CHAPTER 1
GENERAL PROVISIONS

ARTICLE 1 - ADOPTION OF CODE

(O-282; O-455; O-538; O-1758)

11.1.1 HOW CODE DESIGNATED AND CITED.

The ordinances embraced in the following Divisions and Sections shall constitute and be designated as The Torrance Municipal Code and may be so cited.

(O-1758)

11.1.2 NATURE OF CODE.

This record shall consist of all of the regulatory and penal and of certain of the administrative ordinances of the City of Torrance.

11.1.3 PROVISIONS CONSIDERED CONTINUATIONS OF EXISTING ORDINANCES.

The provisions appearing in this Code, so far as they are the same as those of ordinances existing at the time of the effective date of this Code, shall be considered as continuances thereof and not as new enactments.

11.1.4 EFFECT OF REPEAL OF ORDINANCES.

The repeal of an ordinance shall not revive any ordinance in force before or at the time the ordinance repealed took effect.

The repeal of an ordinance shall not affect any punishment or penalty incurred before the repeal took effect, nor any suit, prosecution or proceeding pending at the time of the repeal, for any offense committed under the ordinance repealed.

11.1.5 VALIDITY OF CODE.

It is hereby declared to be the intention of the City Council that the sections, paragraphs, sentences, clauses and phrases of this Code are severable, and if any phrase, clause, sentence, paragraph or section of this Code be declared unconstitutional by the valid judgment or decree of a court of competent jurisdiction, such unconstitutionality shall not affect any of the remaining phrases, clauses, sentences, paragraphs and sections of this code.

ARTICLE 2 - PENAL PROVISIONS

11.2.1 GENERAL PENALTY; CONTINUING VIOLATIONS.

Whenever in this Code or in any other ordinance of the City, any act is prohibited or is made or declared to be unlawful or an offense, or the doing of any act is required or the failure to do any act is declared to be unlawful or a misdemeanor, where no specific penalty is provided for, the violation of any such provision of this Code or any other ordinance of the City shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding $500.00 or imprisonment of a term not exceeding 6 months, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

All remedies provided for herein shall be cumulative and not exclusive.

11.2.2 ISSUANCE OF CITATIONS FOR VIOLATION OF THIS CODE AND OTHER CITY ORDINANCES.

(Added by O-925)

When any person is arrested for a violation of this Code or of any uncodified ordinances of the City and such person is not immediately taken before a magistrate as prescribed in the Penal Code of the State of California, the arresting officer shall prepare in duplicate a written notice to appear in court, containing the name and address of such person, the offense charged, and the time and place where and when such person shall appear in court.

11.2.3 FAILURE TO APPEAR IN COURT IS A MISDEMEANOR.

(Added by O-925)

Any person wilfully violating his written promise to appear in court is guilty of a misdemeanor regardless of the disposition of the charge upon which he was originally arrested.

11.2.4 ISSUANCE OF WARRANT FOR FAILURE TO APPEAR IN COURT.

(Added by O-925)

When a person signs a written promise to appear at the time and place specified in the written promise to appear and has not posted bail as provided in Section 853.1 of the Penal Code of the State of California, or in any amendment thereto, or modification thereof, the magistrate shall issue and have delivered for execution, a warrant for his arrest within twenty (20) days after his failure to appear as promised, or if such person promises to appear before an officer authorized to accept bail other than a magistrate and fails to do so on or before the date which he promises to appear, then, within 20 days after the delivery of such written promise to appear by the officer to a magistrate having jurisdiction over the offense.

11.2.5 ENFORCEMENT PERSONNEL.

(Added by O-3302; Amended by O-3543; O-3746)

a)    Pursuant to the provisions of Section 836.5 of the California Penal Code, or any amendment thereof, those classifications of officers and employees of the City of Torrance set forth herein shall be authorized to exercise the powers of arrest.

b)    Those officers and employees listed herein may arrest a person without a warrant whenever the officer or employee has reasonable cause to believe that the person to be arrested has committed a misdemeanor in the presence of the officer or employee that is in violation of a statute or ordinance that the officer or employee has the duty to enforce.

c)    The following classification of officers and employees of the City are hereby authorized to exercise powers of arrest:

1)    Assistant Finance Director;

2)    Revenue Inspector Collector;

3)    Director of Building and Safety;

4)    Building Regulations Administrator;

5)    Building Inspection Supervisor;

6)    Building Inspector;

7)    Environmental Services Administrator;

8)    Environmental Quality Officer;

9)    Public Works Inspector;

10)    Senior Public Works Inspector;

11)    Senior Building Inspector;

12)    Senior Electrical Inspector;

13)    Senior Environmental Quality Officer;

14)    Senior Mechanical Inspector;

15)    Senior Plumbing Inspector;

