Updated January 30, 2013
Thousands of residents, business owners, school leaders and managers of places of worship have helped make Cerritos one of the best-looking cities in Southern California by taking pride in their property. The Cerritos Code Enforcement program was established to help maintain the City's park-like look, enhance property values and preserve the high quality of Cerritos neighborhoods.
In addition to planning the annual City Wide Pride program, which honors outstanding property maintenance, City code enforcement officers respond to more than 3,000 calls from residents each year. The team patrols Cerritos streets for health, safety and appearance concerns before the problems contribute to neighborhood decay.
The City of Cerritos prides itself on having clean, well-maintained neighborhoods. Not only are such neighborhoods aesthetically pleasing, higher property values are a result as well. You can help Cerritos remain the model city in this region by calling our Code Enforcement Unit at (562) 916-1203 if you observe any Municipal Code violations.
Common residential complaints include:
- lack of landscape maintenance, including mowing, edging, watering and weed removal
- lack of adequate landscaping in the front yard
- trash cans stored in public view
- debris or trash visible from the street
- inoperable vehicles, boats, trailers or equipment stored in public view
- poorly maintained house paint, trim, garage doors or wood siding
Common Business and Industrial Code Enforcement Complaints
- illegal temporary signs, such as banners and window signs (see the City's sign regulations for details)
- outside storage of goods or equipment
- lack of landscape maintenance
Cerritos residents or business owners can report concerns to the City's Code Enforcement Division by calling (562) 916-1203 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. You may also file a complaint using the Code Enforcement Report Form.
Please note that a barking dog complaint cannot be made anonymously. For more information on submitting a barking dog complaint, visit the Barking Dog Ordinance page.
Code Enforcement Complaint Processing
Problems are addressed in a confidential, friendly and understanding way. When the City receives a complaint or observes a property maintenance violation, a City Code Enforcement Officer will leave a door tag on the resident’s door with information about the violation and ways to remedy the situation. If the violation is not corrected, multiple letters (if necessary) will be sent to the homeowner. The letters will explain the situation, steps to resolution, and provide a deadline by which the resident must contact the City to discuss the violation. If the resident still does not contact the City, the case will go to the Property Preservation Commission. The Property Preservation Commission will review the case and adopt a resolution with a timeline that gives the resident up to 30 days to correct the violation. If the violation is not corrected within the specified timeline, a Code Enforcement Officer will re-inspect the property and schedule an office conference with the resident and City staff. If the violation is still unresolved after the office conference, the administrative citation may be issued.
In most other cities with administrative citation processes, the resident receives a notice and then a citation. The City of Cerritos’ process is designed to give residents ample time to correct the violation prior to the issuance of a citation.
For the first property maintenance violation, a $100 fine will be levied. For the same violation that occurs a second time within one year of the first violation, a $200 fine will be levied. For the same violation that occurs a third time within one year of the first violation, a $500 fine will be levied.
Most Cerritos residents maintain their homes well and have no trouble avoiding code violations. You can keep your home in top shape by:
- regularly mowing, edging, watering and keeping weeds in check
- placing trash cans at the curb after sundown the night before your scheduled collection day, then storing the empty cans out of public view by midnight on collection day
- storing inoperable vehicles, boats, trailers and equipment in the garage, backyard or sideyard, out of public view
- keeping an eye on exterior paint, trim, garage doors and wood siding, making sure to paint or stain the wood when needed
- repairing broken or falling fences or block walls
- removing oil stains from the driveway with cat litter or detergent
- pulling weeds from cracks in the sidewalk or driveway
- adding personal touches, such as flowers and decorative paving
- refer to the Cerritos Cornerstone section for tips on caring for your Cerritos home
- landscape not being properly maintained and property in need of painting
- trailers, boats and camper shells stored in driveways, or stored on side yards not screened from public view
- inoperable vehicles, construction materials and miscellaneous debris stored on the driveway, or stored on side yards not screened from public view
- major auto repairs being performed in public view
- holiday lights not removed within 15 days of the holiday
- trash cans stored in an area visible from the street
Please contact Community Development at (562) 916-1201 for permits for the following:
- Permits for home improvements such as: widening a driveway, new roofs, room additions, patios, block walls, fence extensions and paint color.
- Have the Community Development Department review any plans to conduct significant landscape remodeling and driveway expansions. A permit is required for any exterior home painting.
- Vehicles may only be parked in a garage, on the driveway or other approved parking areas. No portion of a vehicle may be parked on a lawn. No portion of a vehicle may block a sidewalk, park on an unapproved driveway or park on the driveway parallel to the street. Permits are required to park on all City streets between the hours of 3 and 5 a.m.
- If your parkway tree needs maintenance, you can call the Public Works Department at (562) 916-1220.
- You can report graffiti by calling the Graffiti Hot Line at (562) 916-1233 to report specific locations for removal.
- For disposal of washers, dryers, water heaters, or other large items, call Calmet Disposal Service at (562) 259-1239.
For more information on the City's code enforcement program, call (562) 916-1203.