Chapter 4.02


4.02.010    Declaration of purpose.

4.02.020    General enforcement authority.

4.02.021    Authority to issue notice to appear and release citations.

4.02.030    Notice of violation.

4.02.040    Authority to inspect.

4.02.050    Power to arrest.

4.02.060    Adoption of the International Property Maintenance Code.

4.02.070    IPMC – Deletions and modifications.

4.02.080    Entering or occupying condemned property.

4.02.090    Violation of code.


The city council finds that the enforcement of the municipal code and applicable state codes throughout the city is an important public service. Code enforcement is vital to protection of the public’s health, safety and quality of life. The council recognizes that enforcement depends upon clear and precise regulations that can be effectively applied in administrative enforcement hearings and judicial proceedings. The council further finds that a comprehensive code enforcement system that uses a combination of judicial and administrative remedies is critical to gain code compliance. Judicial remedies are traditional remedies to enforce laws by filing criminal and civil actions in a court of law. Administrative remedies are designed to provide fair and efficient methods of enforcing the provisions of the municipal code without the required expense and consumption of time that judicial actions may require. Failure to comply with an administrative code enforcement action may require the city attorney to file a judicial action to compel compliance.

(Ord. 2000-17 § 2 (part), 2000).


All city enforcement officials designated in Santa Cruz Municipal Code Section 4.02.021 shall have the authority and powers necessary to gain compliance with the provisions of the Santa Cruz Municipal Code and applicable state codes for which they are responsible. These powers include the power to issue notices of violation and field citations, inspect public and private property and use whatever judicial and administrative remedies are available under the municipal code or applicable state codes.

(Ord. 2000-17 § 2 (part), 2000).


(a)    Pursuant to the provisions of Section 836.5 of the Penal Code of the State of California, certain officers and employees of the city of Santa Cruz are authorized to issue written notice to appear and release citations for misdemeanors or infraction violations of city ordinances which such officers or employees have the duty to enforce.

(b)    The following officers and employees of the city of Santa Cruz are hereby designated and authorized to issue said citations:

Finance Department

(1)    Finance director and his or her designated subordinates

(2)    Accountant I

(3)    Accountant II

Fire Department:

(1)    Fire chief

(2)    Fire deputy chief

(3)    Fire marshal

(4)    Deputy fire marshal

(5)    Fire inspector

(6)    Fire battalion chief

(7)    Fire captain

Health Department:

(1)    Santa Cruz county health officer and his or her designated subordinates

Parks and Recreation Department:

(1)    Parks director

(2)    Beach captain

(3)    Ranger

(4)    Supervising ranger

(5)    Superintendent of parks

(6)    Parks field supervisor/arborist

(7)    Recreation supervisor/aquatics

(8)    Beach lieutenant

(9)    Beach lifeguards as designated

(10)    Cashier

Planning Department:

(1)    Director of planning and community development and his or her designated subordinates

(2)    Principal planner

(3)    Associate planner

(4)    Assistant planner

(5)    Chief building official

(6)    Senior building inspector

(7)    Building inspector

(8)    Code compliance specialist

(9)    Zoning enforcement officer

Police Department:

(1)    Police chief

(2)    All sworn personnel

(3)    Community service officer I

(4)    Community service officer II

(5)    Community service aide

Public Works:

(1)    Public works director and his or her designated subordinates

(2)    Parking control crew leader

(3)    Parking control deputy

(4)    Parking control supervisor

(5)    Industrial waste inspector

(6)    Wastewater laboratory/pretreatment manager

(7)    Senior parking attendant

(8)    Parking programs manager

Water Department:

(1)    Director of water department and his or her designated subordinates

(2)    Water operations manager

(3)    Chief park ranger and park ranger

(4)    Water patrol officer, as designated.

(Ord. 2000-17 § 2 (part), 2000).


Chapter 4.10 provides the procedure for issuance and recordation of notices of violation where other sections of this code or applicable state codes do not provide an alternative procedure.

(Ord. 2000-17 § 2 (part), 2000).


City enforcement officials are authorized to enter upon any property or premises to ascertain whether the provisions of the Santa Cruz Municipal Code or applicable state codes are being obeyed, and to make any examinations, inspections and surveys as may be necessary in the performance of their enforcement duties. These may include the taking of photographs, samples or other physical evidence. All inspections, entries, examinations and surveys shall be conducted in a reasonable manner. If an owner, occupant or agent refuses permission to enter or inspect, the enforcement official may seek an administrative inspection warrant pursuant to the applicable procedures provided for in the California Code of Civil Procedure.

(Ord. 2000-17 § 2 (part), 2000).


City enforcement officials are authorized to arrest without a warrant any person whenever the enforcement official has reasonable cause to believe that the person has committed a violation of the municipal code or applicable state codes in his or her presence. Pursuant to Penal Code Section 836.5 the enforcement official can only arrest a person by issuing a misdemeanor field citation or by effecting a citizen’s arrest with the assistance of a peace officer.

