4th of July Parade
  1. What time does the parade start?
    The parade starts at 10 a.m. sharp. 
  2. Where is the parade route located?
    • The parade route is located on the Toledo Way, Serrano Road, Ridge Route, and Lake Forest.
    • Parade starts at the corner of Toledo Way and Ridge Route Drive (in front of El Toro High School) and ends on Serrano Road before Ridge Route.  
  3. What streets will be closed the day of the parade?
    Please visit our 4th of July Parade page for information about street closures. 4th of July Parade Page. 
  4. Is there a map available of the parade route and street closures?
    Yes. Please visit our 4th of July Parade page for more information about street closures including a map. 4th of July Parade Page. 
  5. If I have a question on the day of the parade, where should I go?
    Please go to the Information booth, for any questions. We will be at a tent, located in front of El Toro High School. 
  6. What time should I arrive and where can I park?
    • If you are a participant of the parade you can check in at a check-in booth between 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. All entrants must be checked in at this time. If you have a large group, please have a representative check-in and designate a specific place to meet the rest or your organization.
    • If you are a parade observer we recommend coming as early as possible, remember the parade starts at 10 a.m. sharp.
    • Parking is located in the El Toro High School back parking lot, which can be accessed on Serrano Rd from El Toro Rd. This parking lot does fill up quickly.
    •  Parking can also be found on Lake Forest Drive and Serrano Road.
  7. Can I sign up to participate in the parade the day of?
    The registration deadline to participate is found on the 4th of July Parade's website. After the specified time, the City will not take any more applicants. 
  8. Can I sign up to participate in the parade and where do participants go when they arrive?
    • Please check our registration page, to submit your application online.
    • Car Clubs shall check in and stage on Ridge Route (Enter from Jeronimo Road).
    • Bands shall check in and stage on Ridge Route, entering from Serrano Road.
    • Equestrians shall check in and stage at La Madera Elementary School parking lot, entering from Serrano Road.
    • General parade entries (if your parade entry is not a band, a car club, nor an equestrian entry) please check in at Toledo Way and Killy Street, which can be accessed from El Toro Road.  
  9. Can I bring my pet?
    Yes, please make sure to have your pet on a leash. 
  10. Where are the restrooms?
    There will be restrooms located at El Toro High School as well as portable toilets located along the parade route. 
Animal Control/Vector Control
  1. How do I get an animal license?
    Pet licensing is provided by Orange County Animal Care Services through a contract with the City. For information on pet licensing, call (714) 935-6848 or (949) 249-5160, Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., or visit OCgov.com.

    OC Animal Care
  2. Who do I call about a barking dog?
    Orange County Animal Care, under contract with the City, assists in the resolution of barking dog complaints through its "Barking Dog Ordinance." For more information call Orange County Animal Care Services at (714) 796-6442, from 7:30 a.m.to 3:30 p.m., Monday – Friday or visit OCPetInfo.com.
  3. How many animals are allowed in a home?
    A person may keep up to three licensed dogs over the age of four months and three 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, visit the Pet Laws section at OCPetInfo.com.
    OC Animal Care website
  4. There is a dead animal in the street, how can it be removed?
    Dead animals can be reported by calling OC Animal Care at (714) 935-6848
  5. Who should I call about a swarm of bees?
    If bees are attacking a person, call 911. For bees on private property, refer to the phone book or the Internet and search for a bee removal company. For bees on public property, contact Public Works at (949) 461-3480
  6. Who do I call about flies, rats and mosquitoes?
    Orange County Vector Control Agency handles all calls regarding fly, rat, and mosquito infestations and can be reached at (714) 971-2421, or visit the Orange County Vector Control website
Birth / Marriage / Death Certificate / Tax Records
  1. How do I obtain a marriage, birth or death certificate, or divorce decree?
    Certified copies of marriage, birth, or death certificates or divorce decrees can be obtained from the County of Orange Clerk-Recorder's Office, located at 630 N. Broadway, Building 12, Room 101, Santa Ana, CA 92741. For general information about and phone-in requests for marriage, birth, or death certificates, please call (714) 834-3005. Certified copies may also be requested online at the Orange County website
  2. How do I obtain a marriage license?
    Marriage licenses are issued by the County of Orange. For more information, visit OCgov.com.
    County of Orange website
Business Assistance
  1. Does the City offer assistance to businesses?
    The City offers several business assistance programs, including complimentary private consultations from business experts for Lake Forest business owners and Lake Forest residents who are starting businesses. The City maintains a hands-on approach by offering completely free, extensive marketing opportunities through the monthly business spotlight program, publishing monthly updates in the e-Newsletter and quarterly large-scale updates in the In Business Newsletter, and Shop and Dine Lake Forest Week. Shop and Dine Lake Forest Week encourages local residents and employees to support local retailers and businesses. Participating businesses are part of a promotional booklet that is mailed out to approximately 30,000 households, as well as featured in promotional material on print advertisements, radio, and local newspaper. For more information, contact Economic Development at (949) 461-3567. 

  2. How can I find out about upcoming business seminars and events in the City?
    Seminars, workshops and roundtables include a variety of topics such as starting a business, developing a website, understanding government regulations and marketing, and much more. To find out about upcoming business seminars and events on Economic Development’s website at www.lakeforestbusiness.com. 

Business License and Ownership
  1. Do I need a business license?
    The City does not require businesses to obtain a business license in order to operate. However, we encourage businesses to complete a business registration form for emergency contact information and to be placed on the City’s mailing list to receive information on upcoming business seminars and workshops. Some businesses may also require a Law Enforcement Review. For a list of those businesses, contact the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at (714) 647-1868. You should also check with the City's Community Development Department to obtain a zoning confirmation. Residents who are interested in starting a home-based business are encouraged to review the Ordinance found on the website listed above. The Zoning Confirmation form is available at the City’s Planning Counter and also online.
  2. Can I obtain business ownership information?
    The City does not have official business ownership information as we do not require a business license. Ownership information on sole proprietorship and partnerships may be obtained through the County of Orange Clerk-Recorder’s Office or by contacting them at (714) 834-3005. For information on corporations and limited liability partnerships, visit the California Secretary of State's website at http://www.sos.ca.gov/
Car Seat Inspection

 

  1. How can I learn to properly install my child's safety seat?
    Since every safety seat and vehicle is different, parents and guardians should refer to the seat instructions, as well as your vehicle owner’s manual, and follow the recommendations. Police Services offers a child seat safety inspection by a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician. If you like to schedule car seat inspection, contact (949) 461-3548 to schedule an appointment. 
  2. Is it okay to use a used child safety seat?

    - Avoid using used seats, especially if bought from a yard sale or thrift shop because you do not know the seat's history. Never use a seat that:

  • Has been in an accident.
  • Is too old. Look on the label for the date the seat was made. Many manufacturers recommend that child safety seats only be used for a certain number of years. Check with the manufacturer to find out how long the company recommends using their seats.
  • Has any visible cracks in the frame of the seat.
  • Does not have a label with the date of manufacture and model number. Without these, you cannot check to see if the seat has been recalled.
  • Does not come with instructions. You can get a copy of the instruction manual by contacting the manufacturer or looking on the Internet.
  • Is missing parts. Used child safety seats often come without important parts. Check with the manufacturer to make sure you can get the right parts.

3. Is it appropriate to install a safety seat using both the LATCH system and safety belt?
    The two duplicate the same function. You should not use both unless the manufacturer specifically indicates to do so. The system that provides the tightest, most secure installation for the seat should be used. In few cases, this may be the safety belt, rather than the LATCH system. Both systems are equally effective, however, the LATCH system does have weight restrictions that can be found in the car seat instructions. 

City Council

 

  1. When and where does the City Council meet?
    The Lake Forest City Council meets on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, located at 100 Civic Center Dr, Lake Forest, CA 92630.
  2. How can I speak in front of the City Council?
    Members of the public can speak in front of the City Council under "Public Comments," or on an item that is listed under "Consent Calendar" or "Public Hearings." Speakers must complete a "Request to Speak" card and hand it to staff. Speakers are limited to three minutes each.

    The Ralph M. Brown Act (the State Local Agency open meeting law) prohibits the City Council from acting on any matter that is not on the agenda. Generally, the City Council refers such matters to staff for investigation and/or resolution.
  3. How can I find out what will be discussed at a City Council meeting?
    City Council Meeting agendas are available on the City's website on the Friday before the Council meeting. Agendas can be downloaded from our Agendas page
  4. How can I reach a member of the City Council?
    The best way to reach a member of the City Council is through "Ask Lake Forest" at www.asklakeforest.com. For meeting or invitation requests with a member of the City Council, contact the City Clerk's Office at (949) 461-3420 to have your message forwarded to the Council Member you are trying to reach. Visit Ask Lake Forest
  5. Does the City Council have office hours?
    The City Council does not have office hours except for Council Member Jim Gardner. Council Member Gardner holds office hours at City Hall every Tuesday from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. No appointments are needed. 
Claims
  1. How do I file a claim against the City?
    To file a claim against the City, a completed Claims Form must be submitted to the City. The form can download on the City’s website or requested from the City Clerk's Office at (949) 461-3420. Please leave your name, address and phone number, and a claim form will be mailed to you. 
CMAACC Update
  1. January 2018
    In 2016, Orange County Animal Care (“OCAC”) retained a consulting firm called JVR Shelter Strategies to review OCAC data to determine staffing and capacity needs for the new animal shelter. JVR Shelter Strategies is owned and operated by Dr. Jyothi Robertson, a veterinarian, who is board-qualified in Shelter Medicine. Dr. Robertson specializes in large-scale population dynamics, including outbreak management, infectious disease control, and shelter statistics. Prior to working with OCAC, Dr. Robertson completed a comprehensive review of the City of Irvine Animal Services. 

    At the most recent meeting of the City Manager’s Association Animal Care Committee (“CMAAC”) meeting on January 29, 2018, Dr. Robertson provided staff with a general overview of OCAC’s Strategic Plan.  OCAC provided staff with a physical copy of the Executive Summary of its Strategic Plan which is attached for the City Council’s information (Attachment). The Executive Summary is divided into five strategic priorities: (1) Animal Care, Enrichment, and Placement, (2) Stakeholder Engagement and Marketing, (3) Culture and Organizational Development, (4) Fiscal Stewardship and Sustainability, and (5) New Shelter Preparation. 

    Each section of the Executive Summary outlines specific goals and measures of success for the program.  According to the presentation provided by Dr. Robertson, these goals and measures are designed to ensure the program continues to improve care for each animal received at the new animal shelter and to specifically improve the live-release rate.  As noted by JVR Shelter Strategies in Strategic Priority 1, Goal #4, the live release rate for dogs is currently over 90%.  OCAC’s success measure is that the live release rate for dogs remain at this level.  Dr. Robertson is also recommending a success measure to increase the live release rate for cats by 5% each year, with a target live release rate of 85% by 2020.  Other aspects of the Strategic Plan highlighted in Dr. Robertson’s review included streamlining the adoption process, engaging volunteers, enhancing the organizational culture at OCAC, increasing licensing compliance to 60% by 2019, and engaging in efforts to streamline the opening of the new facility.

