Codes 2 Know

The City of La Cañada Flintridge is a General Law city that derives its legal authority from the California Constitution and the general laws of the State.  As a General Law city, the City Council serves as the City’s legislative body that passes local laws (sometimes referred to as “ordinances” or “codes”) as needed for the La Cañada Flintridge community.

These local laws are specified in the La Cañada Flintridge Municipal Code and Zoning Code.   The following “Codes 2 Know” are some of the most frequently referenced  local laws that residents should be aware of:

  • Business Licenses - All persons engaged in business within the City must pay for and obtain a business license.  The business license applies to home-based businesses, vending machine operators, contractors, etc.  Some exemptions apply to religious, non-profit, and government organizations, as specified.  For more information on Business Licenses, please contact the Finance Department at (818) 790-8880, or reference the La Cañada Flintridge Municipal Code (LCFMC), Chapter 6.20, Business Code-Fees for Businesses.
  • Use of Parks
    • Reservations - Residents wishing exclusive use of City parks (Memorial Park, Glenhaven Park, and Glenola Park only), or a portion of a park, must apply for a reservation within 31 days of the requested date. Park reservations require providing general liability insurance naming the City as an additional insured.  Hourly park and electricity use fees may apply.  Inflatable jumpers are only allowed at Memorial Park.  For further information on the reservation procedure and other conditions that may apply to park reservations, please contact the Administration Department at (818) 790-8880, or reference the LCFMC, Chapter 5.24, Use of Park/Designated Recreational Facilities.  All parks are available without reservation (and not subject to the above procedures) on a first-come, first-serve basis, however, park users without reservations must vacate the park or portions of the park for parties with a valid park reservation (permit).
    • Commercial use of parks is prohibited.
    • Dogs and cats are allowed at parks but must be on a leash (not longer than six feet) and in control at all times.  Owners are expected to dispose of pet waste.
  • Property Maintenance
    • Public Nuisances - Through its Code Enforcement program, the City investigates reports of property maintenance violations, or public nuisances, and works with property owners to resolve maintenance issues.  Public nuisances are generally defined as conditions on a property that are substantially worse than surrounding properties and results in the lessening of the enjoyment, use, and property values of the neighborhood.  Such public nuisances may also create a danger to surrounding properties if allowed to exist.  The City seeks voluntary resolution by property owners but may resort to legal remedies as necessary to protect the public interest.  Examples of public nuisances include the following:
      • Improper maintenance (e.g., structures boarded-up over 10 days, chipped or peeling paint causing dry rot and termite infestation, broken windows, overgrown vegetation causing safety hazard or harboring rats, lacking proper landscaping [50% requirement], unfenced pools, etc.)
      • Fire hazards from dry or dead trees or shrubs, and other combustible refuse or waste
      • Improper storage or maintenance of motor vehicles (e.g., RVs, campers, boats, or inoperable vehicles in the front yard)
      • Garbage cans stored in the front or side yards visible from the street
      • Graffiti not painted over after 5 days
      • Unsafe structures due to improper construction, earthquake or fire damage, dilapidation, etc.
Please contact the Community Development Department for more information on property maintenance issues at (818) 790-8881, or reference the LCFMC, Chapter 4.33, Property Maintenance Requirements.
  • Trash/Recyclables/Green Waste Carts - To maintain the appearance of neighborhoods and to help keeps streets unobstructed, brown, blue, and green waste carts from your trash hauling company should be place as far away from the centerline of the street as possible.  Carts should also be placed and removed from streets, as follows:
    • Place on street - No earlier than 5:00 pm on the day before trash day
    • Remove from street - No later than 8:00 pm on trash day
For more information on waste carts, please contact the Public Works Department at (818) 790-8882, or reference the LCFMC, Chapter 9.12, Sanitation and Health.
  • Encroachment Permits - Generally, public property (e.g., public streets, sidewalks, unimproved parkways adjacent to streets, etc.) is reserved for public access.  Public property (a.k.a., public right-of-way) may only be used for a private purpose with an approved City encroachment permit (e.g., for utilities repair or construction, permanent improvements, temporary occupancy, etc.).  For residents needing to place storage container units or roll-off dumpster bins on City streets, a City encroachment permit is required prior to the delivery of such containers or bins.  For more information on encroachment permits, please contact the Public Works Department at (818) 790-8882, or reference the LCFMC, Chapter 8.02, Private Encroachments Within Public Right-of-Way.
  • Building Permits - Building related activity (e.g., grading, demolition, construction, maintenance, remodeling, renovation, etc.)  may require a City permit before commencing work.  Such permits are necessary to protect residents and the community as a whole, and to ensure proper building standards as set forth by the County of Los Angeles.  Required permits may include:
    Call 811 before you dig
    • Building permit
    • Electrical permit
    • Mechanical permit
    • Plumbing permit
Residents are highly advised to contact the Community Development Department at (818) 790-8881 for assistance with any building/construction projects.  Also, please reference the Title 7 chapters of the LCFMC for more specifics on Building and Construction.
  • Fences and Walls - Building permits are required for all fences and walls over 42" in height.  Side and rear fences and walls may not exceed 6' in height.  Property owners adjacent to the fence or wall to be constructed are required to be notified and a survey to determine the property line must be completed.  Written approval from the adjacent property owner of a fence or wall site plan may be accepted in lieu of a survey.  For detailed information on fence and wall requirements, please contact the Community Development Department at (818) 790-8881, or reference the LCF Zoning Code, Chapter 11.11 R-1 Single Family Residential Zone.
  • Noisy Building Construction - Noisy construction using vehicles, air compressors, and other equipment is permitted with specific restrictions on days and times, as follows:
    • Monday - Friday, 7:00 am - 6:00 pm (7:00 am - 7:00 pm during Daylight Savings Time)
    • Saturday, 9:00 am - 5;00 pm (same hours during Daylight Savings Time)
    • No noisy construction on Sundays
    • No noisy construction on any recognized federal, state or local holiday
For more information, please contact the Community Development Department at (818) 790-8881, or reference the LCFMC, Chapter 5.02, Noisy Building Construction.

