Who can I call to discuss my concerns related to Code Enforcement? Please contact Stephanie Karg, Community Preservation Technician, at 461-3474 (24 hour voice mail available), or submit a request through Ask Lake Forest.
Can I park my non-operational car on the street or driveway? No. Vehicles parked on the street or driveway must be operational and have a current DMV registration. Non-operating vehicles must be kept in the garage or other areas out of public view.
Does the City regulate garage sales? The City does not regulate garage or yard sales. However, only three directional signs per sale may be placed in the public right-of-way between 7:00 a.m. and dusk. Additionally, a sign at the location is permitted to identify the site of a garage/yard sale. Signage must be promptly removed at the end of the day, and cannot create a sight obstruction for pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorists.
How do I stop flyers and advertisements from being left at my home? The City does not issue a permit or a license for solicitation. The County of Orange may issue a permit or a license for solicitation but they are not location specific. As a homeowner, you have the right to post "No Trespassing" signage on your property. This allows you to ask people who are on your property without your permission to leave. If they decline, you have the right to call the Orange County Sheriff's Department to remove them.
How many animals are allowed in a home? A person may keep up to four licensed dogs over the age of four months and four cats over the age of four months. An animal permit application issued by OC Animal Care is required for individuals to keep a greater number of animals. For more information, contact OC Animal Care at http://ocpetinfo.com/services/petlaws.
If someone leaves an abandoned vehicle on my property, how do I have it removed? You may contact a private towing company to arrange for towing the vehicle from your property.
Is food vending permitted? A permit is required to sell food in all of Orange County including Lake Forest. More information can be found online at http://www.ochealthinfo.com and http://www.ocfoodinfo.com, or by calling the Orange County Health Care Agency at (714) 433-6000. Additionally, the Lake Forest Municipal Code requires that vendors be located at least five-hundred feet from any public school.
Is noise that emanates from construction work restricted to any particular hours of the day? Noise sources associated with the construction, repair, remodeling, or grading of any real property, are exempted from the provisions of the noise standards of the Lake Forest Municipal Code, provided said activities do not take place between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. on weekdays, including Saturday, or at any time on Sunday or a Federal holiday.
What are the City's requirements for noise control and how can I make a complaint about noise? Noise in residential areas is restricted by time of day, as well as the intensity level and duration of the event. The noise ordinance is designed to address recurring noise sources such as pool pumps/motors, air conditioning units and other stationary noise sources. For noise sources such as loud parties, vehicles, or music, please contact Lake Forest Police Services at 461-3530 or Orange County Sheriff's Department at (949) 770-6011.
What regulations apply to the storage and placement of trash cans? Trash cans must be stored in an area not visible from the public-right-of-way, except during regularly scheduled collection times.
Who should I contact about barking dogs in my neighborhood? Contact OC Animal Care regarding a barking dog. For the purposes of pursuing a barking dog complaint, a barking dog is defined as:
"A dog that barks, bays, cries, howls, or makes any noise for an extended period of time...Such extended period of time shall consist of incessant barking for 30 minutes or more in a 24-hour period, or intermittent barking for 60 minutes or more during any 24-hour period."
It defines who is a responsible person:
"A person who allows a barking dog violation to exist, whether through willful action, failure to act, or failure to exercise proper control over a barking dog...Owner of property upon which a barking dog violation occurs."
The entire process for the Barking Dog procedure is as follows:
You, as the reporting party, initiate the first complaint by mailing the completed
When the first complaint is filed, an Animal Control Officer will make a personal visit with the dog owner or "responsible person" to offer information about the Barking Dog Ordinance and provide educational materials.
Upon second complaint, the complainant must sign a sworn affidavit, under the penalty of perjury, that the barking dog is violating the County Ordinance.
An Animal Control Officer will then visit the dog owner again and may issue a citation for the violation.
The dog owner, or "responsible person," may request an adminstrative hearing to dispute the citation. The complainant must also attend the administrative hearing, or the citation will be dropped. The Administrative Hearing Officer will make the final determination.
For further questions or information about the Barking Dog Procedure, please contact OC Animal Care Services at (949) 249-5160.