    JVR currently is finalizing the OCAC Strategic Planning, which was not provided to staff.  Upon completion, OCAC plans to share the final report with its contract partners, the Orange County Board of Supervisors, and the community as part of outreach efforts.  OCAC plans to take the final version of the Strategic Plan to the Orange County Board of Supervisors later this fiscal year but did not specify a date.  At that time, the Orange County Board of Supervisors and members of the public will have the opportunity to comment on the recommendations.

    OCAC anticipates that implementation of some of the proposed recommendations by JVR Shelter Strategies may require additional budget appropriations by the Orange County Board of Supervisors in the coming fiscal year.  However, given that OCAC does not have policy direction from the Orange County Board of Supervisors, the fiscal impact to the County and the contract cities has not yet been estimated.
  2. February 2018 - Cancelled
    The CMAACC meeting scheduled for February 2018 was canceled due to OCAC’s need to move into the new animal care facility.
  3. March 2018
    On March 7, 2018, Orange County Animal Care opened its new animal shelter in the City of Tustin.  The event included presentations from the Orange County Board of Supervisors and County staff.  Chairman Do, Supervisor Steele, Supervisor Bartlett, and Supervisor Spitzer provided remarks regarding the development process and their vision for the program.  The County discussed plans to implement the forthcoming strategic plan being prepared by JVR Shelter Strategies and stressed the need to use the new facility to improve the overall quality of care for animals.
  4. April 2018
    City staff attended the City Manager’s Association Animal Care Committee (“CMAAC”) meeting on April 19, 2018, at Orange County Animal Care’s (“OCAC”) new facility.  Discussion topics included OCAC completed Strategic Plan, the Fiscal Year 2018-19 Operating Budget, and the status of hiring a permanent OCAC Director.  This memorandum provides a summary of each topic discussed.

    OCAC Strategic Plan

    As previously reported to the City Council in 2016, Orange County Animal Care (“OCAC”) retained a consulting firm, JVR Shelter Strategies (“JVR”), to review OCAC data to determine staffing and capacity needs for the new animal shelter.  Dr. Jyothi Robertson, JVR owner, specializes in large-scale population dynamics, including outbreak management, infectious disease control, and shelter statistics.  Pursuant to OCAC’s agreement with the consultant, JVR worked with OCAC staff to guide the program’s strategic planning process.  
    At the most recent meeting of the CMAAC, OCAC staff reviewed its completed Strategic Plan, highlighting OCAC’s Vision, Mission, Motto, and Strategic Priorities.   OCAC provided CMAAC members with a one-page Strategic Plan Overview detailing these components which is attached for the City Council’s information. Each identified strategic priority includes specific programs aimed at improving OCAC services.  For example, OCAC identified “Stakeholder Engagement and Marketing” as a Strategic Priority.  One method the organization will use to advance this priority is implementation of new policies and procedures to increase information sharing and transparency, which will include independent verification of monthly intake and outcome figures.  Orange County Community Resources (“OCCR”) plans to take the completed Strategic Plan and the completed Fee Study to the Board of Supervisors on May 22, 2018. 

    Fiscal Year 2018-19 Operating Budget

    In keeping with its outlined strategic priorities and programmatic actions, OCAC will implement new program initiatives in Fiscal Year 2018-19 which may impact overall operational costs.  OCAC is evaluating potential alternative operating scenarios. Some of these scenarios could result in cost savings and enhanced revenue, such as additional fund raising opportunities and managing animal intake through requiring appointments to surrender animals and returning animals to owners in the field.  OCAC provided staff with a Notice of Intent estimating the City’s share ($559,194) for the coming fiscal year.  Staff will use this information as it develops the City’s Draft Operating Budget for Fiscal Year 2018-19. 

    OCAC Director Recruitment

    During the meeting, OCCR Director, Dylan Wright, provided a status update regarding the department’s recruitment for a new program director.  At this time, all applications have been reviewed, and OCCR staff found 13 candidates qualified for the position.  The County will interview these candidates in the coming weeks to narrow the selection.  Mr. Wright expressed interest in including City Manager participation in the interview process.  Once a candidate is selected, OCAC will invite the final candidate to attend a CMAAC meeting and introduce this individual to participating cities’ representatives. OCCR provided a letter detailing its planned efforts for stakeholder involvement in selecting a new OCAC Director. Staff will provide updates relative to this process as appropriate.   

    Staff will continue to update the City Council relative to OCAC operations and provide any additional documents or information as appropriate.  Should the City Council have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 949-461-3537.
  5. May 2018

    The meeting scheduled for May 2018, was canceled; however, Orange County Community Resources Director (“OCCR”), Dylan Wright, provided a written update relative to the status of topics previously discussed during CMAAC meetings.  This memorandum provides a summary of this update

    OCAC Strategic Plan and Fee Study

    As previously reported to the City Council in 2016, Orange County Animal Care (“OCAC”) retained a consulting firm, JVR Shelter Strategies (“JVR”), to review OCAC data to determine staffing and capacity needs for the new animal shelter.  Dr. Jyothi Robertson, JVR owner, specializes in large-scale population dynamics, including outbreak management, infectious disease control, and shelter statistics.  Pursuant to OCAC’s agreement with the consultant, JVR worked with OCAC staff to guide the program’s strategic planning process.   

    With the assistance of JVR, OCAC  completed a draft of its Strategic Plan.    Staff previously informed the City Council that OCCR intended to present the Strategic Plan and the Fee Study to the Board of Supervisors on May 22, 2018.  However, OCCR determined that the Board of Supervisors will need to review the two documents individually.  As a result, OCCR will present the Strategic Plan to the Board of Supervisors on May 22, 2018, but will postpone presentation of the Fee Study until July 2018.

    Animal Licensing Application Upgrade

    OCAC recently upgraded its web-based pet licensing application to enhance customer service to residents.  The new program allows greater ease for customers to identify their pet’s licenses, create a new license for a new pet, and update records if a pet is lost or recently deceased.  Additionally, the new application provides the option for residents to make monetary donations to OCAC.  The new licensing program is available to view here: https://licensepet.com/wl3/reg/orngwl.  

    Fundraising Campaign

    During its meeting of May 8, 2018, the Board of Supervisors discussed OCAC’s proposed fundraising campaign with a third-party fundraising firm called Convergent.  The Board of Supervisors directed OCCR to proceed with Convergent for a six-month fundraising campaign.  The County is responsible for the costs associated with this effort ($175,000) and anticipates generating approximately $1,000,000 to $1,500,000 through fundraising activities which could offset OCAC’s programming costs.  OCAC and Convergent staff will meet within the next few weeks to begin the project and OCAC will provide updates to each participating City as appropriate. 

    Community Outreach 

    OCAC recently partnered with Animals for Armed Forces.  Over the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend, May 25-27, 2018, OCAC will offer free adoptions to active duty, reserve, and military veterans to thank and honor dedicated service men and women.   A flyer promoting the adoption event is attached for the City Councils information (Attachment).

    Staff will continue to update the City Council relative to OCAC operations and provide any additional information as appropriate.  Should the City Council have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 949-461-3537.
  6. June 2018

    City staff attended the City Manager’s Association Animal Care Committee meeting on June 21, 2018 at Orange County Animal Care (“OCAC”) headquarters.  Discussion topics included a recent Panleukopenia outbreak at the animal shelter, the status of the recruitment effort for the Director of Animal Care, a recent agency fee study, OCAC’s fundraising efforts, and the organizations summer adoption promotions. 

    Panleukopenia

    OCAC has identified the presence of panleukopenia and is taking immediate steps to contain the spread of the virus.  Panleukopenia is a relatively common disease which may have serious consequences for unvaccinated and immune-immature cats and kittens.  While panleukopenia is not unexpected in shelters this time of year, it is nonetheless concerning and OCAC is taking the situation seriously.

    OCAC adopted a shelter-wide approach and implemented deep care and cleaning protocols with both staff and volunteers.  Additionally, OCAC is limiting access to cats to in-kennel visits, and is administering booster immunizations to all shelter cats.  While dangerous to unvaccinated cats, there is no risk to the public visiting the shelter.  Regardless, OCAC continues to promote hand sanitization of all visitors as they enter and exit each cat area. To date, no Lake Forest cats have been affected by the virus and the shelter’s cat adoption process continues.

    Director of Animal Care Recruitment Status

    During the meeting, Orange County Community Resources (“OCCR”) Director, Dylan Wright, provided a status update regarding the department’s recruitment for a new Director of Animal Care. At this time, the County has extended an offer to the selected candidate and the County is awaiting a response. The candidate visited the facility during the recruitment process and will be introduced to the CMAACC in the near future, should he/she accept the position.

    OCAC Fee Study

    Staff previously informed the City Council that OCCR intended to present the Strategic Plan and the Fee Study to the Board of Supervisors in May 2018.   However, OCCR determined that the Board of Supervisors would need to review the two documents individually.  As a result, OCCR presented the Strategic Plan to the Board of Supervisors on May 22, 2018, and scheduled the presentation of the Fee Study for July 2018.   If approved, updated licensing fees will take effect on September 1, 2018, and all others fees on August 1, 2018. 

    Fundraising Campaign

    OCAC receives around $100,000 annually in donations.  As a part of its newly adopted strategic plan, OCAC is committed to increasing fund raising efforts during the coming Fiscal Year.   At its meeting of May 8, 2018, the Board of Supervisors discussed OCAC’s proposed fundraising campaign with a third-party fundraising firm called Convergent.  The Board of Supervisors directed OCCR to proceed with Convergent for a six-month fundraising campaign.  The County is responsible for the costs associated with this effort ($175,000) and anticipates generating approximately $1,000,000 to $1,500,000 through fundraising activities which could offset OCAC’s programming costs.  OCAC and Convergent have begun the fundraising campaign. 

    Cool Cats of Summer Promotion

    OCAC’s Cool Cats of Summer promotion lasts until the end of June.  During this time, OCAC will waive all cat adoption fees, with the exception of the $17 microchip fee.   OCAC uses donations to offset the expenses associated with this promotion.

    Alternative Animal Care Shelter Exploration

    The City Council previously directed staff to send letters to the cities of Costa Mesa, Irvine, Mission Viejo, San Clemente, and San Juan Capistrano regarding potential interest in a partnership to provide animal care services. At this time, staff has received responses from many of the cities. Staff plans to present an update regarding this project to the City Council at a meeting in August 2018, to discuss next steps and receive further City Council direction.

    Staff will continue to update the City Council relative to OCAC operations and the City’s effort to explore alternative shelter options as appropriate.  Should the City Council have any questions, please feel free to contact me at (949) 461-3537.
  7. July 2018

    July 2018

    City staff attended the City Manager’s Association Animal Care Committee meeting on July 19, 2018 at Orange County Animal Care (“OCAC”) headquarters.  Discussion topics included the new OCAC fee study, selection of a new Director of Animal Care, Fiscal Year 2017-18 budget actuals, shelter capacity, an update regarding the recent outbreak of panleukopenia and typhus, upcoming events, and coyote mitigation. 

    OCAC Fee Study

    Staff previously informed the City Council that Orange County Community Resources (“OCCR”) conducted a fee study of the OCAC program.  OCCR presented the fee study and suggested fee schedule to the Board of Supervisors at its meeting of July 17, 2018.  Following some discussion, the Board of Supervisors approved the recommended fee schedule during this meeting.   Updated licensing fees will take effect on September 1, 2018, and all others fees on August 1, 2018.  However, adoption of the new fee schedule does not affect the license fees the City Council previously established.  The fee study and fee schedule are attached for the City Council’s information.  

