Code Enforcement


The Code Enforcement Division is an office within the Department of Planning and Development responsible for enforcing County Zoning, Building, and Grading Ordinances for private properties located in unincorporated Santa Clara County. Code Enforcement’s primary purpose is to preserve neighborhood integrity, maintain safe living conditions, and protect the environment through responsive enforcement of County Land Use Ordinances.

Types of Comp​laints Enforced

Within the Department of Planning and Development, Code Enforcement staff follows up on reports of improper storage of inoperable vehicles, RVs or debris on private property; unpermitted construction, improper occupancies, and substandard housing; graffiti on private property; grading without permits on private property; and unpermitted land uses, including businesses out of zone and uses beyond the scope of issued permits. (Other departments and agencies enforce other types of Ordinances throughout the County. Please refer to the “Other Complaints” section below for more information.)

Enforcement Goals and To​ols

The Code Enforcement Division’s primary goal is to ensure Ordinance violations are corrected in a timely manner. Initially, Code Enforcement staff seeks to do so by obtaining voluntary compliance from property owners, whenever possible. When property owners do not voluntarily comply with Ordinances, Code Enforcement staff may use any combination of enforcement methods and tools to gain compliance, including Warning Notices; Administrative Citations; Recorded Notices of Violation; Administrative Fines; Abatements; Compliance Agreements or Legal Action, as appropriate.

How to Report a Zoning, Building or​ Grading Violation

If you would like to report a Zoning, Building, or Grading violation on private property, please first verify that the property is NOT within a city using the Property Profile to assist you. If the property is within a city, you will need to report the violation to that city. Once you have verified the property is within the Santa Clara County jurisdiction, report the violation on our InSite Web Application. You may also report a violation by calling 408-299-5700.

Other Com​plaints

For other types of complaints, please ch​eck the Code Enforcement Resources Directory for proper department contact information.

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