16)    Senior Grading Inspector;

17)    Public Works Director;

18)    Deputy Public Works Director; (Operations);

19)    Deputy Public Works Director; (Engineering);

20)    Sanitation Services Manager;

21)    Streetscape Manager;

22)    Street Services Supervisor (Sanitation);

23)    Street Services Supervisor (Waste Water);

24)    Street Services Supervisor (Streetscape);

25)    Animal Control Supervisor;

26)    Animal Control Officer;

27)    Fire Fighter;

28)    Fire Engineer;

29)    Fire Captain;

30)    Fire Battalion Chief;

31)    Fire Assistant Chief;

32)    Senior Fire Inspector;

33)    Fire Prevention Specialist;

34)    Senior Fire Prevention Specialist;

35)    Senior Fire Prevention Officer;

36)    Hazardous Materials Analyst;

37)    Hazardous Materials Specialist.

11.2.6 ISSUANCE OF CITATIONS.

(Added by O-3302; Amended by O-3386; O-3430; O-3543; O-3694; O-3713; O-3762)

Those persons holding the job titles enumerated in the Section 11.2.5 may issue citations, if at all, for those violations of the Torrance Municipal Code which are both listed in this section and for which they have the responsibility to enforce.

The following Torrance Municipal Code sections may be enforced by means of the issuance of a citation, pursuant to law, for their violation. Each such section will be for the purposes of the citation, and any subsequent prosecution, an infraction, as provided in Government Code Section 36900.

DIVISION 3

31.3.4

35.3.2

36.1.4

37.2.3

33.3.3

35.4.3

36.1.7

38.1.3

33.3.4

35.9.2

36.1.13

38.4.1

34.2.1

35.11.2

36.1.15

310.1.1

34.2.9

35.11.11

36.1.20

 

35.1.2

35.12.2

37.2.1

 

35.2.2

36.1.3

37.2.2

 

DIVISION 4

41.1.2

41.9.1

45.2.3

46.3.1

41.1.4

41.10.1

45.4.6

46.3.2

41.1.5

43.1.2

45.4.8

46.5.2

41.1.7

43.1.3

45.4.9

46.7.2

41.1.8

43.1.4

45.6.2

48.1.2

41.5.1

43.1.5

45.6.3

48.1.3

41.6.1

43.1.7

45.6.5

48.1.5

41.6.2

43.1.8

45.6.14

48.1.7

41.6.3

43.1.9

45.6.15

48.1.8

41.6.4

43.1.11

45.6.23

49.2.1

41.7.1

43.2.9

46.2.1

49.2.6 (b)

41.8.1

43.4.2

46.2.5

49.2.9 (a)

41.8.6

44.3.15 (b)

46.2.6

42.9.10

DIVISION 6

61.1.11

61.5.5

61.6.23

62.1.3

61.1.15

61.6.2

61.6.24

62.1.4 (a)

61.1.16

61.6.4

61.6.25

62.1.4 (b)

61.1.17

61.6.5

61.6.26

62.1.5

61.2.7

61.6.6

61.6.27

62.1.6

61.3.8

61.6.8

61.6.28

62.1.7

61.3.9

61.6.9

61.6.30

62.1.8 (a)

61.3.10

61.6.10

61.6.32

62.1.8 (b)

61.3.11

61.6.11

61.6.33

62.2.1

61.4.3

61.6.13

61.7.1

62.2.8

61.4.10

61.6.14

61.9.1

62.4.2

61.5.2

61.6.17

61.12.140 (a)

63.4.3

61.5.3

61.6.18

61.12.140 (f)

63.4.4

61.5.4

61.6.19

61.12.140 (g)

 

DIVISION 7

72.1.1

72.2.17

74.5.18

75.1.10

72.2.3

72.2.18

74.6.2

75.1.14

72.2.10

72.2.21

74.6.8

75.2.1

72.2.12

72.2.22

74.8.2

77.1.30

72.2.14

74.2.3

75.1.6

 

72.2.15

74.2.4

75.1.8

 

72.2.16

74.5.4

75.1.9

 

DIVISION 8

88.5.1

88.5.4

88.6.1

88.6.14

88.5.2

88.5.7

88.6.13

88.11.2

DIVISION 9

91.4.1

91.21.1

92.2.8

97.2.3

91.4.5

91.23.1

92.2.9

97.5.1

91.4.6

91.24.1

92.5.13

97.5.4

91.4.11

91.25.1

92.5.14

97.5.6

91.7.1

91.25.3

92.10.2

97.5.12

91.8.1

91.25.6

92.13.1

97.8.2

91.9.1

91.25.7

92.18.1

97.8.3

91.10.1

91.30.1

92.21.1

97.8.4

91.11.1

91.31.1

92.22.3

97.8.5

91.11.2

91.36.3

92.30.4

97.8.6

91.13.1

91.36.6

93.1.1

97.8.7

91.15.1

91.38.1

93.1.7

 

91.20.1

91.47.5

97.2.2

 

11.2.7 FEES FOR THE COLLECTION OF DELINQUENT PARKING CITATIONS.

(Added by O-3716)

Any person liable for a civil penalty will be required to pay the penalty provided on the bail schedule of parking penalties for parking violations, including process service fees, and any late payment penalty. In addition, if the City incurs collection costs in conjunction with the assignment of a parking citation, those costs will be added to the penalty and the violator will be liable to the city for both the civil penalties and the collection costs.