    New Director of Animal Care Hired

    During the meeting, OCCR Director, Dylan Wright, also discussed the selection of the new Director of Animal Care, Mike Kaviani.  Mr. Kaviani has over 14 years of experience in the animal care industry and previously served the Irvine community.  Mr. Kaviani joins OCAC from Austin Pets Alive!, where he served as the Director of Life Saving Operations.  OCAC anticipates that its chosen candidate will begin his new role with the County on August 17, 2018.  Following this date, Mr. Kaviani will be introduced to the CMAAC.  Additionally, Mr. Wright is available to introduce Mr. Kaviani to the City Council at a meeting in the near future.      

    Fiscal Year 2017-18 Budget Actuals 

    OCAC’s Budget Analyst provided an update regarding program actuals for Fiscal Year 2017-18.  Based on the actual revenues and expenditures for June 2018, OCAC anticipates that it may have exceeded the collective Notice of Intent estimates for the previous fiscal year.  OCAC anticipates finalizing the fourth quarter invoices by the end of July and providing these to the member cities in early August 2018.  

    Shelter Capacity

    In the past few months, the OCAC shelter capacity has been at 80 percent or higher.  While the shelter and its staff are better equipped to address needs associated with a high shelter capacity, this consistent population is unmanageable in the long-term.  To encourage more adoption and reduce capacity, OCAC initiated a fee waiver for adoption of those animals with tenure at the shelter of seven or more days.  This waiver program will remain in place until the shelter population reduces to approximately 60 percent of capacity or August 4, 2018

    Panleukopenia and Typhus

    Staff previously reported that OCAC identified the presence of panleukopenia in the shelter.  Panleukopenia is a relatively common disease which may have serious consequences for unvaccinated and immune-immature cats and kittens.  To address the outbreak, OCAC adopted a shelter-wide approach and implemented deep care and cleaning protocols with both staff and volunteers.  Additionally, OCAC limited access to cats to in-kennel visits, and is administering booster immunizations to all shelter cats.  To date, the outbreak appears to be resolved.  OCAC veterinary staff identified two additional cases of panleukopenia separate from the initial outbreak.  The virus does not appear to have spread beyond these two additional cases.  OCAC staff also learned of an outbreak of Typhus among cats in the City of Orange.  As a result, OCAC has temporarily suspended its trap-neuter-return program within this jurisdiction as to not exasperate the outbreak. 

    Upcoming Events

    OCAC is preparing for the national Clear the Shelters event scheduled for August 12, 2018.  NBC recently informed OCAC that it was chosen as a key shelter for the network to highlight during the day.  NBC will feature OCAC on Clear the Shelters day and be present at the shelter for the event.  Additionally, OCAC will participate in a pre-Clear the Shelters event scheduled for August 11, 2018 at Bella Terra in Huntington Beach.  NBC will also be present for this event scheduled to take place between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

    Coyote Mitigation

     OCAC hosted a separate meeting regarding coyote mitigation to assess current city efforts and its role in addressing mitigation efforts in the future.  The City receives few complaints of coyotes annually and attended the meeting to clarify roles and responsibilities related to reporting coyote activity.  OCAC clarified that it responses to calls for service involving injured, sick, or aggressive coyotes.  Additionally, the group discussed the potential to regionalize a coyote mitigation plan amongst all participating cities, as opposed to the current localized approach.  OCAC will begin reporting calls for service involving coyotes monthly and evaluate the potential for a regionalized mitigation plan.   

    Please contact Louie Lacasella, Assistant to the City Manager, with any questions at (949) 461-3537, or via email at llacasella@lakeforestca.gov.
  8. August 2018

    August 2018

    City staff attended the City Manager’s Association Animal Care Committee meeting on August 16, 2018 at Orange County Animal Care (“OCAC”) headquarters.  Discussion topics included an introduction of the new Director of Animal Care, animal control field and special services, and the recent animal cruelty case.    

    Introduction of Director of Animal Care

    During the meeting, Orange County Community Resources (“OCCR”) Director, Dylan Wright, introduced the new Director of Animal Care, Mike Kaviani.  Mr. Kaviani shared his experience with the group and expressed enthusiasm for joining the OCAC community.  Mr. Kaviani has over 14 years of experience in the animal care industry and previously served the Irvine community.  Mr. Kaviani joins OCAC from Austin Pets Alive!, where he served as the Director of Life Saving Operations.  Mr. Kaviani began his new role with OCAC on August 17, 2018, and will be available to attend a City Council meeting in the near future.  

    Animal Control Field and Special Services

    In addition to identifying potential cost savings associated with shelter operations, OCAC is examining methods by which to alter field and special services and offer additional cost savings to its contracting agencies.  California State law mandates that animal control conduct certain activities.  Beyond these, OCAC will examine current services and introduce potential cost saving program options to the CMAACC at its next meeting.  

    Additionally, the CMAACC discussed the City of Anaheim’s study to examine the possibility of providing its own field services.  OCAC noted that each contracted city’s field service allocation would increase in the event that Anaheim decided to offer its own services. Although Anaheim has not formally withdrawn from OCAC field service provisions, OCAC will include this possibility when it presents additional field service models to the contract cities at its next meeting.  Staff will provide updates on this issue as necessary.   

     Animal Cruelty Case

    Earlier this month, a rescue group began posting information suggesting the occurrence of animal abuse involving a dog adopted from the OCAC shelter.  This group alleged that the dog had been sexually and physically abused and abandoned in poor health in the public right-of-way.  The rescue took the dog to a veterinarian where it received care but ultimately passed away.  The allegations originated in the City of Los Angeles, prompting the Los Angeles Police Department’s (“LAPD”) Animal Cruelty Task Force to open an investigation.  OCAC cooperated with the Task Force while it investigated these claims.  On August 16, 2018, the LAPD Task Force issued a press release outlining the findings of the investigation.  After speaking with the treating veterinarian and the forensic veterinarian, the LAPD Task Force determined that there is no evidence of sexual or physical abuse, and the dog died of natural causes. 

    According to the press release, unknown circumstances prevented the dog’s owner from caring for the animal for a short period of time, prompting the owner to place the dog in a home for temporary care.  During that time, the dog became lose and was found later by the aforementioned rescue group.  The forensic veterinarian noted that the dog had recently been spayed, may have been in heat, and had previously given birth to multiple litters.  All of these factors contributed to visible swelling of the dog’s genitals.  At this time, the cause of death is unknown; however, the forensic veterinarian is testing tissue samples to assist in possibly identifying a cause of death.  The LAPD Animal Cruelty Task Force press release is attached for the City Council’s information.

    Please contact Louie Lacasella, Assistant to the City Manager, with any questions at (949) 461-3537, or via email at llacasella@lakeforestca.gov.
  9. November 2018/January 2019

     Field Services Program Overview

    As mentioned in the previous CMAACC update, OCAC is examining methods by which to alter field and special services to offer additional cost savings to its contracting agencies.  OCAC Field Services Manager, Sean Fulton, provided an overview of OCAC field services from responding to calls to the intake of animals.  OCAC plans to present cost savings options to the group at the next meeting which is scheduled for February.

    Quarterly Invoices

    OCAC’s finance team presented an overview of the new quarterly invoice billing statement. The use of the revised billing statement began on July 1, 2018. The allocation logic remained the same as previous fiscal years.  More details related to services are provided for the City’s information.  CMAACC members found the presentation useful as a method to ensure that each city is billed correctly.

    OCAC Shelter Program Overview

    OCAC Director, Mike Kaviani, presented a program overview of OCAC shelter operations, which included other programs such as licensing, canvassing, rabies control, and emergency management.

    Regarding licensing, Mr. Kaviani reported there are 137,671 current licenses which is a compliance rate of 48.2%.  Mr. Kaviani also reported that the national average for reference is 30%.  Eleven (11) positive rabies cases occurred within Orange County last year, with one case located in the City of Lake Forest.

    Cost Regarding Intake of Animals

    There was a discussion regarding the cost of animals that are picked up in a city other than which the animal is licensed.  OCAC staff confirmed that the city where the animal is picked up is billed for cost associated with intake and medical treatment if required.  A couple of CMAACC members suggested revisiting this topic, which Orange County Community Resources Director (“OCCR’”), Dylan Wright, stated he would present in much more detail at a future meeting.  Mr. Wright mentioned that it would be within the contract cities authority to change this billing methodology, if all members agreed. 

    Calls for Services Regarding Coyotes

    Several CMAACC members mentioned an increase in coyote activity within their city limits.  Staff has received five (5) Ask Lake Forest (ALF) requests in the past three months regarding coyotes.  Staff will continue to monitor the situation and provide any necessary updates to the CMMACC and City Council.

    Staff will continue to update the City Council relative to OCAC operations.  Should the City Council have any questions, please feel free to contact me at (949) 461-3537.
     
  10. March 2019

    FY 2018-19 Projections

    OCAC staff provided an update regarding FY 2018-19 projections as of January 31, 2019. Salaries and employee benefits are over budget due to the Director and Chief Veterinary becoming two positions. Services and supplies are over budget as a result of higher utility bills associated with the transition to the new facility and pharmaceutical costs. Revenue for charges for services is under budget by approximately $137,000.  Fees for adoption were reduced/waived in an effort to reduce the shelter population. The combination of higher expenditures and lower revenue has resulted in the contract cities’ projected share to be under-budget by $131,362.

    Modified Service Model – Field Services/Animal Control

    As mentioned in the previous CMAACC update, OCAC is examining methods by which to alter field and special services to offer additional cost savings to its contracting agencies. OCAC presented options that are designed to reduce cost with minimal impact on services. The proposed plan is projected to save general field services/animal control by $730,499.40 and business licensing services by $100,234.67, for a projected total savings of approximately $830,734.07. The proposals include:

    Deceased Animal Removal

    Changing the personnel assigned to handle deceased animal removal from Animal Control Officers (“ACO”) to lower level classifications. OCAC staff predicts the change in personnel classification will reduce costs and still maintain the possibility of faster response times. The average response time for deceased animal removal in Lake Forest this fiscal year is 3.23 hours.  

    Stray Dogs

    Changes to how OCAC responds to stray dogs. Currently, OCAC initiates all requests for all stray dogs whether deemed urgent or non‐urgent. Instead, OCAC proposes to initiate service requests only for urgent stray dogs, those that are sick, injured, aggressive, in‐traffic, or causing other safety issues. A customer service component will be implemented to determine if the request is urgent or non-urgent. During the current fiscal year, there have been 124 calls for stray dogs with only one dog impounded. Last fiscal year, there were 300 calls resulting in 5 dogs being impounded (2 of which were impounded twice).

    Stray Trapped Cats 

    Instead of field staff impounding stray trapped cats, the public would be responsible for bringing them to the shelter. OCAC staff clearly stated that accommodations can be made for those residents that are unable to bring the trapped cats to the shelter.  There are two stray trapped cats in Lake Forest this year compared to 25 during fiscal year 2018.

