Frequently Asked Questions

We have categorized our most Frequently Asked Questions to help you find the answer to your question faster. Please click on one of the following categories, or scroll down to see all FAQs:

Questions related to Development
Questions related to Transportation
Questions related to Road and Bridge Engineering
Questions related to County Service Areas & County Sanitation Districts
Questions related to Road and Bridge Maintenance
Questions related to Encroachments
Questions related to Traffic

 

DEVELOPMENT QUESTIONS:

What is the typical review time frame in Development for new project applications?

Applications for new projects are reviewed within a two-week time period.

What is the typical review time frame for Subdivision Maps?

Depending on the complexity of the map, the review period may vary from one week to four weeks.

What are the hours of operations?

8 am to 12 pm and 1 pm to 5 pm.

The County Surveyor's office is closed to the public on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Is there a plan to make services accessible through the Internet?

Plans are underway to make many records available through the Internet.

Is my property in a flood plain?

Contact the Water Resources Agency at (831) 755-4860

Who do I call for a house number?

Street address requests should be made at (831) 755-4800.  Please have your assessors parcel number and road name available.

The form can be accessed on our Web site RMA - Public Works - Development Services

Where do I get information on ownership of property?

Contact the Assessor's office at (831) 755-5035.

What types of GIS data are available? How much does it cost? How do I obtain information regarding GIS?

Currently, GIS data is available through the County GIS Coordinator,  (831) 759-6958 or on the County's GIS Web site http://www.co.monterey.ca.us/gis/

 How much is the traffic mitigation fee for my project? Where can I pay this?

Traffic mitigation fees vary depending on the area of the County and are adjusted annually. Please call (831) 755-4729 to see if your lot is subject to a traffic fee. Traffic mitigation fees can be paid at the Building Department during the building permit process.

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TRANSPORTATION QUESTIONS:

How does a project get added to the Capital Improvement Program (CIP)?

1. A need (based on a safety, operational, capacity or maintained deficiency) has to be identified.

2. Given that our needs always exceed our funding capabilities, the needs are prioritized.

3. The scope of work and need is refined and becomes a project.

4. Funding is pursued for the project.

5. Project funding is secured.

6. Project is added to the CIP.

What grants are available to fund road projects?

There are a variety of grant funds available for road projects. The funds often have stipulations that dictate the type of road project for which they can be expended, i.e. bridges, regional routes, safety improvements. A large percentage of the grants are given by TAMC.

What is TAMC?

The Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC) is the regional transportation agency for Monterey County.

What is the Regional Transportation Plan?

The Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) is long-range transportation-planning document generated periodically by TAMC.  The RTP identifies existing and future transportation related needs, considers all modes of travel, analyses alternative solutions, and identifies what can be completed with anticipated available funding for projects and programs.

What is the State Transportation Improvement Program?

The State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) is a multi-year capital improvement program of transportation projects on and off the State Highway System, funded with revenues from the State Highway Account and other funding sources.

What is G-12?

The G-12 Route is the route between Highway 101 and the Community of Pajaro that runs along San Miguel Canyon Road, Hall Road, Elkhorn Road, and Salinas Road.

Are there plans for developer fees in Prunedale? Pajaro? Castroville? Oak Hills?

The developer fees relating to traffic impact mitigations vary and depend on the cost to mitigate the impacted transportation facilities. On average the traffic impact fees for a single family dwelling can range for $5,000 to $10,000.

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ROAD AND BRIDGE ENGINEERING QUESTIONS:

Where can I obtain a Plan Holders' List for a current construction project out to bid?

Call the Road and Bridge Engineering office at (831) 755-4800 who will forward you to the appropriate staff.  You may also go to our website at RMA - Public Works - Road and Bridge Engineering  

How can I obtain plans and specifications for a project?

Either mail your request with your check for the cost of the plans and specifications or stop by the Road and Bridge Engineering office between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Plan holders must register before they can view the documents.  A copy of the electronic files on compact-disc (CD) is also available at Monterey County, Department of Public Works, 168 West Alisal Street, 2nd Floor, Salinas, California 93901, for a nonrefundable fee of $5.00.  The electronic files can be used to print the project plans (full or half size), project specifications, and other such documents at various printing companies. 

How would I find out about projects coming up for bid?

