- How does the Code Enforcement Process work?
The process may begin with either a complaint filed by a resident or business or by City Staff observing a problem through the City’s Code Enforcement program. The City has a Code Enforcement Officer whose responsibility is to investigate complaints of property maintenance and Municipal Code violations. The City’s Code Enforcement Officer also periodically patrols the City proactively to ensure compliance with the City’s property maintenance and Municipal Code provisions. Most often, a code enforcement action is initiated through a complaint filed by a resident or business.
After a complaint is received, an inspection is made to determine the validity, nature, and extent of the concern. If a Code violation is observed, the property owner is informed and given an opportunity to bring the property into compliance. If corrective action is not completed in a reasonable manner or time and after repeated attempts on the part of the Code Enforcement Officer to resolve the issue(s) the City may, as a last resort issue an Administrative Citation or file a criminal complaint with the City Prosecutor’s office. However, the primary goal is to resolve the code violation through voluntary compliance and the vast majority of cases are resolved in this manner.
- What is an Administrative Citation?An administrative citation is similar to a parking ticket in that appearance before a judge or magistrate is not required. Fines are significant and are $100.00, $200.00, and $500.00 respectively for the first, second, third and continuing violations. Payment of administrative fines must be made to the City within 15 calendar days.
- What are the City's requirements for noise control and how can I make a complaint about noise?Noise in residential areas is restricted by time of day, as well as the intensity level and duration of the noise event. The noise ordinance is designed to address recurring noise sources such as pool pumps/motors, air conditioning units, and other stationary noise sources. For noise sources such as loud parties, vehicles, or music please contact the Los Alamitos Police Department at (562) 431-2255.
- What are the allowable hours for maintenance of real property?
The City’s Noise Ordinance prohibits the operation of motorized landscaping equipment before 8:00 a.m. and after 8:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Operation of such equipment is prohibited on Sunday and Federal Holidays.
Construction related noise is allowed from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and prohibited on Sunday and Federal holidays.
- Can I keep my portable basketball backstop on the sidewalk or in the street?No. Privately owned sporting equipment such as basketball backboard structures, hockey nets, skateboard ramps and similar items may not be permanently left in the “public right-of-way”. The public right-of-way includes the street, sidewalk, parkway, driveway apron, and alleys. Residents are asked to put these items back on their private property once they are done using them so that street sweepers and other equipment may access the area.
- What regulations apply to the storage and placement of trash cans?Trash containers may not be placed at the point of pickup before 6:00 p.m. on the day preceding pickup and must be removed before 1:00 a.m. on the day following pickup. Additionally, trash cans must be stored in an area not visible from the public right-of-way.
- How do I dispose of large or bulky items, such as a water heater, sofa or appliance?Residents may request that two bulky items per year be picked up by Consolidated Disposal. To arrange for a bulky item pick-up, residents can contact Consolidated directly at (800) 299-4898. Large items are generally picked-up on Thursdays, so discarded items should not be placed on the parkway for removal until the evening prior to the scheduled pick-up.
- Branches and limbs from my neighbor’s tree are growing over my property. Can the City require them to be cut?No. Peaceful resolution of issues in civil matters is encouraged. Please refer to the City’s Municipal Code Section, 17.14.070 (B1) for additional information. The Code can be accessed online by visiting: http://qcode.us/codes/losalamitos/.
- Do I need a permit for a garage sale?
No. Estate, garage, or yard sale events are allowed without a permit so long that no more than three events are held within a twelve (12) month period and each event is for no longer than three consecutive days.
