We receive complaints from a number of sources including internal referrals, outside agencies, and the general public. Names of complainants are kept confidential.
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The City of Mill Valley urges residents to work with pool service providers that commit to flushing pool water into the sewer system instead of into the ground or down the storm drain.
Because many of us swim in chlorinated water at relatively high concentrations, we often don't fully understand the toxicity of chlorine on the natural habitat that surrounds us. It's quite simple: the concentration of sodium hypochlorite (chlorine) in pool water is high enough to pollute a body of water 10 to 100 times its size if sent to the storm drain.
Because every storm drain in the City of Mill Valley empties into a sensitive natural body of water, such as a creek or wetland, introducing chlorine into those creeks and wetlands kills fish and frogs and the aquatic bugs they feed on.
City officials urge residents not to hire a pool service company that is unwilling to flush pool water into the sewer system.
Mold and mildew can cause serious health risks. For tips on removing and preventing mold, contact your local health department or visit the California Department of Public Health's website.
You can appeal any determination of violation. Appeals of some determinations may require a fee. We suggest the owner respond in writing immediately to avoid the loss of appeal rights. All appeals shall be submitted to the City Manager.
Permit fees are based upon the valuation of the project. Building staff will assist you in determining your cost.
Code Enforcement strives to assist the property owner to obtain compliance. If permits are not obtained and the matter is corrected without a permit, an administrative citation may be issued under section 7.04.190 of the Municipal Code. A $100 fine shall be due and payable, with second and third citations for continued violations increasing incrementally thereafter.
Should you then fail to achieve compliance, the City will prosecute the issued Notice and Order and seek fines of up to $1000 per day, per violation, going back to the original violation date. If this is not paid, the City will attach a lien to the property, which may prevent you from selling the property or obtaining refinancing or title insurance on the property.
Trash and debris on your property can invite criminal activity, graffiti, and illegal dumping and can contribute to infestations of insects and rodents. Remove trash and debris and store all property in an approved manner. Contact our Planning Department to ensure you are complying with all regulations especially when storing or parking boats or commercial and recreational vehicles in a residential area.
Store inoperable vehicles in an enclosed building out of public view or remove them from your property. Participate in agency-sponsored trash/garbage removal programs that usually occur once a year. Mill Valley's City ordinance (7.04.150) requires all residence to have disposal service.
Report graffiti to the Police Department by calling 415-389-4100. They can provide information to private property owners on how to remove graffiti or arrange for a responsible public agency to remove it from public property.
Vacant structures can become targets for vandals, criminal activities, and a general nuisance for adjacent property owners. Contact the Code Enforcement Division or Building Department for the proper procedures to secure the property and keep it secured.
If you suspect there is a code violation on another property, you may contact Code Enforcement and provide this information. A Code Enforcement Inspector will investigate the matter. If a violation is found to exist, the owner will be contacted by letter and will be required to remove the violation and/or obtain the necessary permits for the violation.
Please remember that the use of gasoline-powered leaf blowers is prohibited by the Mill Valley Municipal Code in an effort to minimize noise pollution. Violators could be fined as much as $500. Please contact the Police Department to report violations.
Instead of using gas-powered leaf blowers, residents and gardeners are encouraged to rake or sweep leaves and debris into piles and dispose of them in the appropriate green trash bin. Residents and gardeners can also use electric leaf blowers or electric leaf vacuums to collect and dispose of leaves. Please do not leave piles of leaves in the roadway. Leaves left in the street will block storm drains and may lead to flooding.
To conserve water, please do not use a watering hose to clear leaves and debris from driveways, sidewalks, and streets. This is a Marin Municipal Water District prohibited water use and can be punishable by a fine up to $500.
Residents who would like to assist in notifying their neighbors or their gardeners can print out this helpful Gas Powered Leaf Blowers Flyer (PDF) that explains the City's ordinance in both English and Spanish.
No. Mill Valley Municipal Code 6.12.140 prohibits apiaries/the keeping of bees within city limits.
From and after July 1, 1943, it shall be unlawful for any person to construct, operate or maintain or to permit to be constructed, operated or maintained upon any premises within the City any cow, dairy, stockyards, or apiary, and the keeping of any thereof from and after said date upon any premises within the City shall be and the same is hereby declared to be a nuisance. (Ord. 317; Ord. 987, February 16, 1982)
Mill Valley Municipal Code 6.12.120 states that you may have up to 12 mature poultry or 6 mature rabbits if they are kept at least 40 feet away from any dwelling on adjacent property. Crowing roosters, quacking ducks, geese, guinea fowl, or peafowl are prohibited at all times.
It depends on who is doing the work and when.
If you are a Construction Professional (i.e. a Licensed Contractor) or an owner/occupant doing your own construction on a site with an active building permit:
If you are an owner/occupant and are doing home maintenance not associated with a site with an active building permit:
Certain types of activities and noise sources associated with residential living are permitted under the City's municipal code. With the exception of gas-powered leaf blowers, low-noise generating power garden equipment (such as hedge clippers, weed-eaters, lawnmowers) is permitted as follows:
Please Note: Unless expressly permitted by the City of Mill Valley, landscape construction work is not permitted on weekends and holidays and must abide by the same rules as regular construction. This does not apply to landscape maintenance which must abide by the non-construction noise ordinance requirements.
Yes, the City requires you to trim or cut down trees that pose a danger of falling or obstruct the vision of motorists. Shrubs that border a yard along a sidewalk should also be kept clear from obstructing vehicular traffic or encroaching onto a sidewalk. Trim overgrown grass and vegetation or remove the grass and clippings from your property. Clear brush, weeds, and dry grass from 30 to 100 feet around your home. The Mill Valley Fire Department can help you determine the exact distance based on slope, wind, neighborhood density, house construction, etc.
Maintain your swimming pool with proper chemical treatments and cleaning or drain the water to prevent mosquitoes from breeding and potentially spreading West Nile Virus. Report issues to Marin/Sonoma Mosquito and Vector Control, 800-231-3236 (toll-free) and 707-285-2200 (office).
Contact the Planning Department to obtain the requirements for size, location, and types of temporary and permanent signs allowed within the City.
The City of Mill Valley imposes penalties for building, zoning, and some municipal code violations. These penalties may be calculated in one of two ways. When a permit can be issued to legalize a violation, penalties are two times the base permit fee. If the violation cannot be approved or legalized by a permit, you will be given 30 days to cease the unlawful use or demolish the unlawful structure. If you fail to comply with our direction, you may be penalized between $100 per day and up to a maximum of $1000 per day, per violation.
Where you fall within this penalty range is based upon the following:
To report a code violation regarding building, zoning, or Municipal code violations, open a Code Enforcement Investigation online or use the Report a Code Violation Form (PDF) and send it to the Code Enforcement Division at City Hall (26 Corte Madera Avenue) or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Under most circumstances, you will be given 15 days. This may involve simply stopping the illegal use or obtaining the necessary permits. Under some circumstances, an extension of time may be granted when the property owner is steadily working to resolve the problem and is making progress.
Most businesses are not allowed to operate in residential areas. Contact the Planning Department before you start a business to ensure you comply with all regulations.
We welcome the community's assistance in protecting Steps, Lanes, and Paths (SLPs) and reporting encroachments so we can act on them. Complaints about SLP encroachments may be made anonymously.
Or fill out a form online to open a Code Enforcement Investigation.
You can also use the Code Enforcement Complaint Form (PDF).
Visit the Code Enforcement page for hours and additional information.
The Marin Humane Society offers Animal Services to Mill Valley residents. Please visit their Animal Services page to find information and resources concerning the following: