Planning and Development Services Overview

Fiscal Year 2022/23

Mission Statement

To protect the health, safety, and welfare of residents and visitors and enhance the quality of life in Tucson through professional planning, site and building review, and inspection services. To ensure Tucson is a sustainable, well-designed, and prosperous community with a business-friendly environment.


The following programs are included in this department:

Staffing By Program

*Full Time Equivalent Employee (FTE)

Budget By Program

Department Expenses

Budget By Expense Category

Budget By Funding Source

Significant Changes

The adopted budget for Fiscal Year 2022/23 of $ 8,918,460 reflects an increase of $223,790 from the Fiscal Year 2021/22 Adopted Budget. Major changes include the following:

  • Increase in salary and benefits budget by $64,410
  • Increase in services budget by $159,380


Planning and Development Services has observed record-breaking development in Fiscal Year 2020/21. Development has not slowed down during the pandemic, Tucson has remained a strong market for new housing and development activity. While working remotely, the Department processed 9,724 applications in Fiscal Year 2020/22 and issued 1,063 permits with construction valuation of $860 million, the highest level in the past 10 years.


Accomplishments are listed out in the following:

Opening of the Tucson Development Center - renovation completed to create a one-stop-shop for customer assistance and inter-departmental collaboration. All permit applications are now submitted digitally - with options for in-person assistance at the Tucson Development Center. PDSD increased the use of remote video inspections because of COVID-19, helping conserve city resources and improving efficiency for customers.

SolarApp - online application for same-day permitting for rooftop solar. This collaborative effort with Pima County and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) promotes solar adoption and has been nationally recognized. In the first 60 days after the launch, 450 applications were processed.

Code modernization - the Unified Development Code was updated to modernize the sign code; allow adult use marijuana dispensaries as permitted by voter approved initiative; and consolidate development fees from multiple departments into a more transparent fee table

Transit-Oriented Infill Development - adoption of the Sunshine Mile District on Broadway will promote mixed-use development, affordable housing, historic preservation and adaptive reuse, and more mobility options

Future Objectives

Future objectives are listed out in the following:

PDSD 2024 - Study of department operations to identify policies, programs, technology, and personnel to streamline processes and right-size staffing, building on ongoing, continuous process improvements. Develop hybrid work model to promote a more adaptable and efficient office environment. Examine development fees to keep pace with inflation and cost of service.

Launch of new permit system at end of year 2021 - will improve online permitting capabilities and provide greater transparency to customers. This system will more seamlessly integrate submissions, review, payment, and issuance of permits. Over 200 staff in multiple departments will undergo training to successfully adopt this new system.

Update of Plan Tucson by year 2025 - this effort will involve extensive community engagement to identify long-range goals and opportunities and develop General Plan policies to support community objectives

Adoption of climate-resilient development practices - with Mayor and Council's Climate Emergency Declaration, PDSD has implemented new policies such as EV-ready requirements for new homes and will continue to pursue policies to support climate-resilient development

Meeting the demand for housing - our community is seeing increased demand for housing and faces a shortage of affordable housing, as identified by the recent Housing Study. PDSD is currently developing a code amendment to allow Accessory Dwelling Units, one tool to promote affordable housing options and multigenerational housing

Planning for inclusive growth - develop overlays and neighborhood plans to promote equitable transit-oriented development, job centers, housing, and a mix of uses in key opportunity areas such as Menlo Park, the Santa Cruz area, Oracle and S 6th, and others.