For code enforcement of noisy building construction restrictions, please call the Community Development Department (number above) or the Crescenta Valley Sheriff's Station at (818) 248-3464 (on weekends or other days City Hall is closed). 
  • Landscape Maintenance Noise Restrictions - Use of noisy landscaping tools (e.g., lawn mowers and blowers) are permitted with specific restrictions on days and times:
    • Monday - Thursday, 7:00 am - 7:00 pm
    • Friday - Sunday, 7:00 am - 6:00 pm
For additional information, please contact the Community Development Department at (818) 790-8881, or reference the LCFMC, Chapter 5.02, Landscape Maintenance Noise Restrictions.

For code enforcement of the above landscape maintenance noise restrictions, please call the Community Development Department (number above) or the Crescenta Valley Sheriff's Station at (818) 248-3464 (on weekends or other days City Hall is closed).
  • Fireworks - As all of La Cañada Flintridge is designated as a very high fire hazard severity zone, and because fire is the City's most significant public safety threat, the sale and/or discharge of any fireworks or pyrotechnic device is prohibited in the City.  This prohibition also applies to the so-called "safe and sane" fireworks that may be purchased in outlying communities.  Please contact the Administration Department at (818) 790-8880 with questions regarding this matter, or reference the LCFMC, Chapter 4.32, Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Devices.
  • Motion Picture, Radio, Television Production and/or Still Photography - All persons wishing to conduct motion picture, radio, television production and/or still photography activity ("film activity") within La Cañada Flintridge must have an approved and valid City permit.  Certain exemptions apply to current news media outlets, charitable or academic organizations, and on public and/or non-profit owned property.  Once applications are submitted, permits may be issued upon satisfactory review and approval of all requirements, as appropriate (e.g., insurance documentation and required neighborhood signatures). Application, permit, and use of public right-of-way fees may also apply. 
The City categorizes film activity in three levels, based on anticipated community impacts, as follows:
    • Level 1 film productions are those that will have minimal impact in neighborhoods. Examples of Level 1 film productions include: still photography, student, TV commercial, or small scale movie productions. Level 1 productions will not involve use of public right-of-way or special effects; film activity will only be permitted between the hours of 7:00 am - 9:00 pm (standard hours); and film locations can have only 25 or fewer cast and crew members. Neighborhood notification is required; neighborhood signatures are not required for permit approval; neighborhood protests may be submitted to the City to block permit approval. 
    • Level 2 film productions are those will impact neighborhoods due to use of public right-of-way, special effects, or activity during non-standard hours (6:00 am - 7:00 am and/or 9:00 pm - 12:00 am). Examples of Level 2 film productions include: major motion pictures and productions that require filming on public streets. Level 2 film productions require neighborhood notification and signatures from 51% of affected area properties (within a 300' radius of the film location) for permit approval.
    • Level 3 film permit approval allows for Level 1 or 2 productions on properties that have already reached the maximum number of film activity days in a calendar year (12 days). Level 3 is intended to allow flexibility and choice to individual neighborhoods that may welcome additional film productions. Neighborhood notification is required. In addition, neighborhood signatures from 67% of affected area properties, as well as, signatures from 75% of adjacent properties are required for permit approval.
A maximum of 12 days of film activity is allowed per property (all levels cumulatively per calendar year); additional film activity may be permitted subject to Level 3 requirements; permits allow for a maximum of 6 days of film activity to be completed within a 14-day window; a 15-day quiet period is required between Level 2 film productions on the same property; film permits will not be issued for film production on Sundays or major holidays, or between the hours of midnight and 6:00 am.