Projects are advertised in The Californian and in the local newspaper where the project will be taking place (e.g., Carmel project would be advertised in the Carmel Pinecone).  Plans and specifications for new projects out to bid are also forwarded to local Builders Exchanges.

You may also go to our Website: RMA - Public Works - Road and Bridge Engineering

Are the plans and specifications for a project out to bid on the Internet?

The Construction Bids are administered by the Department of Public Works

For Current Bids, Visit our eBids web page for project bids.

For Projects which have closed within the past 45 days, Visit our eBids web page for closed projects.

For any additional information regarding construction bids and/or to obtain plans and specifications, please contact the Road and Bridge Engineering Office at (831) 755-4800.

What is the price of the plans and specs for a project out to bid?

The price may vary depending upon the project.  The price is located in the "Notice to Contractors" in Book One, Special Provisions, and can also be obtained by calling the Road and Bridge Engineering office at (831) 755-4800. 

Do you take credit cards?  To whom should I write the check?

The Department of Public Works is not equipped to handle credit cards.  Cash or checks are accepted.  The check should be made out to "Monterey County" and the bottom of the check should indicate the name of the project.

Can I forward my bid to you?

No.  Sealed bids will be received at the Office of the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, County of Monterey, 168 West Alisal Street, 1st Floor, Salinas, California 93901, until the date and time of the bid opening of a specific project.

Whom would I talk to regarding an on-going construction project?

The Construction Office or the Receptionist would refer the caller to the Resident Engineer, take a message, or forward the call to the Design and Construction Engineer.

What is the status of my pay estimate check? (Frequently asked by the Contractor to Construction office, not the general public at large)

Refer caller to the Resident Engineer or to the Construction Office at (831) 755-4925.

Who can answer a technical question about a project currently out to bid?

Call the Public Works Office at (831) 755-4800,  so your telephone call may be forwarded to the Design Engineer in charge of the project or the Construction Engineer.

How do I get a copy of the County Standard Specifications?

Contact the Development Section (831) 755-4923 or (831) 755-4922.

What projects do you have coming up for bid in the next six months?

The Project Schedule can be reviewed for upcoming projects.  A request for more detailed information would be forwarded to the Engineer in charge of the project (shown on the Project Schedule) or to the Design and Construction Engineer.

Who's the Resident Engineer on a particular construction project?  How can I reach him/her?

Call the Construction office (831) 755-4925 where the caller would be forwarded to the Resident Engineer or a phone message would be taken.  The caller may be forwarded to the Design and Construction Engineer if the call is "urgent" and/or the Resident Engineer is unavailable at (831) 755-4800.

What's your fax number?  What are your hours?

Design Engineering fax number is (831) 755-4958.  The Construction Engineering fax number is (831) 759-7289. The main fax number for Public Works is (831) 755-4958.
The hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.  The office is closed between 12 and 1 p.m.

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COUNTY SERVICE AREAS & COUNTY SANITATION DISTRICTS RELATED QUESTIONS:

How can I find out if there is an inactive landfill near my home?

The Monterey County Department of Public Works has the responsibility to monitor and manage 13 closed landfills in the unincorporated area of the County. Inactive landfill locations can be obtained by contacting (831) 647-7748 Monterey or (831) 755-4800 Salinas and requesting a referral to the Environmental Services Section for response.

How can I get a street light installed?

Street lights on Monterey County roads are owned and operated by PG&E. Operation and maintenance is funded in three ways. Certain streetlights are installed at the request and direction of the Public Works Department, are related to traffic safety, and are funded from road maintenance funds. Some areas of the County through the formation of a County Service Area (CSA) have installed area security lighting and fees are collected from the participating properties to fund operation and maintenance. Some individual property owners have requested the installation of a streetlight for personal benefit and they are responsible to fund the installation, operation, and maintenance through PG&E.  Streetlights installed at the request of the property owner must be reviewed and approved by the Public Works Department through the Encroachment Permit process. More information regarding street lighting can be obtained by contacting (831) 647-7748 Monterey or (831) 755-4800 Salinas and requesting a referral to the Traffic Section for response.

How can I get a street light repaired?

Refer to the Maintenance FAQ for this same question.

What is the sewer charge or County Service Area charge on my tax bill?

