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Open Space Parks

Open Space Parks Brush Management Program

Brush Management

Of the 26,282 total acres of open space managed by the Park and Recreation Department's Open Space Division, approximately 904 acres are located within 100 feet of structures. Among other duties related to open space land management, the Open Space Division is responsible for conducting brush management (vegetation thinning) on city owned open space adjacent to privately-owned lots which are developed with "previously conforming" (legal) structures built prior to establishment of the city's first brush management regulations in 1989.

The Open Space Division conducts brush management in accordance with Section 142.0412 of the San Diego Municipal Code and the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department's Canyon Fire Safety guidelines and policies related to brush management.

Specifically, the Open Space Division will thin brush on city property only within 100 horizontal feet of a previously conforming structure unless a site-specific report, which indicates that a greater distance is necessary, is approved by the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (per SDMC Section 142.0412(i) or a previously recorded entitlement requires a width more or less than the standard 100 feet. In no case shall new development (new structures or additions to existing structures) qualify for additional brush management on city open space beyond the 100 feet associated with a previously conforming structure. View the following environmental documents for the work.

More information can be found under Development Services' Brush Management and Building Fire Safety Regulations.

The Open Space Division schedules brush management based on a prioritization of all City lands, from highest to lowest, by the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department as part of the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department's update of the City's Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone (VHFHSZ) Map. Currently all the Open Space Division managed property inside and outside the VHFHSZ has been prioritized as listed below (Priority Areas 1-20).

Priority Area Maps and Schedules

How can you help the Division?

Due to limited public access between city streets and brush management locations, crews often need to haul deadwood and cut brush more than 300 feet across steep slopes in order to haul it away. By offering crews access through your property, you can make the brush management program more efficient. If you would like to offer this access, please complete the City of San Diego/Homeowner Brush Management Access Agreement and send it to:

Brush Management Schedule Coordinator
202 C Street, MS 5D
San Diego, CA 92101

Can you conduct brush management on Division managed lands?

You or your contractor may also thin brush on city property behind your property by obtaining a Right of Entry permit. To obtain a permit, please fill out and submit this Right of Entry Request. A blank Right of Entry Permit will be sent to you for signature and is not valid until also executed by the City.

For questions, please call (619) 685-1313, or via email use our My Parks form and choose "Brush Management" for the subject.