    Declared Dog Compliance Checks

    Declared dog compliance checks would be changed from regularly scheduled to complaint based or as needed. Currently, seven dogs have been declared potentially dangerous or vicious in Lake Forest.

    Business Licensing Service Changes

    Business licensing service changes primarily will be conducted over the phone and through mail. The main categories of changes are:

    •Pet Stores
    Transitioned to Administrative Licenses – Owners will provide OCAC with their contact information, the types of species they will be keeping, and basic information on where the animals are sourced. The intent is that OCAC would only make an inspection if a complaint was received or it had some other reason to justify an inspection.

    •Facilities Licensed through USDA or the California DFW (Exotic Animal Permits)
    Federally or state licensed facilities housing animals such as tigers, bears, etc., will be transitioned to administrative licenses. Owners will provide OCAC with their contact information, the types of species they will be keeping, a copy of their current license or permit with the applicable state or federal agency, and after-hours contact information. The intent is that OCAC would only go out and inspect if a complaint were received or OCAC had a reason to make an in-person inspection necessary. These facilities are already licensed through a government regulatory agency. 

    •Rodeos, Circuses, etc.
    Currently, OCAC staff inspects, permits, and attends all shows in this category. OCAC will be transitioning to administrative licenses. Owners will provide OCAC with their contact/after-hours information, the nature of their business or show, vaccination records for the animals involved (if needed), a list of the types of animals involved, and any corresponding permit or license issued by the state or federal government as applicable. OCAC would respond if a complaint were received or if it had some other reason to make an in-person contact. 

    •Grooming Facilities  
    OCAC will be transitioning to administrative licensing of grooming facilities. This primarily will be achieved through mail and over the phone. Owners will provide OCAC with their contact information and basic business details. OCAC will respond to investigate or inspect as needed or upon complaint. 

    Elimination of Positions

    Elimination of seven (7) full-time employees from field services. Through attrition, OCAC plans to implement temporary measures until the number of ACOs can be reduced and the proposed savings is achieved.  Most ACOs will transition from a 4/10 to a 5/8 schedule.

    Staff will continue to update the City Council relative to OCAC operations.  Should the City Council have any questions, please feel free to contact me at (949) 461-3537.
Code Enforcement
  1. Are street vendors allowed?
    Sidewalk vending is legal in California. California signed into law the Safe Street Vending Act in 2018. The law decriminalizes street vending and legalizes the practice under certain conditions. In Lake Forest, sidewalk vendors can sell their goods on a public sidewalk but must be a minimum of 500 feet from a public school. Street vendors must obtain an Outdoor Vending Permit and a Health Department and Peddler's License, if they are selling food. The City's Code Enforcement Division is working to ensure all vendors are in compliance.
Comment for City Services
  1. Who do I contact if I have a question or would like to provide a comment about a City service
    Please contact Carlo Tomaino, Assistant to the City Manager, at (949) 461-3537, or you may use Ask Lake Forest. 
Crime/Crime Prevention
  1. How can I obtain crime information by neighborhood?
    Crime information by neighborhood may be accessed at the Orange County Sheriff's Department website. Under the “How Do I” tab, select “Use Online Services” section, and select “Crime Stats by Area.” Access the Sheriff's website here
  2. What types of crime prevention programs are available in Lake Forest?
    Crime prevention programs include Business Watch, Neighborhood Watch, Business Checks and Vacation Home Checks, along with community events and school resources. For more information, call our Crime Prevention Specialist at (949) 461-3546
  3. Are there crime prevention programs for neighborhoods?
    Lake Forest Police Services provides a variety of crime prevention programs, including Neighborhood Watch. If your street is not involved in Neighborhood Watch, or if you would like to learn about any of our other crime prevention programs, call our Crime Prevention Specialist at (949) 461-3546. You can also follow Lake Forest Police Services on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LakeForestPoliceServices
  4. Are there crime prevention programs for businesses?
    Lake Forest Business Watch and Hotel Watch are crime prevention programs that specifically focus on the business community to help reduce crimes. Hotels and business members can participate in these programs at no cost or obligation. For more information on the Business Watch Crime Prevention Program, or Hotel Watch call our Crime Prevention Specialist, at (949) 461-3456. You can also follow Lake Forest Police Services on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LakeForestPoliceServices
  5. Who can answer my questions about drugs and gangs?
    Many Deputies are designated as Drug Liaison Officers (DLOs) and are assigned to the Orange County Sheriff's Department Community Programs Detail. They are available to answer questions related to drug use and gang involvement. They can be reached at (714) 647-4133. You may also anonymously report gang activity by calling 1-800-NO-GANGS (1-800-664-2647). 
  6. How do I obtain a copy of a crime, incident or traffic report?
    Please contact Sheriff's Support Services at (714) 834-6455 prior to mailing a request for a crime, incident or traffic report to determine the number of pages. The cost of obtaining a report is based upon the number of pages, at 15 cents per page. Mail requests to: P.O. Box 449, Santa Ana, CA 92702, Attention: Special Services. Please include your name, how you are involved with the case, the case number and a check or money order for the exact amount.

    Or, visit the Sheriff's website and under the “How Do I” tab, select “Request A” section, select “Report (Crime, Incident, Traffic).” Access the Sheriff's website here
  7. How do I report a crime?
    In the event of an emergency, dial 911. For non-emergency situations, contact Sheriff's dispatch at (949) 770-6011 to report a crime. 
Development Projects
  1. How do I find out what development projects are currently going on in the City?
    The Planning Division maintains a list of project applications that are currently being reviewed. For additional information regarding specific projects, please contact the planner associated with that project. Current Development Projects 
Election Information / Voting
  1. How do I register to vote?
    You may register to vote online through the elections page of the Secretary of State website. Simply fill out the form, print, sign, and mail to: Registrar of Voters, P.O. Box 15467, Santa Ana, CA 92735. For additional assistance with voter registration, please contact the Secretary of State's office at any of the following toll-free numbers:

        English: 1-800-345-VOTE
        Spanish: 1-800-232-VOTA
        Chinese 1-800-339-2857
        Vietnamese 1-800-339-8163
        Japanese 1-800-339-2865
        Tagalog 1-800-339-2957

        To register and more information, visit Elections and Voter Information. 

  2. Where can I obtain election results?
    Election results may be obtained online on the current election results page

  3. How do I vote by mail?
    You must apply for a vote-by-mail ballot with the California Secretary of State’s office. Online applications can be found by clicking on the “Apply to Vote by Mail” link at the California Secretary of State website. 

Employment & Volunteer Opportunities

 

  1. How can I find out about current Lake Forest job openings and how do I obtain an employment application?
    Current job openings are posted on the City's website. Applications for all jobs must be submitted online. For more information, please visit our Employment Opportunities page. 
  2. Where can I find position descriptions, benefits information, and salary ranges?
    All job-related information can be found on the City's website on our Job Descriptions page
  3. What if I do not have access to a computer with internet service?
    The City offers complimentary computer access available for public use at the following location:
    100 Civic Center, Lake Forest 92630
    Orange County Public Libraries may also provide computer access free of charge.
  4. Must I set-up a "user account" to apply on-line?
    Yes. When you click on the “Apply” link on the job that you are interested in you will be prompted to login or create a new user account. Remember to keep a record of your user name and password for future reference. You will use this information to check on your application status and to apply for other positions. 
  5. How do I apply for a position?
    After selecting the position that you are interested in, click on the "Apply" link and provide the requested information. The online application form will require you to provide your personal profile information including name and contact information; educational information; work experience; certificates and/or licenses; skills; additional information; and your resume (optional). In the work experience section of the application form, please give complete information for all jobs held during the past 10 years, including verifiable volunteer experience. List your most current job first. Resumes may be attached in the resume section as noted; however, resumes WILL NOT be accepted in lieu of a completed City application. Online applications without a completed work employment section will be deemed incomplete and will not be processed. 
  6. How do I know if my application was received by the City of Lake Forest?
    You will receive an email confirmation shortly after submission of your application notifying you that your application was successful. If you do not receive a confirmation email, go back into the application and re-submit your application. 
  7. What is a final filing date?
    A final filing date is the last date the City will accept applications for a recruitment. The system will not accept applications submitted after the final filing date. 
  8. What is a continuous recruitment?
    For some recruitments, applications will be accepted on a continuous basis until a sufficient number of applications have been received. For such recruitments, prompt application is encouraged because the recruitment may close at any time without prior notice. The system will not accept applications submitted after the recruitment has been closed. 
  9. Can I submit a resume?
    You may attach your resume at the end of the application process. However, resumes WILL NOT be accepted in lieu of a completed City application. Applications which do not include all of the requested information will be deemed incomplete and will not be processed. 
  10. What do I include on my application?
    In completing the employment application, be as thorough as possible when indicating the education, training and/or experience needed to qualify for the position. Exact dates of employment are critical to determine qualifying experience. Please be sure to provide average number of hours you work(ed) if your experience is(was) part-time. Try to focus the information you are providing on the employment application to education and experience that is specifically applicable to the job for which you are applying. Other information may be provided, but full consideration will be based only on those skills that specifically qualify you for the position being recruited.
    A resume may be required for some positions, but a resume WILL NOT be accepted as a substitute for a completed City employment application. It is important that you do not indicate "see attached resume" in lieu of fully providing the information requested on the employment application. Applications may be rejected if incomplete. 
  11. What is the selection process?
    After the application deadline, Human Resources will review the applications submitted by all applicants. Based on the information provided, candidates with the most directly related experience will be invited to continue on in the selection process. Our selection process consists of one or more of the following:

    WRITTEN EXAM/ONLINE EXAM: Written and online exams are designed to assess general aptitude or specific knowledge of the technical aspects of the job for which you are applying. You may wish to thoroughly review the job flyer to familiarize yourself with the areas which may be assessed.

    PERFORMANCE/PRACTICAL EXAM: Practical examinations are typically given for positions which require a specialized skill or ability, such as typing proficiency or the operation of special equipment. You may or may not be given prior information regarding the content of the exam, depending on the nature of the job for which you are applying.

    ORAL INTERVIEWS: Those applicants who are successful in passing the initial assessment and/or screening process(es) will be invited to an oral interview. Oral interviews are conducted by a panel of qualified subject matter experts.

    FOLLOWING THE SELECTION PROCESS: Human Resources will notify you, by email, of the results of the recruitment. If you are successful in passing the selection process, your name may be placed on an employment list for the current position opening as well as any future positions which may become available for up to 12 months after the employment list was established. The City Department which is attempting to fill the vacant position may elect to second interview some or all of the candidates who are on the employment list prior to making a final decision to hire.

