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Code Compliance

The beauty, peacefulness and safety of our neighborhoods make Monterey one of the most desirable places to live in the country. Code Compliance plays an important role in maintaining the quality of our neighborhoods. Code Compliance deals with a range of neighborhood issues, from abandoned vehicles parked in yards or driveways to illegal conversions of garages into living spaces and unsanitary buildup of trash and debris on private property.

The first “tool” in enforcing codes in Monterey is public education. When we explain that a law is being broken, most problems are resolved quickly. Actual code compliance (usually by way of issuing citations) is normally used only when we don’t gain voluntary cooperation. We stay in contact with community groups to understand local concerns, and we welcome all questions regarding your neighborhood issues.

Ordinance Updates

The City of Monterey is actively enforcing Monterey City Code (MCC), Section § 22-19.5, the "advertisement of short-term rentals" ordinance. Any house rental of less than 30 days is illegal in Monterey. If you think a violation of this ordinance is taking place, please call the Short Term Rental Hotline at (800) 673-0203. Thank you for your awareness, interest and support in ensuring advertising of short term rentals doesn’t adversely impact Monterey neighborhoods and residents’ abilities to find affordable housing options.

MCHealthDept-LogoTobacco licensing for retail establishments is managed through the Monterey County Health Department. Below are links to the Monterey County tobacco retail license web page and an FAQ.

For more information, please contact:
Andrea Estrada
(831) 755-4382

Monterey County Tobacco Licensing Web Page

Monterey is a coastal community where foggy days and high water tables can result in excessive environmental moisture. When structures are not adequately ventilated and protected against water intrusion, mold can exceed acceptable levels. Mold can be found indoors and outdoors all year round resulting in potential health issues for exposed individuals.

If you have questions about mold, please read the following informational booklets:

The City receives questions about code enforcement issues almost daily. Here we try to answer some of the more recently asked questions.

Pocket motorcycles cannot be operated on City streets, sidewalks or other roadways, as they do not meet registration requirements. For more info, visit the CHP Web site at Motorized scooters (as defined in the CA Vehicle Code section 407.5) can be operated on City streets that have a speed limit of 25 mph or less. Operators must be at least 16 years old and possess a valid driver license or instruction permit. Helmets are required. Any violations should be reported to the Police Department at 646-3914.

Camping and sleeping in motor vehicles or trailers overnight is prohibited by City code. Camping in Monterey is allowed at Veteran’s Memorial Park. If you have a specific complaint, check with our Code Enforcement Office at 646-3750. Be prepared to give details. Please note that the complaining party’s name, address and phone number are required, as no anonymous complaints will be taken. After normal work hours, contact the Police Department.

Vehicles can be parked on City streets in approved parking areas as long as they are currently registered and are moved every 72 hours, unless a shorter time limit is posted. The Code Compliance Coordinator does NOT enforce the California Vehicle Code or the California Penal Code. For violations in the street in downtown, Cannery Row and other timed areas, please contact the Parking Division ( at (831) 646-3953. For all other areas please contact the Monterey Police ( at (831) 646-3914. 

More FAQs

Common Topics

What are the rules pertaining to parking RVs, trailers, and boats?
In the front yard setback (15’), vehicles (boats, RVs and trailers) shall be parked on the driveway apron in front of covered parking. There shall be no parking in the front/side yard setback on non-driveway aprons. Vehicles must be parked on an all-weather surface. This is defined as concrete, asphalt, or gravel.

What are the rules pertaining to parking commercial vehicles in residential districts?
Not more than one commercial vehicle may be parked on or adjoining any one lot. Vehicles over 22 feet in length and/or more than 7.5 feet in height and/or having a bed width of 7 feet or greater shall be kept behind the required garage setback line (20’).

Commercial Vehicle Parking in R-1 Districts, see MCC 38-26 L 1
What are the rules pertaining to inoperable vehicles or vehicles without current registration?
Inoperative vehicles or vehicles without current registration shall be stored inside a garage or other enclosed structure or behind the required garage setback line (20’) and screened from public view.

Inoperable/Unregistered Vehicles, see MCC38-26 L 2
What are the rules pertaining to using RVs or trailers for habitation?
It is illegal to use RVs or trailers as living quarters in residential neighborhoods.

Living in RVs/Trailers, see MCC38-26 L 3
What are the rules pertaining to washing vehicles?
Individual private vehicle washing is exempt per §31.5-12(b). We do discourage washing vehicles in a location that would allow the water runoff to go directly into a storm drain as this water does not get treated. Alternatives include going to a commercial car wash, choosing biodegradable soap, washing on the lawn, emptying wash water into a sink or toilet, and exploring alternative fundraising opportunities other than car washes.
What are the rules pertaining to weed abatement?
No property owner may allow weeds or other combustible material to accumulate on their property such that they constitute a public nuisance and/or fire hazard.

Weed Abatement, see MCC 14-10
What are the rules pertaining to yard/garage sales?
Who is responsible for maintaining the sidewalks in residential districts?
It is the property owners’ responsibility to properly maintain frontage sidewalks on their property and to keep them free of debris and trip hazards including lift or debris hazards caused by street trees. Property owners may be held liable to persons injured or property damaged as a result of their failure to periodically inspect and properly maintain their frontage sidewalks.

Sidewalk Repair and Maintenance, see MCC 32-24
What is the public right-of-way and where does it begin?
The public right-of-way begins at the property line and extends to the center of the road. Residents often mistakenly assume that their property begins at the street or sidewalk. While residents are responsible for maintaining this area, anything placed in the right-of-way, either temporary or permanent, requires an encroachment permit. An example of a temporary encroachment would be a storage container that will be at the location for a week. An example of a permanent encroachment would be the placement of a large boulder for landscaping purposes.

Encroachment Permit Application
Fence Information Sheet
R-1 Standards