significance. Each of these elements detail policies and programs to achieve the established goals. The City of El Centro’s current General Plan was adopted in 2004. The Housing Element is required to be updated every eight years and was last updated in 2021. Please click on the bold titles below to open the link for each General Plan element:

Cover and Introduction – Contains an overview of the General Plan and community vision.

Land Use Element – Designates the proposed general distribution, general location and extent of uses of land within the city focusing on preserving established land uses and accommodating the future growth and physical development of the community.

Circulation Element – Provides an overall guidance to satisfy the local circulation needs of our residents, visitors and businesses. It coordinates with the Land Use Element and future land use patterns to address connectivity that serve vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians to improve the balance between environmental concerns and the City’s objectives for mobility and safety.

Housing-Element Addresses the production, preservation and improvement of housing in the community. The Housing Element analyzes existing and future housing needs and the various constraints to meeting those needs. In addition, it identifies land, financial and administrative resources for housing and sets forth goals and policies by establishing and implementing housing programs to meet the community’s housing needs.

Conservation / Open Space – Establishes a comprehensive and long-range conservation plan for of local resources such as agricultural land, deserts, water, air quality and energy and other open space area. This element of the General Plan also provides guidance related to the protection of habitat/wildlife resources and provides policy direction for parks and open space areas with an overall goal of maintaining quality of life.

Noise – Ensures that considerations of noise are incorporated into the land use planning and decision-making process. Identifies the major noise sources in the city and contains goals and policies to protect citizens from excessive noise exposure. The Noise Element is consistent with applicable state and local noise standards and guidelines to control noise exposure and promote land use compatibility with the noise environment.

Safety – Provides a strategy for City Staff, residents, developers, and business owners to effectively address natural and man-made hazards, including seismic and geological issues, flood hazards, fire hazards and disaster preparedness, response and recovery. The policies and action items provide the community with a primary goal to create a community that is minimally at risk and that responds quickly, effectively, and efficiently to hazards.

Economic Development – Provides an opportunity for El Centro to strategically position the City to resume growth by taking advantage of the larger globalization forces that are shaping the economy of Southern California and the U.S. Mexico border area.

Public Facilities – Ensures that sufficient levels of public services are provided as El Centro develops. It addresses several public services including Parks and Recreation, Education, Police, Cultural, Civic, Fire, Water, and Sewer services.


Active Transportation and Safe Routes to School Plan

The Active Transportation and Safe Routes to School Plan (ATP/SR2S) was adopted by the El Centro City Council in February 2019. Please click on the underlined text to open each respective section of the ATP/SR2S.

Vision 2050 Strategic Plan

The Vision 2050 Strategic Plan identifies broad goals and objectives that will achieve the community’s vision. The Plan is a blueprint for community leaders, City Staff, and the community at large with the overarching purpose of creating positive change within the community.

Service Area Plan 2016

The 2016 Service Area Plan (SAP) outlines the City’s existing public services and facilities, estimates the current and anticipated demand for such facilities and services, and describes how necessary facilities and services will or may be developed and extended to meet demands. The SAP is intended to demonstrate the City’s intent and ability to provide adequate services to the sphere of influence boundaries at the time of annexation. An approximately 10-year planning horizon is used to forecast growth, and the estimated demands and provisions to meet demands are based on population projections for 2025.

Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan

The Parks and Recreation Master Plan (Master Plan) serves as a guide to the future development and improvement of parks and recreational facilties in the City of El Centro.

Environmental Documents

Pursuant to Article 13, Sections 15200 through 15206 of the California Enviornmental Quality Act (CEQA) public agencies are required to provide a public review period in order to receive and evaluate public reactions to enviornmental issues related to proposed public and private projects. The following project(s) and environmental documents listed below are available for public review.

Draft Mitigated Negative Declaration For Town Center Village Phase Iv Infill Apartment Project

The project would result in development of an approximately 11.6-acre portion of the larger 19.3-acre subject property; the remainder of the site (approximately 7.7 acres) is not proposed for development as part of the project and would remain in its current state. The project proposes development of a 180-unit apartment complex at a density of 15.6 dwelling units per acre. A mixture of unit types would be provided within 15 individual buildings. A total of 60 one-bedroom units  and 120 two-bedroom units are proposed.  Proposed amenities include common open space areas, a private dog park, and a private clubhouse with an outdoor pool/hot tub and barbecue/fire pit with outdoor seating. The project would require a General Plan Amendment to change the existing General Plan land use designation on the portion of the site proposed for development from General Commercial to High Density Residential. The project would also rezone the same portion of the property from CG-General Commercial to R3-Multiple Family Residential. The existing General Commercial land use designation and CG-Commercial zoning would continue to apply to the remainder of the property (approximately 7.7 acres), which is proposed to be subdivided to allow for future commercial development (not proposed for development at this time). 