Please contact the Administration Department with questions regarding the above at (818) 790-8880, or reference the LCFMC, Chapter 6.04, Regulation of Motion Picture, Radio and Television Production and/or Still Photography Activity.

For code enforcement of the above film activity restrictions, please call the Administration Department (number above) or the Crescenta Valley Sheriff's Station at (818) 248-3464 (on weekends or other days City Hall is closed).
  • 72 Hour Parking Restriction - City streets are intended for public use, including parking.  However, City streets are not intended for long term storage of any vehicle.  Vehicles may be subject to citations and/or towing if parked on a City street and not moved within a 72 hour period.  This parking restriction is an effort to encourage off-street parking, remove inoperable and abandoned vehicles, and to maintain the safety and appearance of City streets.
Procedure: When a complaint is received that a vehicle has been parked on a City street for several days without moving, the Sheriff's Department will initially provide warning of the City's 72 hour parking restriction with a "Red Tag" notice.  Then, if the vehicle is not moved within 24 hours of receiving the Red Tag, a Notice of Warning is issued that the vehicle must be moved at least 200 feet from the present location within the next 48 hours (i.e., a total of 72 hours after receiving the initial Red Tag).  Vehicles that are moved at least 200 feet in compliance with the Notice of Warning may not return for a minimum of 24 hours.  If the vehicle is not moved at least 200 feet within 48 hours following receipt of the Notice of Warning, the vehicle may be issued a citation and/or towed.    

For more information on the City's 72 Hour Parking Restriction, please contact the Administration Department at (818) 790-8880, or reference the LCFMC, Chapter 8.10.030, Storage of vehicles on streets and public rights-of-way prohibited.
  • Sidewalk, Curb, Gutter, Driveway Repair Liability - The City provides a variety of public infrastructure improvements including streets, sidewalks, and curb and gutter.  These public improvements are meant for public use and enjoyment, and also provide benefits such as increased property values, enhanced community aesthetics, and a higher quality of life.  Such public improvements, though, come at a significant capital and ongoing maintenance cost.  When some of these public improvements (e.g., sidewalks, curb and gutter) become damaged due to trees or other factors, the cost of repairs is the responsibility of the adjacent property owner.  This is also the case with privately owned improvements (e.g., driveways) that are damaged as a result of City-owned trees.  Property owners receive the benefit and enjoyment of the City's investment in public infrastructure.  If a resident need assistance in fulfilling his/her obligation to repair property damage, please contact the City.
The City does mitigate repair costs to residents through two programs that are generally funded annually - 1) Street Resurfacing Program, and 2) Miscellaneous Concrete Repair Program.  Both programs are intended to keep the City's infrastructure in a safe and usable state of condition, and to provide repairs to specific locations requiring the most attention.  Often, the scope of these programs include repair of sidewalks, curb and gutter, and some private driveway approaches as may be required as part of the larger project.  Residents may be required to make immediate repairs in cases of unsafe conditions and when the above City programs are not scheduled in the near term.

For further specific information on this matter please contact the Public Works Department at (818) 790-8882, or reference the LCFMC, Chapter 8.16, Property Owner Repair Responsibility.