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How the Process Works

Published on: 4/7/2014 9:46 AM

Nice home


When someone calls who feels a violation is taking place in our County, we first check that the location of the reported concern is within our jurisdiction. For this we need the address where the concern exists.


If the jurisdiction is found to be unincorporated, we receive the complaint and refer it to the proper agency so they can investigate the matter.  Zoning, Building, Fire Marshal, and Land Development Engineering issues are all part of our Department.  


For other County agencies outside our Department we may route the complaint or in some cases we may request you call the agency directly.
Weed Abatement is one of the County agencies we have you call directly so they can get the information first hand, and can ask you informed questions for their area of responsibility. Their Complaint Line number is: (408) 282-3145.



Our jurisdiction, which means the area over which our legal authority extends, is the unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County.
Unincorporated areas are locations outside of city limits.


To check a location's jurisdiction click link to County's Fire Marshal's Find Your Jurisdiction site, and enter the address where the violation is believed to exist.

NOTE: The contact information on the Fire Marshal's site for the City agencies is for Fire Code related complaints, however the Assessor's site your search is done in will correctly identify which city or county agency has jurisdiction over the location.


If a violation exists, a letter requesting compliance to code is sent to the property owner. Hopefully, they will call us and comply with the code by abating the violation (fixing the problem). Together we set up a time when the agency that did the initial inspection can do another inspection to verify that the violation has been corrected.


If a permit(s) is required, but is in process (In Process = the owner or their representative has filed for the permit(s) and is working on getting it approved and inspected) a second letter will not be sent. Once the permit(s) is Finaled, which means the project has been inspected and closed as complete by the agency that issued the permit(s), abatement is competed and the violation will be closed.


If no action to comply is taken by the property owner, after approximately 30 days (this varies with the different types of violations) a second letter is sent.  The time limit on abating the violation after this letter can be very short, depending on whether or not we received a response from the property owner.


If we still receive no cooperation to abate the violation legal actions will be taken:

1. The violation will be recorded against the property with the County Recorder. This is similar to a lien and serves to cloud the title. 

2. Fines and Administrative Fees will be charged.