Zoning and Property Maintenance

Code Compliance is one of the core functions of the Planning and Community Development Department. This division ensures that Pasadena businesses, residents and developers comply with various regulations including building, land use, and property maintenance codes. This work includes field inspections including but not limited to, response to complaints related to property maintenance and Zoning Code violations, pro-active nuisance abatement, and inspections of the City’s housing stock through the Quadrennial and Occupancy Inspection Programs. The work of the Code Compliance Division assists in ensuring public safety, maintaining quality housing stock and adherence to adopted plans and regulations.

Common Code Violations

Illegal Dwelling Units

A dwelling unit is a building or portion thereof used for residential occupancy. What is an illegal dwelling unit? An illegal dwelling unit is one built or occupied without obtaining the necessary land use approvals and/or a proper building permit. In some circumstances an illegal dwelling unit can be made legal.

Noise Nuisances

The Code Compliance Division addresses noise nuisances related to property maintenance equipment. Please follow the link to read the city’s noise ordinance. View Noise Ordinance

Property Nuisances

All properties or parts thereof shall be maintained in a safe and sanitary condition in effort to reduce blight , and sustain the highest quality of life standard. If you would like to read the city’s property maintenance code please follow the attached link. View Nuisance Ordinance

Construction Without a Permit

The Code Compliance Division investigates completed construction, alterations, and demolition performed without the benefit of a building, electrical, plumbing, or mechanical permit.

Unpermitted Signage

The city’s zoning code provides standards for signs to safeguard life, health, property, safety, and public welfare, while encouraging compatibility, creativity, variety, and enhancement of the City’s visual image. The Code Compliance Division primarily enforces standards for temporary signs. Please follow the link to read the city’s temporary sign ordinance. View Sign Ordinance

File a Complaint

File a Complaint

Complaint Information Tracking was established to maintain a record of all complaints filed with the Planning & Community Development Department. Some complaints received are for other City departments. Rather than transfer the caller, we receive the complaint and forward it to the proper City Department for investigation and resolution.

The type of complaints tracked through the Complaint Information Tracking program include residential and commercial property maintenance, health and safety, fire hazards, zoning violations, and other related issues.

Once a complaint is received , it is logged into our Land Management System and assigned to the appropriate city department. The complaint is then investigated by departmental staff. If the investigation reveals a violation of the city code, the property owner is notified of the violation and granted a reasonable time for its correction. Property owners may be required to compensate the City for staff’s time enforcing the correction of a code violation, under the City’s Cost Recovery Program. In addition, property owners who fail to correct cited violations are subject to prosecution by the City Prosecutor.

Complaint Information Tracking has proven to be an invaluable tool in ensuring that all citizen complaints are investigated and resolved in a timely manner. To obtain an update on the status of an existing complaint, please call (626) 744-7282.

Please visit the Citizen Service Center to submit a code compliance issue online.

Submit A Complaint

For further information about the property location and/or specific code, please call the Code Compliance office at 626-744-4633 or FAX 626-744-4249.


Enforced By Code Compliance

Complaints Routinely Handled By Code Compliance

  • Accumulations of trash, junk and debris on residential and commercial properties.
  • Clotheslines hanging in front yards.
  • Hazardous trees on private property.
  • Illegal and un-maintained fences.
  • Illegal and un-maintained signs.
  • Illegal building additions (after the fact).
  • Illegal business operating in single family homes, condos or apartment buildings.
  • Illegal conversions of garages and other structures into dwelling spaces.
  • Illegal parked recreational vehicles.
  • Noncompliance with conditions of Conditional Use Permits, Variances, and projects approved with Mitigation Measures.
  • Overcrowded buildings. Symptoms related to such buildings.
  • Outdoors storage of inoperative vehicles.
  • Odors and fumes-sewer and appliance gas odors
  • Parking of commercial vehicles on residentially owned lots.
  • Termites, if there is weather proofing and/or potential structural problems.
  • Un-maintained buildings. Buildings with structural, electrical, plumbing, mechanical and other code violations.
  • Un-maintained and unsecured abandoned buildings and vacant lots.
  • Unscreened trash cans stored in front yard.
  • Vehicles parked on the front or side yard.
  • Yard sales without permits

Addressed By Other Departments

Complaints Handled By Other Departments

  • Abandoned Vehicles on the city street (Police)
  • Cleanliness of Restaurants (Health Deptment)
  • Dogs – Vicious or Barking (Pasadena Humane Society)
  • Garbage collection (Public Works)
  • Hazardous material storage (Fire)
  • Mobile Food Trucks operating outside of permitted hours or zones (Health Deptment)
  • Noisy neighbors (Police and Health Deptment)
  • Problems with public alleys (Public Works)
  • Push Cart Vendors (Health Deptment)
  • Rats and Mice, Roaches, Fleas, and Flies – indoors/outdoors (Health Deptment)
  • Swimming pools (stagnant water) and mosquitoes (Health Deptment)
  • Trash and junk dumped on the public street (Public Works)
  • Un-maintained construction site with active Building Permit on file (Building)
  • Un-maintained street lights, public streets and sidewalks (Public Works)
  • Unsafe power lines (Water and Power).

Addressed by Other Agencies

Code Compliance does not respond to the following complaints

  • The Code Compliance Division does not play a role in landlord tenant disputes or the eviction process.
  • The Code Compliance Division does not inspect loud music or noisy neighbor complaints. If you experience a noise disturbance please contact the Pasadena Police Department, non-emergency line 626-744-4633.
  • Please call the Pasadena Public Works Department if you observe bulk items dumped in the right of way (street, sidewalk, parkway). You can find additional information at www.cityofpasadena.net/publicworks.
  • The Pasadena Public Health Department responds to vendor ( ice cream, corn vendors) complaints. You can find additional information at www.cityofpasadena.net/PublicHealth or 626-744-6000.
  • To report a green pool, please contact the Pasadena Public Health Department at www.cityofpasadena.net/PublicHealth or 626-744-6000.
  • You can also use the Citizen Service Center to report most of your concerns.  You can visit the website at http://www.cityofpasadena.net/citizen-service-center/ or 626-744-7311 Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Fees and Fines

Fees and Fines


Occupancy Inspection (paid in person to Permit Center) $145.23
Occupancy Inspection (paid online via PayPal) $149.88
Home Occupation Permit $
Temporary Banner Permit $ 26.00 per application
Yard Sale Permit $21.00
Building Permit Reactivation $62.83 per permit (sub-trades)
Building Permit Reactivation $239.99 (building permit)


1st Citation $ 110.00 per violation, per day
2nd Citation $ 223.00 per violation, per day
3rd Citation $ 560.00 per violation, per day
4th Citation $ 1127.00 per violation, per day

Any person violating any provision of the Pasadena Municipal Code or applicable State Code may be issued an administrative citation. Each and every day that a violation occurs constitutes a separate and distinct offense.Citation payments must be made in full within thirty (30) calendar days of the issuance of the citation. Payment may be in the form of a cashier’s check, money order or personal check. DO NOT SEND CASH. Check should be made out to The City of Pasadena – Finance Department. Please indicate the citation number on your check.

You may mail payments  to the following address:

City of Pasadena -Finance Department

100 N Garfield Av.

Pasadena Ca 91101

Payment of the citation does not relieve the responsibility to correct the violation(s).  The failure to comply with an administrative citation, including any failure to pay an administrative fine, is a misdemeanor.