What is considered overcrowding in a residence? The City of Lake Forest recognizes that there are community concerns related to overcrowding within residential neighborhoods. Unfortunately, the City's ability to regulate the number of individuals living within a single residence is largely preempted by both the State of California and Federal law.
Specifically, the City is not permitted to modify or deviate from California's Uniform Housing Code (UHC) in determining occupancy standards. In the case of Briseno v. City of Santa Ana, (1992) 6 Cal.App.4th 1378, the Court of Appeals held that State law (e.g., the UHC) preempts local regulation of housing occupancy standards, and that a City may deviate from UHC occupancy guidelines only if it can establish specific findings of local, climatic, geological, or topographical conditions unique to the community. Therefore, limiting residential dwelling units to one or more families or imposing an occupancy cap which is less than the maximum allowed by the UHC would be inconsistent with and preempted by UHC 503.2. The UHC has established the following formula to determine residential occupancy:
1. The gross square footage of the residence = X.
2. Subtract 10% of the total gross square footage for the kitchen, bathroom and hallways.
3. Divide this subtotal by 70 and multiply that subtotal by 2.
4. That number will equal the total number of people who can reside in a home, as per the Uniform Housing Code.
Using the example of a 1,200 square foot home, an occupancy of thirty-one (31) people would be allowed (1,200-120'= 1,080... 1,080/70 = 15.43... 15.43 x 2 = 30.85).
A simpler way to find this same number is to multiply the Gross Square footage by the constant of .025714:
In some situations, however, the City does have limited jurisdiction. For example, the City's Code Enforcement Division can initiate enforcement action on many of the secondary conditions that result from overcrowding, such as illegal construction, garage conversions, nuisance/inoperative vehicles, property maintenance, trash accumulations, etc. Also, under certain circumstances, the overcrowding of a residence can be subject to enforcement action if it is determined that the residence is being commercially operated as a boarding house.
Is sleeping in a garage permitted? Sleeping in a garage is not permitted by the Lake Forest Municipal Code, nor are any obstructions allowed within a garage that would preclude the parking of vehicles.
Can I keep my portable basketball hoop on the sidewalk or street? Privately owned sporting equipment such as basketball hoop structures, hockey nets, and skateboard ramps are not allowed in the public right-of-way. The public right-of-way includes the street, parkway, driveway apron, and sidewalk.
Can I store a refrigerator or other household appliances outside? Yes, but only when they are stored out of view from the public right-of-way AND are secured against access by children. Please be aware that refrigerators, freezers, stoves, and similar household appliances that are left outside present a suffocation hazard to children who might be tempted to play in them. When such applicances have to be left out for refuse pickup or other reasons, they must be secured in a shut position with a chain and lock, or - better yet - have their door(s) completely removed. Please contact the City's Community Preservation Technician immediately at 461-3474 if a refrigerator or similar household appliance is observed placed or stored in an unsafe manner.
How do I dispose of large or bulky items, such as a water heater, sofa or appliance? City residents may request two (2) "large item pick ups" per year. The City of Lake Forest contracts with Waste Management for trash services. To arrange for a large item pick up, call Waste Management directly at (949) 642-1191.
Who do I call when I see abandoned shopping carts? Businesses that use shopping carts are responsible for maintaining them upon their properties. Please contact Code Enforcement at 461-3474 to report an abandoned shopping cart. You may also contact the business directly.
Can I keep my RV in my driveway? Yes. RVs, trailers, campers and boats may be parked in a driveway (i.e., a designated passageway providing vehicular access between a street and a garage or carport) if they are operative and currently licensed. No vehicle may be parked or stored on a front lawn or yard, or in a manner that blocks any sidewalk, street or alley. Further, RVs, campers and trailers may not be used for living or sleeping quarters on private property.
Who do I contact if I see graffiti? To report graffiti, simply call the City of Lake Forest graffiti hotline at (949) 461-3583 (24-hour voice mail available). Please provide either an address or the cross streets where the graffiti is located.
If you see someone who is in the act of producing graffiti, immediately contact Lake Forest Police Services at (949) 461-3548 or the Orange County Sheriff's Department at (949) 770-6011.
Can I hang a banner to promote my business to City residents? Yes. However all banners are subject to a banner permit. Temporary banner applications are available online or by calling the Planning Division at (949) 461-3491.