Code Enforcement

Mission

To 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 Enforcement

Multiple 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 Goal

The 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 

Under the Additional Resources heading below you will find information about other city departments and what their code enforcement teams commonly take enforcement action on.  

Additional Resources

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
    • The best way to get shopping carts removed from neighborhoods is to contact the store to which the shopping cart belongs. You can find phone numbers for those store on our reference guide. In addition, All American Carts is a shopping cart retrieval service that may be contacted at 408-629-6030. 
  • 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:

  • Door to door solicitation without a permit
  • Illegal street vendors
  • Barking dogs
  • Vehicles illegally parked on public streets 

for abandoned vehicles and graffiti:

  • Abandoned vehicles
    • To report vehicle(s) that are believed to be abandoned, an Abandoned Vehicle Hotline is available 24 hours a day by calling (408) 615-4778, or completing an online form.
  • Graffiti 
    • 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.

Santa Clara County Vector Control District is charged with providing vector control per California Health and Safety and California Government Codes. Funding for District work comes from a county-wide property tax assessment.

Santa Clara County is home to many animals and insects, capable of causing discomfort to the public and potential illness or injury. The District offers a variety of services and education to help the public protect themselves from animals and insects which can be harmful to human health. The public can electronically place a service request or call (408- 918-4770) the District for an onsite consultation for rodent, wildlife and mosquito problems in Santa Clara County. Service technicians usually respond within 2-3 business days from receipt of request.  

Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority (SVACA) manages animal adoptions, lost animals, licensing, cruelty investigations, veterinary services and wildlife issues. If you would like to report an animal issue, contact SVACA at 408-764-0344, or use the online reporting process for non-urgent matters.

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. All of the aforementioned notification methods are official requests.  
  • Step 3:  If the violation has not been re-mediated within the given timeline, an administrative citation or fine will be issued. 

Contact Us

A 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
Phone: 408-615-2460
E-mail: planning@santaclaraca.gov 

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