ARTICLE 3 - RULES OF CONSTRUCTION

11.3.1 CONSTRUCTION; PROVISIONS GOVERNING.

Unless the provisions of the context otherwise require, these general provisions, rules of construction and definitions shall govern the construction of this Code. The provisions of this Code and all proceedings under it are to be construed with a view to effect its objects and to promote justice.

11.3.2 HEADINGS, EFFECT OF.

The headings of the sections of this Code are intended as catchwords to indicate the contents of the section and shall not be deemed to govern, limit, modify or in any manner affect the scope, meaning or intent of the provisions of any section.

11.3.3 REFERENCE APPLIES TO AMENDMENTS.

Whenever a reference is made to any portion of this Code, or to any ordinances of this City, the reference applies to all amendments and additions now or hereafter made.

ARTICLE 4 - DEFINITIONS

In the construction of this Code and of all ordinances of the City, the following definitions of a general nature shall apply, unless the provisions of the context or the intent of the City Council clearly requires otherwise.

11.4.1 CHARTER.

Shall mean and refer to the Charter of the City of Torrance, as amended.

11.4.2 CITY.

Shall be construed as if followed by the words of Torrance.

11.4.3 CODE.

Shall mean Torrance Municipal Code.

11.4.4 COMPUTATION OF TIME.

Shall be the time in which any act provided by law is to be done is computed by excluding the first day and including the last, unless the last day is a holiday and then it is also excluded.

11.4.5 COUNCIL.

Shall be construed to mean the City Council of the City of Torrance.

11.4.6 COUNTY.

Shall mean the County of Los Angeles.

11.4.7 DAY.

A day is the period of time between any midnight and the midnight following.

11.4.8 DAYTIME, NIGHTTIME.

Daytime is the period of time between sunrise and sunset. Nighttime is the period of time between sunset and sunrise.

11.4.9 GENDER.

The masculine gender includes the feminine and neuter.

11.4.10 IN THE CITY.

Shall mean and include all territory over which the City now has, or shall hereafter acquire, jurisdiction for the exercise of its police powers or other regulatory powers.

11.4.11 JOINT AUTHORITY.

All words giving a joint authority to 3 or more persons or officers shall be construed as giving such authority to a majority of such persons or officers.

11.4.12 MONTH.

Shall mean a calendar month.

11.4.13 NUMBER.

The singular number includes the plural, and the plural, the singular.

11.4.14 OATH.

Shall include affirmation.

11.4.15 OFFICIAL TIME.

Whenever certain hours are named herein, they shall mean Pacific Standard Time or Daylight Saving Time as may be in current use in the City.

11.4.16 OR, AND.

Or may be read and, and and may be read or, if the sense requires it.

11.4.17 OWNER.

As applied to a building or land, shall include any part owner, joint owner, tenant in common, tenant in partnership, joint tenant or tenant by the entirety of the whole or of a part of such building or land.

11.4.18 PERSON.

Includes any person, firm, association, organization, partnership, business, trust, corporation or company.

11.4.19 PERSONAL PROPERTY.

Includes every species of property, except real property, as herein defined.

11.4.20 PRECEDING, FOLLOWING.

The words preceding and following mean next before and next after, respectively.

11.4.21 PROCESS.

Includes a writ or summons issued in the course of judicial proceedings of either a civil or criminal nature.

11.4.22 PROPERTY.

Shall include real and personal property.

11.4.23 REAL PROPERTY.

Shall include lands, tenements and hereditaments.

11.4.24 ROADWAY.

Is that portion of a highway improved, designed or ordinarily used for vehicular travel.

11.4.25 SHALL, MAY.

Shall is mandatory and may is permissive.

11.4.26 SIDEWALK.

Shall be that portion of a highway, other than the roadway, set apart for pedestrian travel.

11.4.27 SIGNATURE OR SUBSCRIPTION BY MARK.

Includes mark when the signer or subscriber cannot write, such signer’s or subscriber’s name being written near the mark by a witness who writes his own name near the signer’s or subscriber’s name; but a signature or subscription by mark can be acknowledged or can serve as a signature or subscription to a sworn statement only when two (2) witnesses so sign their own names thereto.