(Ord. 2000-17 § 2 (part), 2000).


Subject to the modifications and deletions set forth in Section 4.02.070, the following document is hereby adopted:

The International Property Maintenance Code, 2015 Edition, except as modified herein (hereafter IPMC).

(Ord. 2017-10 § 1, 2017).


The following sections of the IPMC as adopted in Section 4.02.060 are hereby modified as follows:

Amend Section 101.1:

101.1 Title. These regulations shall be known as the International Property Maintenance Code of the City of Santa Cruz, hereinafter referred to as “this code”.

Amend Section 102.7.2:

102.7.2 Provisions in referenced codes and standards. Where the extent of the reference to a referenced code or standard includes subject matter that is within the scope of this code, the most current code or standard shall take precedence.

Amend Section 103.5:

103.5 Fees. The fees for activities and services performed by the department in carrying out its responsibilities under this code shall be as indicated under SCMC Title 4.

Delete Section 111 in its entirety and replace with:

Section 111 – APPEALS

111.1 Application for appeal. Any person directly affected by a decision of the code official or a notice or order issued under this code shall have the right to appeal as prescribed in Chapter 4.20.

111.2 Stays of enforcement. Appeals of notice and orders, other than Imminent Danger and Condemnation notices shall stay the enforcement of the notice and order until the appeal is heard.

Amend Section 112.4:

112.4 Failure to comply. Any person who shall continue any work after having been served with a stop work order, except such work as that person is directed to perform to remove a violation or unsafe condition, shall be liable to a fine as prescribed in SCMC Title 4.

Amend Section 302.4:

302.4 Weeds. Premises and exterior property shall be maintained free from weeds or plant growth in excess of eighteen inches or as limited by ordinance.

Amend Section 303.2:

303.2 Enclosures. Private swimming pools, hot tubs and spas, containing water more than 24 inches (610mm) in depth shall comply with Santa Cruz Municipal Code Chapter 18.32.

Amend Section 304.14:

304.14 Insect screens. Every door, window and other outside opening required for ventilation of habitable rooms, food preparation areas, food service areas or any areas where products to be included or utilized in food for human consumption are processed, manufactured, packaged or stored shall be supplied with approved tightly fitting screens of minimum 16 mesh per inch (16 mesh per 25 mm), and every screen door used for insect control shall have a self-closing device in good working condition.

Delete Section 307 in its entirety and replace with:

307.1 General. Handrails and guardrails shall comply with the California Building Standards Code.

Amend Section 505.4:

505.4 A gas-burning water heater shall not be located in any bathroom, toilet room, bedroom or other occupied room normally kept closed, unless it is in a closet complying with California Plumbing Code Section 505.

Amend Section 602.3:

602.3 Heat supply. Every owner and operator of any building who rents, leases or lets one or more dwelling units or sleeping units on terms, either expressed or implied, to furnish heat to the occupants thereof shall supply heat to maintain a minimum temperature of 68°F (20°C) in all habitable rooms, bathrooms and toilet rooms.

Amend Section 602.4:

602.4 Occupiable work spaces. Indoor occupiable work spaces shall be supplied with heat to maintain a minimum temperature of 65°F (18°C) during the period the spaces are occupied.

Throughout the International Property Maintenance Code, replace the term “International” with “California,” except for the use of the term “International Property Maintenance Code.”

(Ord. 2017-10 §§ 2, 3, 2017).


It is unlawful for any person to enter or occupy any property, or portion of a property, that has been condemned by the city pursuant to Section 108 of the IPMC, adopted by the city in this chapter. Further, it is unlawful for any person to remove, deface, or otherwise alter or move a placard indicating that a property, or portion of a property has been condemned, that the city has posted to announce such condemnation in conformity with IPMC Section 108.

(Ord. 2018-01 § 1 (part), 2018).


It shall be unlawful for any person to perform any act that is prohibited, made or declared to be unlawful or an offense by this chapter, or to violate any provision or fail to comply with any of the requirements of this chapter or for any property owner or occupant to maintain or use property in the city in a manner that constitutes a public nuisance. A violation of any of the provisions or failing to comply with any of the mandatory requirements of this code shall constitute a misdemeanor except when the violation of a provision of this code is specifically declared to be an infraction. Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, any violation constituting a misdemeanor under this code may, in the discretion of the city attorney, be charged and prosecuted as an infraction. Except as otherwise provided, each and every day that any violation of this code shall continue shall constitute a separate offense. The person committing or permitting such offenses may be charged with separate offenses for each such violation and punished accordingly. Abatement of a public nuisance may be accomplished by any of the methods described in this title, including criminal prosecution, civil injunction, administrative abatement, civil penalties, revocation of permits, notice of violation, recordation of the notice of violation and withholding of future municipal permits.

(Ord. 2018-01 § 1 (part), 2018).