Marcela Escobar


Marcela Escobar has more than 30 years of experience in the land use and development field with various government agencies and elected officials.

Ms. Escobar has broad experience in the administration of controversial land use, redevelopment and construction management issues, as well as extensive experience with managing staff, community issues and complex budgets.

In her role as Director for the Development Services Department for the City of San Diego, she oversaw all operations of a complex, regulatory department with a $68.9 million dollar budget and 655 budgeted staff. The department was responsible for the review of all development submissions for building code and life safety requirements providing permit and development information, reviewing development plans for compliance with development regulations as well as redevelopment and coastal standards, issuing permits, conducting inspections and resolving code compliance issues.

Ms. Escobar also served as a Chief Deputy Director in Development Services overseeing Project Management, and serving as Redevelopment Project Director for the Naval Training Center in the City of San Diego’s Planning Department. She served as the lead negotiator on this $500 million redevelopment project which required high level collaborations with State and Federal organizations.

Ms. Escobar holds a Bachelor of Science degree in landscape architecture with an emphasis in urban and regional planning from the University of California at Davis. Her career with the City of San Diego began as a planner, and she also held the positions of Council Liaison for the office of the City Manager; private development manager and fiscal development manager for the Community and Economic Development Department. She served as the Planning Director for the City of Carlsbad from September 2005 through September 2006, overseeing daily operations and the implementation of the General Plan, Growth Management Plan, Local Coastal Program, Habitat Management Plan and the California Environmental Quality Act.

Ms. Escobar is fluent in Spanish and a trained and seasoned mediator, with extensive experience in conflict resolution. She is also certified by the National Charrette Institute as a Complete Charrette Manager.

Contact Info

Marcela Escobar

(619) 523-1930

2488 Historic Decatur Rd, Ste. 220
San Diego, CA 92106


  • American Planning Association (APA)
  • Building Industry Association (BIA) –  Board of Directors – Past Member
  • Circulate San Diego (Formerly Move San Diego) – Past Chair
  • City of San Diego Climate Action Plan Implementation Working Group – Past Member
  • Lambda Alpha International (LAI) – The Honorary Society for the Advancement of Land Economics
  • San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce – Public Policy Committee
  • South Bay Wildlife Advisory Group – South County Economic Development Council Appointee – Past Member
  • YMCA of San Diego County – Past Boardmember
  • City of San Diego Code Monitoring Team – Past Chair
  • San Diego Fire Rescue Foundation – Board of Directors


  • San Diego Power Women 2015
  • 2013 Outstanding Emerging Business Award – San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • 2013 Honoree “50 People to Watch” San Diego Magazine
  • Cox Conserves Heros – 2010 Finalist
  • San Diego Business Journal – Women Who Mean Business Nominee
  • American Society of Landscape Architects – Merit Award City of San Diego Landscape Regulations
  • San Diego Business Journal – 2022 SD 500 – The Most Infuential People in San Diego