Code Enforcement

About the Program

The purpose of the Code Enforcement Program is to maintain and improve the general appearance, health and safety, general welfare, and property values of the City’s residential neighborhoods and commercial districts. In an ongoing effort to maintain the quality of life in the City, the Code Enforcement/National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Officer responds to citizen’s complaints regarding observed and alleged violations of the Municipal Code.

Filing a Complaint

  • By Phone: To contact Code Enforcement, please call 949-635-1800, ext. 6703. You may leave a voicemail  24 hours a day.
  • By Online Report: You can also file a complaint online through the City's Community Connection Citizen Request Tracker (CRT).
  • By Mail: You may also mail a complaint directly to the Code Enforcement Division at City Hall located at:
    22112 El Paseo
    Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688

Confidentiality Policy

The names of all complainants are maintained in confidence by the City and will not be released except as required by law.

Investigating Complaints

Once a complaint is received, a Code Enforcement Officer will conduct an inspection to determine whether a violation is occurring. If a violation is determined, the Code Enforcement Officer will prioritize the violation as:
  1. High priority violations - Violations that pose an immediate or readily apparent threat to health, safety or the environment, such as prohibited discharge into the stormwater system;
  2. Medium priority violations - Violations that do not constitute an immediate or readily apparent threat to health, safety or the environment, but have the potential to do so if left uncorrected; or
  3. Low priority violations - All other violations, such as signs, shopping carts, basketball hoops, trash cans, etc.
The Code Enforcement Officer will continue the Code Enforcement process until compliance with the Municipal Code is achieved.

Code Enforcement Appeals 

If you have received an Administrative Citation related to a Code Enforcement or Zoning Violation, you have a right to an appeal to contest that there was a violation(s) or that you are the responsible party by completing a Code Enforcement Appeals Form and submitting it along with a deposit in the amount of the fine.  Appeal forms must be received by the Development Services Director within 15 calendar days of the date of issuance of the Administrative Citation and further details can be found at the link below:

Code Enforcement Appeal Form