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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.
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.
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.
Marriage licenses are issued by the County of Orange. For more information, visit OCgov.com.
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
- 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.
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.
City Council Meeting agendas are available on the City's website on the Friday before the Council meeting. Agendas can be downloaded from our
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.
The CMAACC meeting scheduled for February 2018 was canceled due to OCAC’s need to move into the new animal care facility.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
o 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.
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. For more information, click here.
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.
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.
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.
• 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.
If you have additional questions, contact the City's Human Resources Department at (949) 461-3566
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Please contact Jonathan Volzke, Senior Communications and Marketing Analyst, at (949) 282-5214.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
In the upper right hand corner, you will see options for the different graphs and table. There are five graph types overall:
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.
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.
Use the Help Menu on the top right corner to navigate the “Budget 1010” primer to learn more about multi-fund accounting.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
No, the Limited Home Rental exception only applies to your entire home.
No, you cannot live in your house while it is being leased as Limited Home Rental.
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.
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
The California Occupancy limits allow no more than two occupants per bedroom.
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.
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.
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.
Please contact HdL at 949-528-3797.
Darrell Hill, Code Enforcement Supervisor, at 949-461-3465.
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.
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
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 email@example.com. The TOPP submittal requirements and regulations can be found
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.
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.
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.
- 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
If you have a comment regarding the City’s website, or to report a broken link or any error, contact Jonathan Volzke at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (949) 282-5214, or you may use
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 RestrictionsThe 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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about the “Land Use Matrix.”
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.