- Is there a limit to the number of dogs/cats that I may have?Except in the instance of an animal shop as provided in Section 6.16.060, no person shall keep or maintain more than three licensed dogs and three cats, over the age of four months, on any lot or parcel of land within the city unless first obtaining a permit therefore. Such permit shall be required in addition to tags or other licenses which may be required by this title. The director may issue a permit for the keeping of four or more dogs or cats in his or her discretion, giving particular concern to the safety and comfort of such animals and the inhabitants of the neighborhood. The permit shall specify the number and types of animals authorized to be kept there under and may contain conditions as deemed necessary by the director. Such permit shall be nontransferable and must be renewed annually. Permit fees shall be established by contract with the city of Long Beach or otherwise set by resolution of the city council. (Ord. 647 § 3 (part), 2001)
- Can I park my motorhome on the street in front of my residence?Yes, with proper permits. No person shall park any vehicle of twenty-two (22) feet or more in length, or any recreational item, upon any street or alley between the hours of two a.m. and six a.m. (Ord. 502 § 3, 1987). Please contact the Police Department for additional information, (562) 431-2255.
- Out-of-town visitors are coming and would like to park their RV on the street. Is this permissible?There is no overnight sleeping allowed in RV parked on the street. The Police Department may issue a temporary permit for overnight parking for oversized vehicles owned by visitors or house guests temporarily visiting in the city. Please contact the Police Department for additional information, (562) 431-2255.
- I recently purchased an RV and have not yet obtained a space in a storage facility. May I park it on the street temporarily?Yes. The Police Department issues temporary permits for vehicles that belong to residents or that are newly purchased and who are in the process of arranging suitable permanent parking/storage. Such permits are valid for a maximum of thirty (30) days. Please contact the Police Department for additional information, (562) 431-2255.
- Can I park vehicles on the front lawn area of my home?No. The City’s Municipal Code prohibits parking vehicles on lawns, landscaped areas, and other unpaved surfaces. A Notice of Violation will be issued. If the violation is not corrected, you will be subject to the issuance of Administrative Citation with a fine of $100.00, $200.00 and $500.00 for the first, second, and continuing violation thereafter.
- Who can I call regarding a barking dog nuisance?The City of Los Alamitos contracts for animal control services with the City of Long Beach. Complaints or inquiries may be made directly to Animal Control at (714) 935-6848.
- Who can I call regarding rats, mosquitoes, or flies?The City of Los Alamitos contracts with the County of Orange for Vector Control services. Vector control may be contacted directly at (714) 971-2421.
- I operate a business in the City of Los Alamitos. Can I post a temporary sign or banner in front of my business?Yes, however a “Temporary Sign Permit” (TUP) is required. For additional information, please contact the Planning Department (562) 431-3538, ext. 302.
- Can I operate a “home-based business” from my residence?Yes, the City does allow “home-occupations” to be operated from residences subject to operators obtaining a “Home Occupation Permit”, a business tax certificate, and complying with various regulatory conditions. Home occupation permits business tax certificates may be obtained at the City’s Development Services Department. Additional information can be found on the City’s website here: http://cityoflosalamitos.org/?page_id=65.
- What can I do if I believe something is in violation of the City Code?
The Code Enforcement Division responds to complaints of violation of the City’s Municipal Code and Zoning Ordinance. You may contact the City’s Code Enforcement Officer at (562) 431-3538 to discuss matters relating to Code violations, learn what issues or conditions constitute a violation of the City’s codes, and request further investigation by the Code Enforcement Officer.
- Do I have to identify myself in order to lodge a code enforcement complaint?No. The City of Los Alamitos routinely accepts anonymous complaints, investigates, and resolves such complaints in the same manner as concerns raised by identified complainants.
- What is required if I would like to fly a drone?
Drones are also known as Unmanned Aircraft Systems, or UAS. The Federal Aviation Administration has a website concerning the subject of drones, including information and education on their website at https://www.faa.gov/uas/. If you have drone-related questions about the local ordinances and guidelines, please call Steven Mendoza at 562-431-3538 x300.
- The information I'm looking for is not here. How can I contact the Code Enforcement Division? Code enforcement is part of the City’s Community Development Department. The Code Enforcement Officer may be contacted directly at (562) 431-3538, ext. 304.