How do I report a
There are several ways to report a violation. You can call the department
at 831-755-5027 and ask to speak to the Code Enforcement office assistant who will
take the complaint over the phone. You can download a
complaint form and submit it by
mail or fax, or you can come to the
Permit Center and submit a complaint with
the counter staff. Please note that in order to process a complaint we
need the Assessor’s Parcel Number and the address of the violation so that
a case can be opened prior to sending an officer or inspector to
What do I do if I receive a "Notice of Violation" or a "Stop
How to clear a
Who turned me in?
We receive complaints from a number of sources including internal
referrals, outside agencies and the general public. We do not disclose the
source of the complaints; that information is kept confidential and
protected under state law.
My neighbors have violations too. Why aren’t you investigating them?
If you suspect there is a code violation on another property, you may
contact Code Enforcement staff
and provide this information. A case will be opened and investigated
appropriately. If a violation is found to exist, the owner will be
contacted and required to remove the violation and/or obtain the necessary
permits for the violation.
What are the regulations regarding fences?
Fences up to 6 feet in height do not require a building permit. However,
fences over 6 feet in height (including lattice on top of 6 foot fencing)
require a building permit. In addition, zoning regulations may require you
to obtain a planning permit. Contact the Planning Department at the Permit
Center to determine if a planning permit is required.
Do I need a permit to build a shed on my property?
Building Permit: You do not need a building permit if the shed is
detached, not more than 120 square feet (i.e. 10’ x 12’) in size, and has
no electrical or plumbing installed. However, if the shed is attached to
another structure or has electrical or plumbing installed then a permit is
required regardless of the size.
Planning Permit: You should also check with Planning Department Permit Center staff to
determine the minimum setback requirements and if the zoning on your
property requires a Design Approval permit or other discretionary permit.
What are setbacks and how do I determine mine?
Setbacks are the minimum distance that a building or structure can be
placed from a property line and other structures. Setbacks can vary
depending on the zoning. Contact the Planning Department staff to determine your
setbacks for the type of structure you wish to build.
What happens when someone is in violation of the codes?
If the violation is in progress a Stop Work Notice will be posted on the
property and all work must stop immediately. If the work in violation has
been completed a Notice of Violation will be posted on the property. In
either case, a Notice of Violation letter will be mailed to the property
owner who will be given a time frame (usually 30 days) in which to comply.
If a permit application to clear the violation is submitted by the
deadline in the Notice of Violation letter the case is held in abeyance
and is monitored until the violation is abated.
What happens when someone refuse to comply with the codes?
A Compliance Order will be mailed to the property owner and/or tenants
notifying them of the infraction.
If no action is taken to clear the violations by the deadline
in the Compliance Order then a hearing will be scheduled before an
Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), and administrative fines may be levied
along with administrative penalties including possible jail time. Orders
decided by the County Hearing Officer (ALJ) will be recorded at the Monterey County Recorder’s
Severe health, life, and safety hazardous or environmentally sensitive
violations may be subject to a more stringent enforcement action on a case
by case basis as will repeat offenders.
For further information, please refer to County Ordinance
5122 regarding Administrative Remedies for Code Enforcement.
When is a grading permit required?
A grading permit is required when:
• Grading over 100 cubic yards (cumulative). Calculations are to include
quantities of cut and fill. Note: 100 cubic yards is equivalent to a cube
• Grading a driveway over 50 feet long
• Grading on slopes over 30% (25% in North County)
What are the regulations regarding storage or parking of commercial
vehicles in residential zones?
The parking or storage of commercial vehicles in residential zones is
Can I legalize an addition or detached structure that was built without
Yes. You can submit “As-Built Construction” (link to handout) plans to
obtain a permit for the illegally built structure. You may be required to
submit structural calculations if “As-Built” structure does not meet all
the provisions of conventional construction per the California Building
Can someone live in a recreational vehicle on private property?
Recreational vehicles (i.e. travel trailers, 5th-wheels, motor homes) may
be permanently lived in only in a designated trailer park. Temporary
occupancy of such recreational vehicles may be permitted on a construction
site during construction and with prior approval from both the Planning and Health Departments.
The violation existed before I bought the property. Why am I
responsible for clearing the violation?
Violations run with the property, not with the person who created the
violation. If you purchased a property that has violations, you are
responsible for abating the violations.
How much will the permits cost to clear the violations?
Permit fees vary depending on the complexity of the project. Staff at the
Permit Center will assist you in determining your cost.
What do I need to do to clear the violation?
If no permit is required simply cease the illegal activity and call the
assigned Code Enforcement Officer to schedule an inspection. If a permit
is required you must schedule an appointment with the Code Enforcement
staff who will assist you with your application submittal.
The permit must be approved, all permit and code enforcement fees paid,
the permit is to be issued, and a final inspection to sign off the permit
before the violation is cleared.
How much time do I have to clear the violations?
In most cases you are given 30 days to either abate the violation or apply
for permits to abate the violation. However, the time frame is at the Code
Enforcement Officer’s discretion depending on the severity of the
How many large animals can I have on my property?
If your property is zoned for large animals (horses, cows, llamas,
ostriches) you may have one large animal for every 20,000 square feet of
land. Note: An acre is 43,560 square feet.
A Notice of Violation is recorded against my property. How can I get it
You must obtain the required permits, all permits must be finaled, all
violations must be abated, and all Code Enforcement and recording fees
must be paid. Once the violation is abated and the fees are paid we will
record a Release of Notice of Monterey County Code Violation.
Can I operate a business out of my home?
Some businesses are allowed without permits, some are allowed with the
approval of a Use Permit, and others are not allowed in a residential
zoning district. Contact the Planning Department to obtain more information
prior to commencing the business.