    REFERENCE CHECKS: Reference Checks will be conducted by the City to verify education and employment related information for all potential employees prior to extending a job offer. The extent of the inquiry will depend on the position being applied for and may include:

    • Verification/Reference from current and past employers.
    • Confirmation of necessary licenses, certificates, and degrees.
    Additional inquiries may be necessary depending on the position for which you are applying.
    Human Resources will also schedule a Fingerprint and Department of Justice criminal background check (a conviction for a crime is not an automatic bar to employment) and post-offer physical examination, which may include a drug screen, once a job offer has been made.
  12. Can I review the status of my application?
    Yes. To review your application status, log onto your www.governmentjobs.com account using your user name and password. 
  13. If I apply for more than one position, do I need to submit a separate application?
    Yes. A completed City application and supplemental questionnaire is required for each position a candidate is applying for. However, once you have established your user account, you may click on the "Populate" button to automatically populate the new application with the information from your previous application. Make sure to review your application and update any relevant fields with the appropriate information as necessary. 
  14. How will I be notified regarding the status of the position for which I applied?
    Email notices will be sent to candidates at each step of the recruitment process. 
  15. What if I have additional questions?
  16. If you have additional questions, contact the City's Human Resources Department at (949) 461-3566
Graffiti
  1. How do I report graffiti?
    There are three ways to report graffiti:

    1) email PWgraffiti@lakeforestca.gov;
    2) call the graffiti hotline at (949) 461-3583 (24-hour voice mail available); or
    3) through Ask Lake Forest. Please provide either an address or the cross streets where the graffiti is located. Click here
  2. How long does it take for graffiti to be covered once it is reported?
    Graffiti located on public property or private property visible from the public right-of-way is covered within 24 hours. Property owners are notified if graffiti is located on private property but is not visible from the public right-of-way. 
Housing
  1. Who can I contact for more information or an application for a housing rehabilitation loan?
    To obtain additional information about the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program and/or to obtain a loan application, contact Rehabilitation Loan Consultant, Theresa Dobbs at (949) 461-3473 or email tdobbs@lakeforestca.gov.
  2. What home improvements are eligible for assistance?
    Repairs that are eligible in the program include roofing, windows, exterior and interior painting, plumbing, electrical, energy/weatherization items, garage doors, and other common home repairs. Income limits and other qualifications apply.
  3. Does the City have funds to assist with home repairs?
    On an annual basis, the City receives a limited amount of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding from the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). From this grant, the City Council allocates funding for various eligible activities each year. Typically, a portion of the annual CDBG is allocated to the City’s Housing Rehabilitation Program. The Housing Rehabilitation Program provides qualified homeowners with either a zero percent deferred interest loan, or a three percent interest loan. Loans are issued to eligible homeowners on a first come first served basis until the annual funding allocation for the program is exhausted.
  4. What is the maximum loan amount?
    Conventional single-family home owners may receive up to $30,000, and mobile home owners may receive up to $15,000 for eligible home improvement items. Applicants must qualify as low or moderate-income households for the previous two years, homes must be owner occupied, and homeowners must have sufficient equity in the home.  Other requirements also apply. Click here for more information. 

    There are no monthly payments on deferred loans. The total principal payment is due at the time of sale, transfer of title, refinance or when homeowner no longer resides at property. Additionally, a 3% loan that has amortized payments over a fifteen (15) year period is also available.
Illegal Building or Construction
  1. 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. Conversions of garages could be permitted provided all permits are obtained and zoning codes are met.
Landscape Maintenance
  1. Who do I contact if I notice a problem in a median or on a slope?
    Please report any landscaping concerns on a median or slope to Public Works at (949) 461-3480
Massage Permits and Licenses
  1. How do I obtain a massage permit or license?
    Applicants must be licensed by the California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC) along with Use Permit and Annual Massage License with Community Development. If you would like to open a new Massage Establishment, contact the Code Enforcement Division at (949) 461-3502.
Message for the City Manager
  1. Who is the Lake Forest City Manager and what is her role?
    The Lake Forest City Manager is Debra Rose.

    The City Manager serves as the administrative head of the City under the direction of the City Council. Functioning as the "Chief Executive Officer," the City Manager is responsible for daily operations of the City and services to the community. Duties of the City Manager and the Department include:

    Enforce all laws and ordinances of the City and to see that all franchises, contracts, permits and privileges granted by the City Council are faithfully observed.

    Appoint, remove, promote, and demote any and all officers and employees of the City including the City Clerk pursuant to Government Code Section 34856, except elected officers, and the City Attorney, subject to all applicable personnel rules and regulations which may be adopted by the City Council.

    Control, order, and give directions to all department heads who are subject to her appointment and removal authority and to subordinate officers and employees of the City under her jurisdiction through their department heads.

    Conduct studies and effect such organization and reorganization of offices, positions or units under her direction as may be indicated in the interest of efficient, effective, and economical conduct of the City's business.

    Recommend to the City Council for adoption such measures and ordinances as she deems necessary.

    Attend all City Council meetings unless excused by the Mayor individually or the City Council as a whole, except when her removal is under consideration.

    Prepare and submit the proposed annual budget and the proposed annual salary plan to the City Council for its approval.

    Keep the City Council at all times fully advised as to the financial condition and needs of the City.

    Make investigations into the affairs of the City and any department or division and any contract or other obligation of the City; and further to investigate all complaints in relation to matters concerning the administration of the City government.

    Exercise general supervision over all public buildings, public parks, and all other public properties which are under the control and jurisdiction of the City.

    Have the same authority as the Mayor, as the convenience of the parties may dictate, to sign documents specified in Section 40602 of the California Government Code wherever such documents have been approved by the City Council for execution by resolution, motion, minute order or other appropriate action.

    Perform such other responsibilities and exercise such other powers as may be delegated to her from time to time by ordinance or resolution or other official action of the City Council.

    Additional duties include, but are not limited to, representing the City in legislative and regulatory matters, overseeing management operations, overseeing the annual budget and investment policy, working with other agencies to address regional issues, and serving as the Executive Director of the Lake Forest Housing Authority.
  2. Who do I contact if I have technical issues with Ask Lake Forest?
    Please contact Jonathan Volzke, Senior Communications and Marketing Analyst, at (949) 282-5214.
Municipal Code
  1. How can I access the City's Municipal Code?
    The quickest way to find code information is to access the City's Municipal Code online
Noise
  1. What are the City's requirements for noise control and how can I make a complaint about noise?Noise impacting residential areas is restricted by time of day, as well as by the intensity level and duration of the event. The noise ordinance is designed to address recurring noise from sources such as pool pumps/motors, air conditioning units and other stationary noise sources. For assistance with these types of noise issues, please contact the Code Enforcement Division at (949) 461-3502. Other types of noise sources, such as loud parties, vehicles, or music, are handled through Lake Forest Police Services; they may be contacted at (949) 770-6011.
  2. 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 City of Lake Forest legal holiday.
  3. Who should I contact about barking dogs in my neighborhood
    Orange County Animal Care, under contract with the City, assists in the resolution of barking dog complaints through its "Barking Dog Ordinance." For more information, call Orange County Animal Care Services at (714) 245-8792, from 7:30 a.m.to 3:30 p.m., Monday – Friday or online, click here for more information.
OpenGov
  1. What is OpenGov?
    OpenGov is a technology company based in Silicon Valley focused on building the most powerful financial intelligence and transparency platform ever created for governments. We are transforming how state and local governments analyze, share and compare their financial data.
  2. How do I select the data I want to see?
    To focus on specific data—like a fund, department, expense type, or any combination use the menu on the left side panel. The “By” drop-down allows you to specify which breakdown you want the grpahs and table rows to represent on the graph. You can analyze the expense and revenues data by fund, department or type.
  3. Can I select more than fund or departments?
    Yes. Use the Data Filter on the left side panel to make specific selections within the data. The Data Filter shows you the hierarchical relationships of Funds, Departments, and Account Types. You’ll notice the title of the graph you are viewing on top along with the account type selector. You can use the filter to see the data of most interest to you.
  4. How do I see the actual numbers within a graph?
    Hover over any are of the graph to see the actual or budgeted amounts for that period. Or, just scroll down to see a table with detailed information.
  5. Can I see the data in a different graph?
    In the upper right hand corner, you will see options for the different graphs and table. There are five graph types overall:
            1. A percentage graph  to see percentage changes over time
            2. A stacked graph  to visualize overall trends over time
            3. A line graph overlaying each trend over time
            4. A pie graph to view percentage breakdown
            5. A bar graph comparing trends and percentage breakdowns over time
  6. Why are there sometime spikes in one year?
    In reviewing multiple years of data, you may see “spikes” in the individual years; this can be due to planned one-time costs, a capital projects, unexpected expenses, or a specific event that required additional funds. You can drill down in our OpenGov platform to learn more about how exactly those expenses or revenues are categorized.
  7. Can I save the data I am looking at?
    Yes, there are Share and Download buttons in the upper right corner. You can share any view on social media or by email. There are also options to download the displayed data in .png image  and .csv spreadsheet formats.
  8. How do I learn more about government accounting?
    Use the Help Menu on the top right corner to navigate the “Budget 1010” primer to learn more about multi-fund accounting.
  9. I have a question. How do I contact the City of Lake Forest?
    Use the Help menu on the top right corner to navigate to the “Contact" option to send your message to the City of Lake Forest.
Other
  1. Will there be a delay in responding to my Ask Lake Forest request if I select the "Other" category?
    No, your request will be routed to the handling department to ensure a prompt response. 
Overcrowding Residence

 

  1. 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 a formula (the quotient of the gross square footage less 10% divided by 70 times 2) 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. 
Parking

 

  1. How do I contest a parking ticket?
    An explanation of the process to contest the citation is printed on the reverse side of the citation. It reads as follows:

