Chapter 4.08


4.08.010    Declaration of purpose.

4.08.020    Definitions.

4.08.030    Procedures.

4.08.040    Confidentiality.

4.08.050    Enforcement.


The city council finds there is a need for mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution as a means to gain compliance with provisions of the Santa Cruz Municipal Code and applicable state codes. The council further declares that public policy facilitation can be an effective technique to avoid disputes by developing consensus amongst stakeholders on controversial issues. Both mediation and facilitation can often resolve disputes in a more efficient, effective and constructive manner without the necessity of more formal administrative action or litigation. The council further finds that mediation and facilitation can foster better relations among and with the citizenry of Santa Cruz and enhance the reputation of the city.

(Ord. 2000-17 § 2 (part), 2000).


For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:

(1)    “Enforcement case” means any complaint or case on file with the city that involves alleged violations of the Santa Cruz Municipal Code or applicable provisions of state law.

(2)    “Disputing party” means any person responsible for alleged violations, interested or involved citizens who may have complained to the city about the alleged violations, crime victims and appropriate representatives from the city.

(3)    “Facilitation” means a process whereby a neutral third party conducts one or a series of meetings or sessions between and amongst relevant stakeholders to a particular dispute or controversial issue or policy with the purpose of improving communication and developing consensus about possible solutions.

(4)    “Mediation” means a meeting between or among disputing parties to clarify their differences and design their own mutually acceptable agreement, with the assistance of a mediator.

(5)    “Mediator” means a neutral third party who has received at least twenty-five hours of mediation training from a reputable mediation program recognized by the city of Santa Cruz.

(6)    “Referring agency” means the city council, a permanent city board or commission, city enforcement official, the city manager, the city attorney or one of their designees.

(7)    “Stakeholder” means any person or organization or association that is directly affected by a particular issue, policy or enforcement case.

(Ord. 2000-17 § 2 (part), 2000).

4.08.030 PROCEDURES.

The referring agency may refer enforcement cases and other types of disputes and controversies to a neutral third party to schedule and coordinate a mediation or facilitation as may be appropriate.

(Ord. 2000-17 § 2 (part), 2000).


All documents and results related to mediations and facilitations held pursuant to this ordinance shall be kept confidential and shall be inadmissible as evidence in any subsequent administrative or judicial proceeding. The provisions of California Evidence Code Sections 1152 and 1152.5 and other laws pertaining to confidentiality and disclosure shall apply to mediations and facilitations held pursuant to this chapter.

(Ord. 2000-17 § 2 (part), 2000).


When a disputing party fails to participate in a mediation or facilitation or to comply with the terms of an agreement reached pursuant to mediation or facilitation, any other disputing party may pursue all or any of the administrative or legal actions or remedies provided by law.

(Ord. 2000-17 § 2 (part), 2000).