11.4.28 STATE.

The words the state and this state shall be construed to mean the State of California.

11.4.29 STREET, HIGHWAY.

Shall be a way or place of whatever nature, publicly maintained and open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel.

11.4.30 TENANT OR OCCUPANT.

The words tenant or occupant applied to a building or land, shall include any person holding a written or an oral lease of or who occupies, the whole or a part of such building or land, either alone or with others.

11.4.31 TENSES.

The present tense includes the past and future tenses, and the future includes the present.

11.4.32 WEEK.

A week consists of seven consecutive days.

11.4.33 WRITING.

Includes any form of a recorded message capable of comprehension by ordinary visual means. Whenever any notice, report, statement or record is required or authorized by this Code, it shall be made in writing in the English language unless it is expressly provided otherwise.

11.4.34 YEAR.

Shall mean a calendar year, except where otherwise provided.

ARTICLE 5 - APPEALS; PROCEDURES

(Added by O-957; Amended by O-2822)

11.5.1 FILING OF NOTICE OF APPEAL.

(Amended by O-1661; O-3528)

Except as otherwise provided in this Code, if any application for any permit or consent of any City body or official having such authority is denied or approved by any City body or official and no other body is designated in the Code to hear an appeal, the applicant, or any interested person adversely affected, upon payment of an appeal fee, the City Manager, or any member of the City Council may personally serve the City Clerk with a written notice of appeal to the City Council from such decision within fifteen (15) days after such decision.

11.5.2 CONTENTS OF NOTICE OF APPEAL, FEES.

(Amended by O-3416)

a)    The notice of appeal shall contain the following information in addition to the information given by the applicant thereon or reasonably required by the City Clerk therefor:

1)    The name, address, and telephone number of the applicant.

2)    The type of permit desired or action requested.

3)    The date on which said permit was issued or refused or the decision was made and the name of the City officer, body, or department taking such action.

4)    The grounds on which the appeal is taken.

b)    A fee for filing an appeal shall be charged as provided by resolution of the City Council.

11.5.3 PROCEDURE AFTER FILING.

a)    Upon receipt of the notice of appeal, and the appeal fee, the City Clerk shall notify the concerned City officials, bodies or departments that an appeal has been filed and shall transmit a copy of the appeal documents to such officials, bodies or departments.

b)    The concerned City officials, bodies or departments shall prepare the necessary reports for the City Council, provide public notices, posting, mailing or advertising in the same manner as provided for the original hearing or decision making process, request the appeal be placed on the agenda for hearing before the City Council within thirty (30) days of receipt of the said notice of appeal, and notify the applicant in writing of the time, date and place of the hearing not less than five (5) days before the Council hearing.

11.5.4 HEARING BEFORE COUNCIL.

The Council shall hold a hearing at the time set therefor as provided in Section 11.5.3. The Council may summon witnesses and hear evidence relating to such application, but the rules of evidence shall not apply. The Council may continue the hearing from time to time. At the conclusion thereof, the Council shall grant or deny such application or make such modifications of the decision or action appealed from with reference thereto as it may deem fit. The order of the Council shall be immediately final and conclusive, and no applicant, and no application for the same purpose may be made for one (1) year after the date of such order.

ARTICLE 6 - IN GENERAL

11.6.1 NOTICES, SERVICE OF.

Whenever a notice is required to be given under this Code, unless different provisions herein are otherwise specifically made, such notice may be given either by personal delivery thereof to the person to be notified or by deposit in the United States mail in a sealed envelope postage prepaid, addressed to such person to be notified, at his last known business or residence address as the same appears in the public records of the City or other records pertaining to the matter to which such notice is directed. Service by mail shall be deemed to have been completed at the time of deposit in the post office.

11.6.2 PROOF OF NOTICE.

Proof of giving any notice may be made by the certificate of any officer or employee of the City, or by affidavit of any person over the age of eighteen (18) years, which shows service in conformity with this Code, or other provisions of law applicable to the subject matter concerned.

11.6.3 EFFECT OF ISSUANCE OF PERMIT OR LICENSE.

(Added by O-1901)

Any permit or license issued in violation of any provisions of this Code or of any City ordinance or which purports to authorize the doing of any act prohibited by this Code or other ordinance shall be void and shall not constitute approval of any violation of any provisions of this Code or any other law or ordinance.

11.6.4 SERVICE OF NOTICE ON CITY CLERK.

(Added by O-2403; Amended by O-2732)

Unless otherwise provided by the laws of the United States of America or the State of California, or by other provisions of this Code, or by a contract to which the City is a party, service upon the City of all notices, whether or not required by law, or any other documents, including any subpoenas duces tecum for the production of any City records, shall be effected by filing such notices, subpoenas, or other documents with the City Clerk of the City.