MissionTo improve, protect, and maintain a healthy, safe, and clean environment, and preserve the quality of life standards that residents and businesses enjoy in our community by gaining voluntary compliance through the education and enforcement of the City’s codes.
About Code EnforcementMultiple departments within the City have their own Code Enforcement teams, all who are committed to working with residents and businesses in a manner that is both professional and most effective. Code Enforcement works to improve the quality of life in the City of Santa Clara’s neighborhoods through awareness, education and enforcement of the City's codes. Code Enforcement exists not to punish individual property owners, but to maintain the greater good of the community by achieving compliance with the City's adopted codes.
Our GoalThe goal of the Planning Division Code Enforcement team is to maintain and improve the quality of life in the community by administering a fair and unbiased enforcement program to correct code violations. To achieve this, our efforts focus on informing, educating, and providing a reasonable opportunity for voluntary compliance.
Services - What We do
The Planning Division Code Enforcement team responds to concerns about possible code violations occurring on private property. We work with reported violations of a variety of codes and ordinances. The Planning Division Code Enforcement team commonly responds to your concerns about:
- Private property maintenance
- Overgrown vegetation
- Indoor furniture outside
- Makeshift Tarps in back, front, & side yards
- Car canopy front yard
- Garbage - illegal dumping on private property
- Trash Containers – maintenance & location
- Cars Parked on landscape areas
- Vehicles illegally parked on private property
- Home Based Business complaints
- Construction noise (Weekdays and Saturdays before 7 am or after 6 pm; Sundays or Holidays)
- Illegal signage (inflatables, sail flags, A-Frames, etc.)
- Unpermitted signs on private property
As there are many types of codes, code enforcement is a responsibility shared by staff of several departments in the City of Santa Clara. The following provides information about what other City departments take action on and how to contact those departments.
Department of Public Works is responsible for the maintenance of public streets, sidewalks, curbs, storm drains, street trees, medians and traffic signs/markings. For violations in these areas, and such as the ones listed below, please contact (408) 615-3080.
- Shopping carts - abandoned
- Storm drains - illicit discharge or illegal dumping
- Street trees - trimming or removal Trees - Public Right of Way
Fire Prevention/Hazardous Materials Division is responsible for fire code enforcement. Please contact them at (408) 615-4970 for fire code violations such as,
- Odors, chemicals, smoke
- Smoking complaints
- Weed abatement or dry overgrown weeds
Police Department oversees violations of the vehicle and penal codes. Please contact them at (408) 615-5580 for violations such as,
- Barking dogs, poisoning of animals, possession of fighting animals
- Door to door solicitation without a permit
- Abandoned vehicles
- Vehicles illegally parked on public streets
- Illegal street vendors
The Police Department also oversees the Graffiti Eradication Program. Instances of graffiti can be reported online through Santa Clara Police Department's online report service or by telephone on the Graffiti Hotline 24 hour number at (408) 241-9495.
Building Department is responsible for the design, construction, and use and occupancy of all buildings under its jurisdiction in the City of Santa Clara. For violations in these areas, such as the ones listed below, please contact them at (408)-615-2440.
- Dangerous or substandard buildings
- Illegal construction, illegal remodeling without a permit
- Residential, commercial and industrial buildings
- Enforcement of state mandated laws
Housing & Community Services Division is responsible for the development and monitoring of affordable housing, and administration of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) dollars which fund public services and programs that assist the City’s low-income population. For more information on programs, such as the ones listed below, please contact them at (408) 615-2490.
- Neighborhood Conservation & Improvement Program (NCIP) assists low-income homeowners with minor to major home repairs to maintain a safe, sanitary, and affordable home.
- Supporting local non-profit agencies that assist with landlord and tenant mediation and fair housing issues.
- Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) for homeless families provides rental subsidies and deposit assistance.
Code Enforcement Procedure
In many cases, the individual responsible for the code violation is given the opportunity to voluntarily correct the situation and comply with current codes without a penalty. If the correction is not made, then the individual may be subject to fines and other penalties. Fines vary per type of violation and are set forth by the City Council in the Administrative Penalty Schedule (Resolution No. 16-8325). The typical process for the enforcement of codes is as follows:
- Step 1: A City staff member will ascertain if a code violation exists.
- Step 2: City Staff will request remediation of the code violation, by leaving a door tag with the violation identified, or an in person verbal request, or a mailed letter with the violation identified.
- Step 3: If the violation has not been re-mediated within the given timeline, an administrative citation or fine will be issued.
Contact UsA complaint about a possible code violation can be made by using the MySantaClara mobile app on your smartphone or the City’s website. Complaints may also be submitted via letter, telephone, email, or in person. Please be prepared with specific information, such as the address of the property, and a detailed description of the violation. Complaints may be made anonymously; however, we encourage reporting parties to provide contact information in order to provide updates.
Community Development Department | Planning Division | Code Enforcement
1500 Warburton Avenue | Santa Clara, CA 95050