Code Enforcement FAQs
print friendly textonly
Code Enforcement FAQs
Title 6, Section 6.28.010—Animals

Q. Is there a maximum number of animals that may be kept in a residence at one time?

A. Yes, no more than 2 dogs and 2 cats, more than six months old.  It is not acceptable to raise bees, fowl, reptiles or other animals not specifically allowed.

Title 9, Section 9.52.010—Weeds, Trash, Disrepair

Q. My neighbor's have let weeds grow in their yard and have generally neglected the premises, can anything be done?

A. Yes, weeds/trash & debris are fire hazards and also harbor rats. Enforcement action may be required for this type of violation.  Appropriate measures must be taken to correct these infractions, which are a health, safety as well as an aesthetic problem.

Q. My neighbor's house has been partially painted for over a year.  Can anything be done to resolve this problem?

A. Yes. Unpainted, unstained, partially chipped or peeling exteriors of buildings, fences and structures, as well as buildings, fences and structures left partially unpainted for an unreasonable period of time constitute a property nuisance.

Q. Can anything be done about people in my neighborhood who leave their garbage cans out in front all week?

A. Yes. Garbage cans stored in the front or side yards and visible from the public street or lagoon are considered an offence against the property, subject to abatement. 

Q. A tree is overgrown and is obstructed the view of drivers at the street intersection.  Can anything be done?

A. Yes. Overgrown landscaping that obstructs the sight distance of drivers is a violation of Section 9.52.010 of the Municipal Code.

Title 15, Section 15.04—Signs & Banners

Q. I have a logo I want to use on my sign at a shopping center, is it ok?

A. Commercial developments and shopping centers each have their own specific sign guidelines.  If your logo fits in with these guidelines, it can be approved with a sign permit. 

Q. My organization is sponsoring a race.  What is required to put up a banner?

A. Banners and most temporary signs require a sign permit.   Special events usually require a Temporary Use Permit.

Title 17—Zoning

Q. I was told that I could not have an exterior TV antenna. Is this true?

A. No. The Federal Communications Commission has issued an order preempting local regulation of:1) residential satellite dishes less that one meter in diameter, 2) an antenna that is one meter or less in diameter or diagonal measurement and is designed to receive video programming services via MMDS (wireless cable) or to receive or transmit fixed wireless signals other than via satellite and 3) TV antennas that are on a mast not higher than 12 feet.

Q. Do I need a permit to construct a storage shed in the rear of my property?

A. Accessory buildings that are above the fence line or that are visible from the water require prior permit approval.  Accessory buildings or structures located below the fence line and which are not visible from the water are exempt from permit requirements.

Q. Do I need approval to remodel or repair my deck or fence?

A. Most fences, decks, remodels, and some repairs DO require zoning and building approval.  

Q. Is storage of RV's, boats or disabled vehicles permitted on residential property?

A. Storage of recreational vehicles, recreational vehicle equipment, boats, boat trailers, campers on private property is prohibited, except as regulated or approved by Chapter 17.64. 

Q. Do portable/temporary spas and/or swimming pools require permits?

A. Yes. Any swimming pool, hot tub or spa require a building permit and may not be located closer than 5 feet from the rear or side lot line; heating/filter equipment shall not be closer than 5 feet from the property line.  

Q. Are noise levels regulated?

A. Yes. Chapter 17.68 (General Performance Standards) regulates noise levels by restricting to certain decibel limits.

Estero Municipal Improvement District Code—Title 6 & 8

Q. My neighbor was emptying his radiator in the street in front of his house.  Is that legal?

A. NO! Anything that is dumped in the street goes into the storm drainage system, which is part of our lagoon waterways, which discharges into San Francisco Bay.  No waste materials of any kind (organic or inorganic) shall be dumped into any water course or upon any public property.  

Q. May I use my hose to wash down my house and clean sidewalks?

A. Sometimes. In times of water conservation and rationing, nonessential uses of water during a water shortage emergency is prohibited unless prior approval is obtained from the district.

City Hall - 610 Foster City Blvd.
Foster City, CA 94404
(650) 286-3200