    You may contest this citation by requesting an Administrative Review within 21 days from the issue date of this citation. Submit a written statement with any supporting documentation/photographs. Appeal on line at: www.Ticketwizard5000.com, or send appeal to: Parking Administration, C/O Citation Processing Center, P.O. Box 2730 Huntington Beach, CA 92647-2730. Submitted documentation will not be returned. You will be notified by mail of the result of the review. NOTE: CVC Sections: 5200 and 5400 require vehicle inspection and evidence of violation correction by a police agency. Fines on these violations will be reduced to $10.00 when accompanied by evidence of correction. Citation must be returned with both evidence of correction and payment. 
  2. My vehicle has been impounded. How do I get it back?
    If a vehicle has been impounded due to an unlicensed driver, suspended license, or any other traffic violation, contact the Administrative Deputy at (949) 461-3545
  3. My vehicle has been towed. How do I find out where it is being stored?
    You will need to obtain the license plate number or VIN and call (714) 647-7000. The Desk Officer will be able to tell you where it is being stored and why it was towed. 
  4. What can I do about cars and trucks parked in front of my house?
    California State law states vehicles parked on the street over 72 hours may be considered abandoned vehicles. Please contact Lake Forest Police Services at (949) 770-6011 to report the location and description of the automobile. Parking control staff will check the vehicle to make sure it is not stolen, confirm it is properly registered, and mark the vehicle's tire. The vehicle can be cited 72 hours after it is marked and ultimately towed away at the owner's expense. Anyone may park their vehicle on a public street if it is legally parked and properly registered. 
Parks
  1. How can I report a flooded area or broken sprinklers at a park?
    Public Works and City contractors conduct regular inspections to the irrigation systems at all City parks. If you see a broken sprinkler, leaking water fountain, water coming out of the ground, or other water-related problems, call Public Works at (949) 461-3480 or submit a ticket on Ask Lake Forest. 
  2. Who do I contact to report problems with play equipment at my local park or any other maintenance issues?
    All park equipment is inspected frequently by City contractors for loose parts and other safety issues. If you have concerns regarding any playground equipment, call Public Works at (949) 461-3480 or submit a ticket on Ask Lake Forest. 
  3. Which City parks have restrooms?
    Restrooms are located at Borrego Park, Concourse Park, El Toro Park, Foothill Ranch Community Park, Heroes Park, Lake Forest Sports Park, Mountain View Park, Pittsford Park, and Serrano Creek Park. 
  4. Can I arrange to host a bounce house in a Lake Forest park?
    Yes, the City allows the use of bounce houses in specific public parks. Click here for more information on Park Rules and Regulations. Bounce houses are also allowed on private properties without a permit.
  5. The activity I am planning at the park requires electricity. Is power available at the park?
    No. Electricity is not available at any City of Lake Forest park. 
  6. Which parks have baseball fields?
        Baker Ranch Community Park (26380 Rancho Parkway) 1 unlit field.
        Heroes Park (25420 Jeronimo Road) 4 fields with lights.
        Foothill Ranch Community Park (19422 Rue de Valore) 2 unlit fields.
        Tamarisk Park (22001 Tamarisk) 1 unlit field.
        Lake Forest Sports Park (28000 Rancho Parkway) 5 fields with lights
  7. Which City parks have barbecues and how many barbecue grills are there at each park?
        Alton Park (18992 Alton Parkway) (4)
        Baker Ranch Community Park (26380 Rancho Pkwy.) (2)
        Borrego Park (26982 Cabriole) (5)
        Borrego Overlook Park (21 Viaggio Lane) (3)
        Cherry Park (22651 Cherry Ave.) (6)
        Concourse Park (18931 Saddleback Ranch Road) (2)
        Darrin Park (22461 Cherry Ave.) (6)
        El Toro Park I (23701 Los Alisos Blvd.) (4)
        Heroes Park (25420 Jeronimo Road) (1)
        Lake Forest Sports Park (28000 Rancho Parkway) (8)
        Montbury Park (21962 Montbury Drive) (1)
        Mountain View Park (24061 Dyland Street) (2)
        Pittsford Park (21701 Pittsford Drive)
       Rancho Serrano Park (20842 Paseo Sombra) (3)
        Rimgate Park (29772 Rimgate) (1)
        Serrano Creek Park (25101 Serrano Road) (3)
        Sundowner Park (22041 Sundowners Lane) (1)
        Tamarisk Park (22001 Tamarisk) (3)
        Vintage Park (21000 Vintage Street) (5) 
  8. How do I reserve a baseball or soccer field at a Lake Forest park?
    Groups seeking to reserve fields must submit an application to the Community Services. For more information, call (949) 461-3450
Passports
  1. When can I come in and apply for a passport?
    Passport agents are available during regular City Hall hours Monday – Thursday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 
  2. What documents do I need to bring with me to apply for a passport?
    Depending on your age and if you have been issued a passport before, the types of documents you will need vary. Please call the City Clerk’s office at (949) 461-3420.
  3. What is the fee for applying for a passport?
    Fees vary depending on if you are applying for a passport book or a passport card, and if you are an adult or a minor. For more information, please visit the passport page. 
  4. Does the City provide passport sized photos?
    Yes, passport sized photos may be taken at City Hall for a fee of $10 per person. 
Permits
  1. I am buying a property or a business. Do I need any permits or approvals from the City?
    The City does not regulate the acquisition of property or change of ownership for a business. However, it is advisable to ensure that your plans for the property or any change in business operations are consistent with the zoning ordinance. For more information, contact a planner at (949) 461-3491. 
  2. Does the City require a permit for trimming or removal of eucalyptus trees?
    The City has a vast quantity of beautiful eucalyptus trees and these trees are endangered by the presence of the eucalyptus longhorn borer beetle. The control of infestation by this beetle can be helped by regulating the maintenance of such trees in a healthy and nonhazardous condition through good arboricultural practices and by limiting the transportation and cutting of eucalyptus trees or logs between April 1 and October 31.

    Between April 1 and October 31 of each year, a Eucalyptus Tree Cutting Permit is required to prune, cut branches from, top, or cut down any eucalyptus tree within the City or to transport on the City’s streets any logs, branches, or trunk of a eucalyptus tree.

    Certain Homeowner’s Associations (Lake Forest Community Association, Lake Forest II Master Association and Serrano Park Community Association) have obtained an Annual Master Permit, which allows the association to regulate the trimming/cutting of eucalyptus trees in their jurisdictions. Residents in these Associations should contact their Associations and do not require a City permit. For questions, contact Amanda Lauffer at (949) 461-3491.

    For a permit application and additional regulations, click here
  3. What is an encroachment permit and who has to obtain one?
    Encroachment permits are required from property owners and utility companies for any work conducted in the public right-of-way. The public right-of-way mainly includes streets and sidewalks; just think of it as any public area that is adjacent to your home. For any improvements or any situation where you or your contractor plans to encroach upon the public right-of-way, (such as concrete work, brick work, landscaping, and including storing or placing anything in the street/sidewalk/public area during construction), an encroachment permit is required in advance. For more information, contact Jonathan Poole, Engineering Technician, at (949) 461-3487 or submit a ticket at Ask Lake Forest here
  4. Where can I view previous building permits and plans for my home or business?
    Electronic records are available for viewing at City Hall. Stop by the City Clerk’s Division, located on the 1st floor, to access records from a city computer. Imaged documents include building plans, building permits, as well as public works documents. These documents are not accessible online from your home computer or other personal electronic devices. 
Property Information
  1. What development standards (minimum property line setbacks, maximum lot coverage, maximum height, maximum development density, etc.) apply to my property?
    Development standards are zone, and in some cases use and/or structure-type, specific. Depending on the applicable zone, development standards are contained in Title 9 of the Lake Forest Municipal Code and/or in the applicable Planned Community text. For assistance with determining applicable development standards, contact a planner at (949) 461-3491 or planning@lakeforestca.gov. For information on zoning, click here
  2. How can I obtain copies of previous permits or plans that were approved for my house?
    The City may have records of permits and plans corresponding to your property. Contact the City Clerk’s Office for more information about records requests at (949) 461-3420
  3. Can I park my motor home on my residential property?
    Motor homes are permitted to be parked on private property, on paved surfaces, provided that they are clear of any public right-of-way, including the sidewalk; and are stored out of the front setback area. For more information, contact a planner at (949) 461-3491
  4. How can I get information about where my property lines are?
    The most accurate way to determine where your property line is would be to hire a professional surveyor through a private company. However, the Planning Department may have access to plot plans, tract maps and/or other records that have the property line dimensions. Contact a planner at (949) 461-3491 to inquire whether this information is available for your property. 
  5. Can I run a business out of my home?
    Home occupations are permitted when conducted as an accessory use to a residential use in any residential district. Additional information and regulations regarding home occupations can be found in 9.146.060 of the Lake Forest Municipal Code.
Property Maintenance
  1. How do I dispose of large or bulky items, such as a water heater, sofa or appliance (multi-family units)?
    Residents who live in multi-family units such as apartments, condominiums, and town homes that utilize multi-family bins for their trash collection of solid waste will need to schedule a bulky item pick-up through their property management company. Please contact your property manager and have them coordinate a bulky item pick-up with CR&R at (800) 826-9677
  2. 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. 
  3. Can I store a refrigerator or other household appliances outside?
    When refrigerators, freezers, stoves, and similar household appliances are left outside, they present a temptation for children to play in them. The danger of suffocation can be minimized by storing these items within a secure structure and locking the appliance door in a shut position with a chain and lock, removing the door of the appliance, or facing the appliance to the wall so the door cannot be opened. Contact Code Enforcement at (949) 461-3502 immediately if a refrigerator or similar household appliance is observed in front of a residence.
Public Records
  1. How do I obtain a marriage, birth or death certificate, or divorce decree?
    Certified copies of marriage, birth, or death certificates or divorce decrees can be obtained from the County of Orange Clerk-Recorder's Office, South County Branch Office, located at 24031 El Toro Road, Suite 150, Laguna Hills, CA 92653. For general information about and phone-in requests for marriage, birth, or death certificates, please call (714) 834-2500. Certified copies may also be requested online at Orange County Government Website
  2. How do I obtain a marriage license?
    Marriage licenses are issued by the County of Orange. For more information, visit the OC Recorder Website. 
Purchasing & Budget
  1. How can I obtain information on the City’s budget and financial statements?
    A copy of the City's Operating Budget, Capital Improvement Projects Budget, and Five-Year Strategic Business Plan, as well as the City’s financial statements (Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports) are available on the City's website. For more information, contact Finance at (949) 461-3430 or visit here
  2. How do I get on the City's vendor or bid list?
    To be added to the City’s Vendor List, simply send a letter of interest to: City of Lake Forest, Attn: Finance Department, 25550 Commercentre Drive, Suite 100, Lake Forest, CA 92630. Include your company's name, address, and type of service(s) provided.

    You will be added to the list for a period of one year from the date of your letter or email. Should the need arise for the products or services you provide, your name will be supplied to the department seeking your services. 
Records Request
  1. What is the California Public Records Act?
    The California Public Records Act defines those documents that are open and available to the public. 

  2. How do I make a public records request?
    Per the Public Records Act, the City upon a request for a copy of records, has ten days from receipt of the request to respond. You may submit a public records request  by using the City's online Public Records Request Portal or you may submit a written request and deliver to the City Clerk's Office. If you have any questions, contact the City Clerk's Office, at (949) 461-3420.
    Clerk Records

  3. Why doesn’t the City have building permits and plans for my home constructed prior to 1991?
    Prior to City incorporation in 1991, the area encompassed by Lake Forest was under the jurisdiction of the County of Orange. The County delivered all known plans and permits for this area to the City. The County did not have building plans and permits for every address, and the City only received those that were available. 

