Common Codes Enforced

Santa Rosa’s Code Enforcement team responds to a wide variety of issues on private property. Below are some commonly enforced codes. If you are not sure if you need a permit, check the City Code or contact the Department of Planning and Economic Development.

Instructional Guides are available for several common regulations regarding uses of private property such as operating a home business, tree removal, hen keeping, and more.

To report a suspected code violation, submit a complaint to Code Enforcement.

Animal Violations

While hen keeping is allowed with properly sized coops and pens, roosters are prohibited. This and other animal keeping restrictions are listed here.

Building Without a Permit

Construction on private property requires permits and inspections. This includes installation of electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems, garage conversions, fences, and other additions.

Cannabis Cultivation

Commercial cannabis activity in residential neighborhoods is prohibited. Cultivation of cannabis for personal use may occur only on parcels with an existing legal residence occupied by a full time resident responsible for the cultivation. Click here for more information.

Garbage and Recycle Container Storage

Garbage and recycling containers must not be placed in the street earlier than 24 hours before collection and removed no later than 24 hours after collection. Refuse containers are not permitted to be stored on the public right-of-way (streets and sidewalks), and must be moved after collection away from the street and sidewalks. As a courtesy, it is suggested that garbage and recycling containers be kept out of public view, behind the fence or in a designated area that does not detract from neighborhood aesthetics.  


Graffiti removal on private property is the responsibility of the property owner. Graffiti must be removed within 72 hours per Santa Rosa’s Graffitti Abatement Ordinance.  You can report graffiti by submitting a complaint

How do I distinguish public property from private property? 

In general, public property includes parks, sidewalks and streets. Street furniture is also public property, including signs, streetlights, traffic signals, water hydrants. Report graffiti in these areas to the responsible agency. Private property is typically located behind the sidewalk, such as buildings, walls, and fences. If you are unsure if a parcel is private property, you can look it up here

How do I report graffiti vandalism in progress?

When reporting graffiti vandalism in progress, please call the Santa Rosa Police Dept non-emergency line at (707) 528-5222 and be prepared to give a description of the location of the graffiti, the vandals' clothing, age, height, gender and what was used to do the graffiti. 

Home Business

Certain types of businesses may be operated out of the home. However, a home occupation zoning review must be secured from the Planning Division to ensure the business is not in violation of zoning requirements and does not adversely impact the neighborhood.

Overgrown Vegetation

Front and side yard landscaping must be maintained to provide a neat, clean and healthful condition, with weeds kept from exceeding four inches in height. Vegetation and trees should not impede sidewalks or streets

Short-Term Rentals

Compliance with the citys's short-term rental ordinance requires property owners to adhere to several rules including limiting the number of daytime and overnight guests, prohibiting events and amplified sound, and posting specific rules and emergency information, among others. For a full list of requirements to comply with the ordinace, as well as penalties for  go to the city's page on short-term rentals.


Prohibited signs include un-permitted billboards, wind-blown signs and “A" frames, and anything taped or posted on public property.

Substandard Housing

Accumulation of trash & debris, lack of utilities, property maintenance, mold, rodent/insect infestations are examples of substandard housing complaints subject to enforcement.

Vehicle Storage

Vehicles can be parked on the driveway (no parking on front yard), but must be in running condition. If they are inoperable, you may be asked to remove them or store them inside a garage. There is a 72-hour limit on storing vehicles, including boats and RVs, on property

Additionally, it is unlawful for a person to park or leave standing any vehicle on a public street in excess of the posted time limit, or 72 hours. 

What We Do Not Enforce

The Santa Rosa Code Enforcement division does not handle civil disputes, such as property line disagreements or a neighbor’s tree hanging over the fence, or issues on public property. 

For issues outside our jurisdiction, the table below lists agencies to contact:

Issue LocationAgencyLink
Mobile home parkState of California’s Mobile Home Assistance Center
Outside city limitsCounty of Sonoma
Creeks and waterwaysCounty of Sonoma
Schools or hospitals
Contact district or hospital directly