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Complaints Not Under the Jurisdiction of Code Compliance

The following types of complaints are best addressed as civil matters through the court system, mediation or through the appropriate County Department.

  • Privacy concerns: A new addition/deck was constructed and now the neighbors can see into my rear yard or house. Unfortunately, not all building permits require neighbor notification.
  • View protection: Views are not protected except for required coastal and scenic corridors. To be protected, views must be a condition of approval of a development permit.
  • Trees: The only trees protected by the Significant Tree Ordinance, SCC 16.34, are those located in the Coastal Zone or a designated Riparian Corridor and meet the definition of a significant tree. The California Department of Forestry (CDF) enforces timber harvesting and exemptions.
  • Blocked easements and rights-of-way: The County does not guarantee the usability of private easements and rights-of-way. The titleholders of the easement or right-of-way must protect their own rights. Public easements or rights-of-way are maintained by the Department of Public Works.
  • Neglected Properties: The neglected property ordinance, SCC 13.10.556, applies only to residentially zoned parcels. Commercial and Agricultural properties are regulated by commercial development permit conditions-of-approval.
  • Tenant/housing complaints: Code Compliance only enforces the legality of a structure and does not enforce sub-standard housing complaints. These complaints should be directed to the Environmental Health Department. Illegal units will be required to be vacated. The County of Santa Cruz does not limit the number of people dwelling in a house or require that they be related.
  • Septic concerns: Leaking septic tanks, leach fields, and gray water issues should be reported directly to the Environmental Health Department.
  • Property line disputes: Complaints such as a fence built over the property line, are private civil matters. Structures being alleged to be encroaching over property lines will only be investigated if it’s currently under construction without a building permit.
  • Drainage: Drainage from one property onto another is a trespass issue. Code Compliance will only investigate if the drainage system is required as part of a condition-of-approval of a development or building permit and has been altered.
  • Noise: The Sheriff's Department in accordance with SCC Chapter 8.30 handles general noise complaints. Code Compliance would only investigate if the noise was restricted by a building, development, or use permit. Animal noise complaints are addressed by County Animal Control at 831-454-7303.
  • ​​​​​​​Parking issues: Code Compliance enforces only those parking requirements that are conditions-of-approval of development permits.