Certain urban services are provided to County residents through the creation of County Service Area or County Sanitation District. These services are funded through fees collected on the Tax rolls. More information can be obtained by contacting (831) 647-7748 Monterey or (831) 755-4800 Salinas and requesting a referral to the Environmental Services Section.

How do I connect to a public sewer system and what will it cost?

Some areas of the County are serviced through public sewers. More information on the areas serviced, the process for connection, and the cost can be obtained by contacting (831) 647-7748 Monterey or (831) 755-4800 Salinas and requesting a referral to the Environmental Services Section.

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ROAD AND BRIDGE MAINTENANCE RELATED QUESTIONS:

How do I request other routine maintenance activities?

The Monterey County Department of Public Works has responsibility to perform road maintenance, repair, pavement patching, litter removal, dead animal removal, maintenance of traffic control devices and other routine activities on local "public roads" in the unincorporated area of Monterey County. During normal working hours, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, the routine activity should be reported by calling (831) 647-7748 Monterey or (831) 755-4800 Salinas.  Similar routine activities on State Highways are under the jurisdiction of Caltrans; and on city streets these activities are the responsibility of the locality. Private roads are generally the responsibility of a homeowners association or legal owner of record of the road.

Do I need a permit to trim or remove trees?

If you wish to have a tree on the County road right-of-way trimmed or removed, you should contact the Road District Superintendent for the area where the work is to occur. Contact with the District Road Superintendent can be initiated by calling (831) 647-7748 Monterey or (831) 755-4800 Salinas. The Monterey County Planning and Building Department should be contacted to trim or remove a tree or trees on private property. Contact http:www.co.Monterey.ca.us/pbi/questionnaire/tree.htm. For trees on highways, please contact Caltrans.

How do I report a dangerous or hazardous condition occurring on the County road or resulting from a situation on a County road?

Some examples might be flooding on the road or private property, a tree down across the road or blocking a portion of the road or driveway, malfunctioning traffic signal, power lines down across the road, debris on the roadway, a hazardous material spill, a major slide or slip-out, a road washout, sewer spill, structural failure, major pot holes, or other events critical to the road and its safe operating condition.
During normal working hours, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, dangerous conditions on the County's road system or resulting from the road system should be reported to the Department of Public Works, Maintenance and Operations Division at (831) 647-7748 Monterey or (831) 755-4800 Salinas. During non-working hours and on weekends, dangerous or hazardous conditions on the County's road system or resulting from the County road system should be reported to a 911 operator. A detailed description of the dangerous condition, its location, size, and other pertinent information will improve the Department of Public Works' ability to respond expeditiously. The 911 operator will notify the appropriate District Road Superintendent of the situation.

How do I adopt an activity on a County road? Some examples might be litter removal, graffiti removal, landscape maintenance, shoulder maintenance, and other routine activities.

The Department of Public Work's Adopt-A-Roadway Coordinator can be contacted during normal working hours at (831) 755-4925 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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ENCROACHMENT RELATED QUESTIONS:

What is an encroachment permit?

A permit to work within County right-of-way.

What are the fees for a road permit?

The fee depends on the type of work being done.  

For questions regarding Encroachment Permits?

Please call (831) 755-4800 x4930.

How do I get a permit to film or photograph in the road right-of-way or on County property?

You have to apply for a film permit and provide a Certificate of Insurance with endorsement to the County. You must also apply with Sheriff's Department for any traffic control or safety services required by your project.

Do I need a permit to cut a tree?

Yes, if the tree is within County right-of-way and is not a protected tree by County ordinance.

How do I get an annual permit for transporting extra legal loads over County roads?

Apply at the beginning of the calendar year to the transportation permit agent at (831) 755-4932.

What is the expected turnaround time for processing an encroachment permit?

Depending on location, it can take one to three days (the inspector has to do a pre-inspection of site before approving or disapproving an application).

Do I need a permit for a bike race?

Yes, if you are closing a road or interrupting traffic flows.

Who do I talk to regarding installation of a driveway, sidewalk, curb and gutter?

Contact the Encroachment Section at (831) 755-4800 x4930.

Who do I talk to regarding utility trenching within County right-of-way?

Contact the Encroachment Section at (831) 755-4800 x4930.

Who do I talk to regarding a transportation permit for extra legal loads?

Apply to the transportation permit agent at (831) 755-4800 x4932.