Shopping Carts
  1. Who do I call when I see abandoned shopping carts?
    Report abandoned shopping carts by contacting West Coast Shopping Cart – phone # 1 (888) 787-2278 or using  Ask Lake Forest.
Short Term and Limited Home Rentals
  1. What is a Short-Term Rental?
    A Short-Term Rental dwelling unit is short-term lodging leased for compensation under a single oral or written agreement. A Short-Term Rental is a non-home owner occupied residence that is leased as a vacation rental.  The City does allow you to lease your own home for a limited period of time as a Limited Home Rental.
  2. Why is the City regulating Short-Term Rentals?
    The City received various complaints regarding short-term rentals in residential neighborhoods.  Impacts from these uses include excessive noise, traffic, and parking impacts. The Lake Forest Municipal Code (“LFMC”) prohibits transitory uses in residential districts.
  3. What happens if I rent a property as a Short-Term Rental?
    Operating a Short-Term Rental is illegal.  You will be subject to Code Enforcement action and are liable for the unpaid Transient-Occupancy Tax (“TOT”) due for each night your property is used as a Short-Term Rental.  In addition, you will be required to file a tax return with the City’s Tax Administrator and are also liable for tax penalties and interest. The City may also file a lien against the property to collect any unpaid taxes and penalties.
  4. What is a Limited Home Rental?
    A Limited Home Rental is the rental of your entire home for up to 3 periods of fewer than 30 consecutive days in a calendar year. A property you do not reside in does not qualify as a Limited Home Rental.  This exception ensures that a property owner may rent out their personal home while the owner is away for a short period of time on a limited basis each year.
  5. Can I rent a room in my home as a Limited Home Rental?
    No, the Limited Home Rental exception only applies to your entire home.
  6. Can I live in the home while I lease it as a Limited Home Rental?
    No, you cannot live in your house while it is being leased as Limited Home Rental.
  7. Does the City allow me to rent my primary home for less than 30-days?
    The City allows up to three periods of fewer than 30 consecutive days in a calendar year where you primary residences may be rented.  However, if you do not reside at your home, the Limited Home Rental exception does not apply to you or your property. You are legally responsible for the use of your property.
  8. Do I need register and pay Transient Occupancy Taxes for a Limited Home Rental?
    Yes, a Limited Home Rental is defined as a hotel under the City’s laws. The Lake Forest Municipal Code requires you pay TOT and file a tax return with the City’s Tax Administrator.  TOT is paid through Hinderliter De Llamas and Associates (“HdL”) a company hired by the City to administer tax related services.  For your convenience, TOT may be remitted online:  TOT Payment Website
  9. How many guests can stay in my Limited Home Rental?
    The California Occupancy limits allow no more than two occupants per bedroom.
  10. 10. Does the City’s Ordinance prevent me from leasing my home to a long-term tenant?
    The City’s Ordinance does not apply to a long-term rental, where an entire home or a portion of a home is rented for more than 30 days at a time (e.g., month-to-month or year-long leases).  A long-term rental is permitted as long as there is not more than one verbal or written agreement for the property being rented.  A property with more than one rental agreement is prohibited by the City.
  11. Do I pay taxes if I am renting my home or a portion of my home to a long-term tenant?
    No, you do not need to pay TOT to lease your property to a long-term tenant.  However, you are required to continue paying property taxes.
  12. Are there other penalties associated with operating a Short-Term Rental?
    Each violation of the City’s Municipal Code constitutes a criminal misdemeanor violation. Each misdemeanor carries a penalty of a fine of up to $1,000 (per violation) or jail time for up to six months, or both. Please note that each day that this unlawful activity occurs is a separate violation.
  13. Who do I contact with questions about paying TOT?
    Please contact HdL at 949-528-3797.
  14. Who do I contact with questions about the Short-Term Rental Ordinance?
    Darrell Hill, Code Enforcement Supervisor, at 949-461-3465.
Signage & Advertisement
  1. What do I need to do if I want to move an existing sign or install a new sign for my business?
    All signs must be approved by the Planning Department and the Building Department. Permit fees associated with signs are through the Building Department. When applying for a sign permit, please submit three sets of plans that show the details of the sign including square footage and letter height/color, linear feet of the building frontage, and any electrical details connected to the signage.
    Sign standards and regulations are stipulated in Chapter 9.164 of the Lake Forest Municipal Code. Certain shopping centers have their own Planned Sign Program that specify unique regulations. Contact a planner at (949) 461-3491 to find out if your property is regulated by a Planned Sign Program.

    For more information please view: Chapter 9.164 of the Lake Forest Municipal Code. 
  2. Do I need a permit to display a banner at my business for a grand opening or other special event or sale?
    A Temporary Banner Permit is required to display a banner. A business is allowed four banner permits per calendar year, for a maximum of 30 days per permit. A copy of the permit application and additional regulations is found here. 
  3. What kind of promotional opportunities are available for my business?
    Businesses and organizations are allowed to have promotional events lasting up to ten consecutive days with the approval of a Temporary Outdoor Promotional Permit (TOPP). Examples of a temporary outdoor promotion can include: parking lot sales, outdoor merchandise displays, live entertainment, fundraisers, food and beverage sales, or any other event involving an assembly of people. For more information, view a copy of the
    Temporary Outdoor Promotion Permit. 
  4. Can I display merchandise outside my business?
  5. Outdoor display of merchandise may be allowed on a temporary basis with approval of a Temporary Outdoor Promotion Permit (TOPP). Permanent outdoor displays may be allowed in certain zones subject to approval of a Site Development Permit (SDP). If you would like to inquire about a permanent outdoor display of merchandise at your business, contact a planner at (949) 461-3491 or planning@lakeforestca.gov. The TOPP submittal requirements and regulations can be found
    here. 
Speeding
  1. What can I do about speeding vehicles on my street?
    If vehicles speeding on your street is a recurring issue, contact Police Services at (949) 770-6011 to discuss options such as deploying a radar trailer equipped with speed display. 
Street Lights
  1. Who do I contact when a street light is out?
    Street lights are owned and maintained by Southern California Edison (SCE). To report a street light outage, call the SCE 24-hour Customer Service line at 1-800-655-4555. Or, visit SCE's website www.sce.com, click on Customer Care, and then click on Online Service Requests to report the outage. 
Street Maintenance
  1. Who do I call to report a pothole or sidewalk issue?
    Please call Public Works at (949) 461-3480 or submit a ticket at Ask Lake Forest here. 
Street Sweeping
  1. When and how often is my street swept? What is the rainy/windy day and holiday street sweeping schedule?
    Public streets in Lake Forest are swept once a week by R.F. Dickson Co., Inc. Sweeping day in your neighborhood occurs on the day after your trash is collected. If your trash is collected on a Friday, your street is swept on Monday. If you live on a private street, contact your homeowner’s association to obtain your street sweeping schedule.
  2. What is the rainy day and holiday street sweeping schedule?
    The City’s contractor, R.F. Dickson Co., Inc, does not sweep streets during heavy rain events. Streets will be swept on the following week. If your trash collection day is moved to a Saturday due to a holiday, sweeping will be done on the following Monday.
  3. The street sweeper did not clean the gutter in front of my house. Why?
    The street sweeper may not have swept in front of your house for several reasons: 1) A parked car was blocking the area. Street sweepers take up to two car lengths, before and after parked vehicles, to swing out and around a parked car and resume sweeping the gutter line. 2) It is an observed holiday and the sweeping has been delayed by one day. Typically, if your regular sweeping day is during the week, Monday - Thursday, the sweeping will be delayed by one day. If your seeping day is Friday, expect your street to be swept on the following Monday. 3) Heavy rain or wind necessitated the cancellation of the street sweeping for the day. Your street will be swept on the following week.
Telecommunications
  1. Does Cox Communications have an exclusive franchise to provide cable television services in Lake Forest?
    Although Cox Communications is currently the only non-satellite TV service provider in Lake Forest, the franchise to provide cable television services between the City and Cox Communications is non-exclusive, as stated in Lake Forest Municipal Code Section 5.31.030(F). If other vendors expressed interest, the City is able to grant one or more franchises to construct and operate a cable system. 
  2. What is the status of the AT&T U-verse project in Lake Forest?
    While AT&T has obtained permits to install infrastructure to provide U-Verse, also known as the Light Speed Project, the company has notified the City that the project is currently inactive and all the planned work has already been performed. To speak with a service representative, call 1-800-288-2020. 
  3. Is Verizon FiOS available in Lake Forest?
    No. Verizon has not expressed an interest in establishing the infrastructure required to support FiOS in Lake Forest. If Verizon is interested in offering FiOS in Lake Forest, the City would be happy to work with them. 
Traffic Signals
  1. Who do I contact about concerns regarding traffic signals?
    When contacting the City, please be sure to identify the location of the traffic signals in question. Contact Public Works at (949) 461-3480 (24-hour voicemail) or by submitting a ticket at Ask Lake Forest. 
Trash Pickup/Recycle
  1. What is the Holiday trash pick-up schedule?
    Trash pickup is delayed one day for the following holidays: Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day and Thanksgiving Day. 

  2. Who do I call for a special trash pickup for large items?
    Every residential customer is entitled to two "bulky item" pick-ups per calendar year, free of charge. To arrange for the free pick-up of items such as refrigerators, sofas, mattresses, or water heaters without extra charge, call CR&R Waste Services Customer Service at (800) 826-9677 or visit www.crrwasteservices.com

  3. Where can I take my used oil to be recycled?
    There are seven (7) businesses in Lake Forest that are State Certified Used Oil Collection Centers, which accept used motor oil:
        - AutoZone, 24361 Muirlands Blvd., 455-1995
        - Big O Tires, 20742 Lake Forest Dr., 462-9088
        - Firestone, 24421 Rockfield Blvd., 581-2660
        - O'Reilly Autoparts, 24601 Raymond Way, 829-8292
        - Pep Boys, 22671 Lake Forest Dr., 855-9593
        - USA Express Tire & Service Inc., 24561 Trabuco Rd., 454-8001
        - Foothill Auto Service, 26911 Vista Terrace, 770-5956

  4. Where can I obtain information on billing for residential and commercial trash service?
    CR&R provides residential and commercial trash service under a franchise award by the Lake Forest City Council. For billing information, please contact CR&R directly at (949) 625-6735 

Trees
  1. Can I get more information about the Expand the Forest program?
    The Expand the Forest program allows members of the community to dedicate a tree in memory of departed loved ones or to commemorate special occasions while encouraging expansion of our urban forest. Trees are $70 and are planted and maintained in public parks.
    Sponsors will receive a formal Certificate of Acknowledgment, signed by the City Council. Names of sponsors, trees selected, planting location and any pertinent dedication information is also published in The Leaflet, the City's bi-monthly newsletter. For more information, contact Public Works at (949) 461-3480. To view the City Council selected tree palette of approved trees, visit
    Expand The Forest 
  2. Do I need a permit to cut down or trim a tree on my own property?
    No, with the exception of eucalyptus trees. From April 1 through October 31, a permit is required for the cutting of eucalyptus trees. The Development Services Department, located on the 1st floor of Lake Forest City Hall, is open Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., and 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., and alternating Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. to accept permit applications. If you are a member of a homeowners association, please check to see if your homeowners association has a master permit for this purpose. 
  3. How do I get my parkway tree trimmed?
    Residential parkway trees are owned and maintained by the adjacent property owner. As such, the property owner is responsible for watering and pruning the tree. 
Utilities
  1. How do I contact the Gas Company?
    Southern California Gas Company can be reached at (800) 427-2200, or visit their website
    www.socalgas.com 
  2. How do I contact Southern California Edison?
    SCE 24-hour Customer Service line is (800) 655-4555, or visit their website at www.sce.com 
  3. Who do I contact about local telephone service?
    Contact AT&T at (800) 288-2020, or visit www.att.com 
  4. Who do I contact for cable, telephone, and internet services?
    Contact Cox at (800) 234-3993, or visit www.cox.com. If you would like to speak to a City representative regarding Cox, contact Calina Hon, Management Analyst, at chon@lakeforestca.gov, or at (949) 282-5214
Water Service and Water Quality
  1. Who do I contact about my water and sewer service?
    Lake Forest is served by three separate agencies that provide water and sewer service. The majority of Lake Forest, including Foothill Ranch and most of Portola Hills, is served by the Irvine Ranch Water District.

    •The Irvine Ranch Water District is located at 15600 Sand Canyon Ave., Irvine, CA 92618-3102, and can be reached at (949) 453-5300, or online at www.irwd.com.

    •The El Toro Water District provides service to addresses south of El Toro Road between Northcrest and Marguerite Parkway, south of Cherry between Northcrest and the railroad tracks, south of El Toro between railroad tracks and Muirlands, and south of Ridge Route between the railroad tracks and the I-5 freeway. The El Toro Water District is located at 24251 Los Alisos Blvd. and can be reached at (949) 837-7050, or online at www.etwd.com.

