The City of Merced’s Development Services Department provides services associated with affordable housing, growth, and development in the City of Merced. The Development Services Department is made up of three divisions:

The Development Services Department is located on the 2nd floor of the Merced Civic Center at 678 West 18th Street. Our counter hours are 10:00 a.m. - noon and 1:00-5:00 p.m. You may reach us by phone during business hours (10:00 a.m. - noon and 1:00-5:00 p.m.).

Mission Statement

Development Services plans for the orderly growth of the City, consistent with the goals and objectives of the community's General Plan. The Development Services team strives to process projects quickly and efficiently consistent with the public's interest and safety in mind. Development Services staff are responsible for many of the City's goals related to our quality of life.

Department Responsibilities

The Planning Division writes and updates the City's General Plan and Master - Specific Plans. Staff reviews all proposed private development projects for zoning compliance; processes land division applications, and processes all environmental assessments and reports. The Division has primary responsibility for ensuring compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The Division also updates the City’s Zoning Ordinance and periodically assists with updates to the City’s Public Facility Financing Plan.

The Building – Inspection Division regulates building and associated construction activities to protect public health, safety and welfare pursuant to uniform construction codes. The staff's activities include building plan review and inspection during construction.

The City of Merced Housing Division oversees several grants to help improve the housing quality within the City of Merced. In addition, mini-grants are provided annually to those non-profit organizations that provide programs pertaining to the Housing Division's Annual Report Goals.

Primary Funding is from the Federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) Funds. The Housing Division administers CDBG and HOME funds in order to increase the supply of safe, decent, and affordable housing. These programs can include housing purchase or rehabilitation loans to local residents.

The Housing Division is also involved in community development and neighborhood revitalization. HOME funds can only be used for housing activities, while CDBG can be used for broader community development purposes within established guidelines. Community Activities selected are designed to reflect Annual Plan Goals and may include public service, neighborhood restoration and renovation.

Director’s Responsibilities

The Director of Development Services is responsible for the management of all operations of the Business Processing Center. This includes all Current and Advance Planning, maintenance of the General Plan, Specific - Master Plans, and also acts as the Secretary to the Planning Commission. The Director is responsible for the management of the Building - Inspection Division which processes and checks all plans for compliance with the building codes, processes all building permits, and inspects all buildings. The Director is responsible for creating a business friendly responsive staff, which is essential to the business community, while improving the quality of life for the citizens of our City. The Director is also responsible for the implementation of the Housing Programs.

Scott McBride
Director of Development Services