What is required for a trenching permit to install a sewer, water or storm drain service line?

You need to furnish an executed agreement with utility companies providing the service and apply for an encroachment permit. 

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TRAFFIC RELATED QUESTIONS:

How is the speed limit determined?

California bases speed regulations on the basic speed law:

No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed, which endangers the safety of persons or property. (Section 22350 of California Vehicle Code).

Prima Facie Speed Limits-Prima Facie means "on the face of it" and they are considered reasonable and prudent under normal conditions. Certain blanket prima facie limits are established by law, including 15 mph limit in alleys, blind intersections, and at blind railroad crossings and 25 mph limit in business and residence districts. These limits exist whether posted with signs or not. There is also a part-time 25 mph limit in school zones "when children are present," when posted with "SCHOOL" warning sign. The speed is 25 when passing a senior center when posted with a "SENIOR" warning sign and 25 adjacent to any children's playground in a public park during the time children are expected to use the facilities if properly posted.

The California Vehicle Code permits raising or lowering certain prima facie speed limits on the basis of an Engineering and Traffic Survey. An Engineering and Traffic Survey is defined as follows:
A survey of highway and traffic conditions in accordance with methods determined by the Department of Transportation for use by State and local authorities.
An engineering and traffic survey shall include, among other requirements deemed necessary by the Department,  all of the following:

1. Prevailing speeds (85th percentile) as determined by the traffic engineering     measurements.

2. Accident records.

3. Highway, traffic, and roadside conditions not readily apparent to the driver.

How do I request a speed limit change or stop sign installation?

The County normally installs stop signs only at locations that meet warrants described in the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Traffic Manual.
For a multi-way stop installation, high volumes of approximately equal amounts of traffic on each roadway is normally required.

Speed limits must be set according to State law. To initiate either a stop sign installation study or speed limit posting study, please write a letter stating your concerns, the location and reasons for your request. Mail to Monterey County, Department of Public Works, Attention:  Traffic Section.  You may also call Monterey County, Department of Public Works, Traffic Section at (831) 755-4800 and describe your concerns.

Whom should I report traffic signal, signs or street light problems to?

Most street light problems should be directed to PG&E. They own and maintain most unincorporated county streetlights and safety lights. The phone number is the same as found in the Pacific Bell phone book, which is (800) 743-5000. They also have a web site. Fill out all appropriate information and send. They will respond with confirmation, tracking to Maintenance department and when the problem is resolved. You may also contact them through their web site. Their web site address is: http://www.pge.com/myhome/customerservice/contact/streetlight/single/

Here is a Traffic Directory listing common issues and whom to contact regarding the issues:

Traffic Signal Timing/Malfunction 831-796-3009
Other Traffic Safety Issues including Signing and Striping 831-755-4800
Traffic Signing & Striping Maintenance 831-755-4951
Street Lighting if a PG&E pole is needed PG&E:1-800-743-5000
or go to the PG&E web site
County Service Area Maintenance and Street Lighting 831-755-4881
or 755-4800
General Road Maintenance and Litter Removal 831-755-4925
Traffic Engineer 831-796-3009
Engineering Technician 831-755-8908
Engineer Aid 831-755-8908
Traffic Secretary 755-4938

What are the restrictions of parking or driving commercial vehicles in residential areas?

Unless prohibited by ordinance and proper sign posting, there is no restriction. Local authorities may do the following if deemed in the public's best interest:

CVC SECTION 22507
Prohibit or restrict the stopping, parking, or standing of vehicles on certain streets or highways during all or certain hours of the day.

CVC SECTION 22507.5
Prohibit or restrict the parking or standing, on any street, or portion thereof, in a residential district*, of commercial vehicles having a gross weight of 10,000 pounds or more.
* For purposes of this section, the term "residential district" is defined in accordance with the zoning ordinance.

CVC SECTION 35701
Prohibit the use of a street in a "residence district" by any commercial vehicle, or by any vehicle exceeding a maximum gross weight limit.

CVC SECTION 35712
Prohibit the use of any highway located in an unincorporated residential or subdivision area by any commercial vehicle exceeding a gross weight of 14,000 pounds**.
** As per CVC Section 35713, any ordinance restricting commercial vehicles pursuant to CVC Section 35712 must designate an alternate route.

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