    • A portion of Portola Hills is served by the Trabuco Canyon Water District, located at 32003 Dove Canyon Dr. Trabuco Canyon, CA 92679. The Trabuco Canyon Water District can be reached at (949) 858-0277, or online at www.tcwd.ca.gov.
  2. Who should I call for questions about water quality and pollution prevention?
    Please contact Devin Slaven, Environmental Manager, at (949) 461-3436
  3. What should I do to report suspected pollutions, spills, dumping, or illegal discharges into the storm drain system?
    If it is a chemical spill/hazardous materials emergency, call the Polluting Reporting Hotline at (714) 561-6363.

    For other spills, illegal dumping, illegal discharges, or suspected pollution, contact the City's 24-hour Pollution Reporting Hotline at (877)-897-7455, or you may contact Public Works (949) 461-3480 during business hours.
Website
  1. Who should I call if I have a comment regarding the website or to report website problems?
    If you have a comment regarding the City’s website, or to report a broken link or any error, contact Jonathan Volzke at jvolzke@lakeforestca.gov or at (949) 282-5214, or you may use Ask Lake Forest. 
  2. Our company offers utility services. Could you add our company information under the Public Utilities page of the website?
    The City regulates the content that is provided on our City website and currently only lists companies that either have a Franchise Agreement with the City or are direct providers and not independent retailers. 
  3. How do I request an event to be placed on the City’s calendar on the website?
    The City's website policy specifically addresses requests from the community to include events on the City's website calendar. The policy is as follows:

    The primary purpose of the Community Calendar is to share community-wide meetings and events occurring throughout the City. Community events must support a government, non-profit, community-oriented, or educational interest. Events that promote a specific religious or political agenda are not accepted. The City must receive a request ten calendar days prior to the event date.

    Members of the public may submit event information for inclusion on the Community Calendar if (1) that event is open to the general public, (2) occurs within the boundaries of the city (limited special exceptions made for elsewhere in Orange County) and (3) meets one of the following criteria:
    • Organized or funded by another government agency;
    • Organized by a government-funded agency or board;
    • Organized by a city-affiliated group;
    • An organization identified as eligible for city funding or community grants;
    • Funded in full, or in part, by the city;
    • Sponsored by the city;
    • Organized by a charitable organization with a registered charitable number and operating within the city;
    • Organized by a service club operating within the city;
    • Located in a facility owned or leased by the city; or
    • Is a community event that is not-for-profit and open to all members of the public (all-ages).

      Requirements and Restrictions

      The more information provided by the submitting organization, the easier it is for the City to determine whether to post an event. Submitting organizations are encouraged to fill out the online form completely with all pertinent information regarding the event. This includes information such as:
      • Event title
      • Event details
      • Date
      • Time
      • Location (street address)
      • Fee, if any, including how and when it needs to be paid
      • Public contact for more information/to RSVP
      • Contact name, email, and phone number
      • Event and/or sponsor website URL

      Notices and announcements shall be limited to:
      • The name of the group, organization, or person sponsoring the event.
      • A concise description of the event.
      • Date of the event.
      • Any applicable fees.

      Events submitted for posting containing any of the following shall not be approved for posting:
      • Profane language or content.
      • Events that promote a specific religious or political activity or belief.
      • Sexual content or links to sexual content.
      • Content that promotes, fosters, or perpetuates discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, age, religion, gender, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, national origin, physical or mental disability or sexual orientation.
      • Conduct or encouragement of illegal activity.
      • Information that may tend to compromise the safety or security of the public or public systems.
      • Content that violates a legal ownership interest of any other party.
         
  4. How can I get to the City’s official Facebook and Twitter sites through the website?
    You can directly access the City’s Facebook and Twitter pages by clicking on the icons located on the footer on the main homepage. Or, simply visit our social media page.

    Here 
Wrecked and Abandoned Vehicles
  1. If someone leaves an abandoned vehicle on my property, how do I have it removed?
    Contact a private towing company to arrange for towing the vehicle from your property. 
  2. 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. 
  3. What can I do about cars and trucks parked in front of my house?
    California State law states vehicles parked on the street for more than 72 hours may be considered abandoned vehicles. Contact the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at (949) 770-6011 to report the location and description of the vehicle. Parking control staff will make sure the vehicle is not stolen, confirm it is properly registered, and mark the vehicle's tire. The vehicle can be cited 72 hours after it is marked and ultimately towed away at the owner's expense. Anyone may park their vehicle on a public street if it is legally parked and properly registered.

    For more information on oversized vehicles, refer to the City’s Municipal Code, Chapter 12.16 Stopping, Standing and Parking, 12.16.070 Oversized Vehicle Parking Regulations.
Zoning & Uses
  1. What is the zoning designation for my property?
    Click here for the City’s Zoning Map. You will need to provide the street address or County Tax Assessor's Parcel Number (APN) for the property you are inquiring about. If you have any questions about the zoning of the property, please contact a planner at (949) 461-3491 or planning@lakeforestca.gov.
    2. How do I determine what uses are allowed on my property?
    The City’s Zoning Code Section 9.72.090(a) includes the “Land Use Matrix,” which is a table that includes a list of non-residential uses and specifies whether each listed use is permitted, prohibited, or requires a Site Development Permit or Use Permit in the corresponding zone.

    Click Here for the Land Use Matrix

    Click Here for the City’s Guide to Using the Land Use Matrix

    Click Here for the City’s Zoning Map 

    Contact a planner at 949-461-3535 or planning@lakeforestca.gov if you have questions about the “Land Use Matrix.”
    3. What are the City's on-site parking requirements for residential and non-residential (e.g., commercial, industrial, religious assembly) uses?
    Parking requirements for residential and non-residential uses are listed in Chapter 9.168 of the Lake Forest Municipal Code. Disabled accessible parking requirements are stipulated in Table 11B-208.2 of the California Building Code. The minimum dimensions of a standard parking stall are 9’-0" x 18"-0". The minimum two-way parking lot drive aisle width is 24’-0". For more information please view Chapter 9.168 of the Lake Forest Municipal Code.
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2022 Business Survey


Social Media Accounts:

Please select all social media outlets that your business currently utilizes.

Social Media
If you selected "other", please submit your response here.
If you selected "other", please submit your response here.
Has your business/organization been negatively impacted by COVID-19?
Has your business/organization been negatively impacted by COVID-19?
If you selected "other", please submit your response here.
If you could receive an assistance grant, how much would your business/organization need to properly recover?
If you could receive an assistance grant, how much would your business/organization need to properly recover?
If you selected "more", please submit your response here.
If you are a restaurant, have you used outdoor dining during the Pandemic and would you like to continue or enhance outdoor dining?
If you are a restaurant, have you used outdoor dining during the Pandemic and would you like to continue or enhance outdoor dini
If you selected "other", please submit your response here.
If you responded "yes" or "other", how long would you like to continue to have the ability to conduct outdoor operations?
If you responded "yes" or "other", how long would you like to continue to have the ability to conduct outdoor operations?
If you selected "other", please submit your response here.
What type of assistance would be helpful for your business/organization now and in the future? (Select all that apply)
What type of assistance would be helpful for your business/organization now and in the future? (Select all that apply)
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Address
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This form is for businesses that are physically located at a Lake Forest address.

 

Business Address
Please enter Mailing Address information, if different from Business Address.
Home-Based Business?
If yes, you do not need to enter Property Manager Contact Information on the following page.

Commercial Business Additional Information

Applicable if you are a commercial or a home-based business.

Reason(s) for locating Business in Lake Forest:

Property Manager Contact Information

Applicable if you are leasing or own commercial property.

PLEASE DO NOT COMPLETE THIS SECTION IF YOU ARE A HOME-BASED BUSINESS.

Property Manager Address

Business Watch - Emergency Contact Information

Please complete the following emergency contact information if your business wishes to participate in the Orange County Sheriff's Department "Business Watch Program". You will be contacted and provided with additional information and receive a "Business Watch" decal.

PLEASE DO NOT COMPLETE THIS SECTION IF YOU ARE A HOME-BASED BUSINESS.

More Information on Lake Forest Business Watch:

Business Watch | Lake Forest, CA

To learn more about the Lake Forest Business Watch Program, please visit the link above.

Please enter the name of an individual to call in case of an emergency. They must have keys to your business.
Please enter the name of an individual to call in case of an emergency. They must have keys to your business.
Do you have an alarm system?
Do you have surveillance cameras?

Lake Forest Chamber of Commerce Membership

Membership Application

Joining the Lake Forest Chamber of Commerce offers numerous opportunities to network, gain valuable experience, expand your business, and more. If you are interested in joining or would like more information, select the link above.

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CCA

Address
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City of Lake Forest SMS Sign Up

Please provide the following information to join the waiting list for the Lake Forest CERT program.
Previous Experience Please check all that apply
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Expand the Forest

Expand the Forest Beautification Program

Public Works Department | 100 Civic Center Dr. | Lake Forest, Ca 92630 | (949) 461 - 3493


Applicant Information

Address

Note: Due to the health and wellbeing of the selected trees, plantings will occur only from October 1st though December 1st and March 1st through June 1st. Staff will contact you during this time frame. Dedication plaques are not allowed. 


Location

 

Disclaimer: If a planting date cannot be arranged, the tree(s) will be planted by the end of the planting period. 

 


Type of Tree


Dedication

The City Council Certificate: The dedication and sponsor(s) information will appear on the City Council signed certificate mailed to you after the tree planting has occurred.

(Example: In loving memory of John Doe, a great friend and co-worker) 


Payment

The cost of the Expand the Forest Program is $93.00/15 gallon tree. 

If Paying by Check, Mail to:

City of Lake Forest
Expand the Forest Program
100 Civic Center Dr.
Lake Forest, CA 92630

If Paying with Cash, Bring to:

City of Lake Forest
100 Civic Center Dr.
Lake Forest, CA 92630

If Paying by Credit Card

Credit card payments are accepted through eLakeForest.com with a 3.29% service fee. Register for a new account through eLakeForest.com.

 

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Lake Forest eNewsletters

Thanks for your interest in joining our mailing list. Please choose from any of the following areas of interest, and you'll be automatically signed up to receive electronic newsletters.

Email Lists

By submitting this form, you are granting: City of Lake Forest, 25550 Commercentre Drive, Lake Forest, California, 92630, United States, http://lakeforestca.gov permission to email you. You may unsubscribe via the link found at the bottom of every email. (See our Email Privacy Policy for details.) Emails are serviced by Constant Contact.

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Responsible Pet Ownership

Vet / Clinic:
20780 Lake Forest Dr., Lake Forest, CA 92630, (949) 600-8310
23162 El Toro Frontage Road, Lake Forest, CA 92630 (949) 837-5222
29040 Portola Parkway, Lake Forest, CA 92630 (949) 380-1255
24301 Muirlands Blvd Ste P, Lake Forest, CA 92630, (949) 837-7660
22377 El Toro Road, Lake Forest, CA 92630, (949) 855-9744
3 Rancho Circle, Lake Forest, CA 92630, (949) 581-7979

Owner Information

City: Lake Forest

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