Draft Mitigated Negative Declaration For The Monte Vista Regional Soccer And Wellness Park Project

The proposed project would develop 63 acres consisting of 13 full-size soccer fields, two youth soccer fields, a wellness loop, restrooms, a field house, a ticket booth, a dining area, a recreational area, and a future sustainable organic farm/orchard as displayed in Figure 4, Project Site Plan. The existing ICOE West is located on the northeast portion of the parcel and would provide 96 (11 Americans with Disabilities Act [ADA]) shared parking stalls for use by the soccer complex project. South of the ICOE, the Future Imperial Valley Center for Exceptional Children (IVCEC) would provide 277 (20 ADA) shared parking stalls. Additionally, the project proposes 331 parking stalls (11 ADA) south of the drop-off area and north of the field house.



Draft Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR)
General Plan Update

 The City is undertaking updates to the Land Use Element and Mobility Element of its General Plan and the creation of a new Environmental Justice Element. The General Plan was last updated in 2004. The updates are being funded by a grant from the Sustainable Communities Program administered by the California Department of Transportation. The intent of the updates is to improve sustainability, promote public health, and anticipate future advancements in transportation technology.   NOP Scoping Meeting: The City will hold a scoping meeting in conjunction with this NOP to present the project and the PEIR process and to provide an opportunity for agency representatives and the public to assist the lead agency in determining the scope and content of the environmental analysis for the PEIR. 

Thursday, July 30, 2020, at 11:00 a.m.
El Centro City Council Chambers
1275 W. Main Street
El Centro, California 92243
Zoom URL:

Mitigated Negative Declaration 19-01 for the South Dogwood Annexation Project

The project consists of the annexation of approximately 67.78 gross acres of unincorporated lands to theCity, a General Plan Amendment (GPA) and Pre-zone.  The project site consists of fourteen (14) parcels generally located along the west side of Dogwood Avenue, from Dannenberg Drive to 660 feet north of McCabe Road.  No specific development is proposed at this time; however, any future development will require certain infrastructure improvements and design features to meet regulatory requirements. 

Mitigated Negative Declaration

Draft Initial Study/Negative Declaration 19-02 for Tentative Parcel Map 19-04

The project consists of the subdivision of 0.75 acres of land that is currently zoned R1- Single-Family Use. The project would divide three existing lots to create an additional fourth lot and eventually have a single-family home on each lot. The project is located at the northwest corner of N. 12th Street and El Dorado Avenue in El Centro, CA and is further identified by Assessor’s Parcel Numbers 044-251-029, 044-251-030, and 044-251-031.

Initial Study and Negative Declaration 19-02

Draft Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration 17-02

Dogwood Road at Villa Avenue 330 AC Site
Annexation EC 17-02, GPA 17-02, COZ 17-02

The project consists of 330 acres of land located at the southeast corner of Dogwood Road and Villa Avenue in an unincorporated area of Imperial County adjacent to the City of El Centro.  The project would annex the site into the City of El Centro, pre-zone the site from County A2U (General Agriculture-Urban Area) to City General Manufacturing, and amend the General Plan to designate the site from Planned Industrial/Low Density Residential uses to General Manufacturing uses.  No specific development is proposed at this time, but future development at the site is anticipated to include infrastructure improvements and design features in order to meet regulatory requirements and provide sufficient infrastructure to serve the future development.

Imperial Avenue Extension Project

The project consists of the extension of Imperial Avenue from I-8 to McCabe Road. The proposed 1.36­ mile roadway extension would function as a 4-lane divided arterial (with left turn lane) from I-8 to Wake Avenue, a 2-lane arterial (with left turn lane) from Wake Avenue to Valleyview Avenue and a 2-lane arterial (without left turn lane) from Valleyview Avenue to McCabe Road. The project would introduce a median varying in width from 12 to 14 feet between I-8 and Danenberg Drive, and then consistently 12 feet in width from Danenberg Drive to McCabe Road. The project would construct a 5.5-foot sidewalk along the entire length of the eastern project boundary and would introduce native backing on both sides of the proposed roadway.

Mitigated Negative Declaration

ICOE Annexation

 The project consists of the annexation of approximately 80 acres of land and a Pre-Zone from County A2 (General Agriculture) to LU (Limited Use). A concurrent general plan amendment to change the land use designation from County Agriculture to Public Use is also proposed. The project consists of the construction of a 21,685-square foot administration building for the use of the Imperial County Office of Education. The project is located at the southwest corner of McCabe Road and Sperber Road and is further identified by Assessor’s Parcel Number 054-510-001.

Draft Mitigated Negative Declaration

Council Meeting
New Public Library
Community Newsletter : Spring 2022