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Code Compliance

Visit any of the neighborhoods throughout Carlsbad, both commercial and residential, to experience the energy that has built and sustains this city. The Code Compliance Division is committed to the important and sometimes sensitive task of protecting and promoting the high quality of life enjoyed by those who live and work in Carlsbad.

What exactly does Code Compliance do?

Code Compliance is responsible for implementing all city ordinances. The division works with such issues as construction without a permit, junk and debris on private property, recreational and inoperative vehicles that are located in the required front yard setbacks, as well as infractions of other municipal codes implemented by the city.

How soon will a Code Compliance officer respond to a complaint?

A code officer will start the investigation within 24 business hours. Depending on the type of violation, contact with owner and/or tenant, time frames will vary for a resolution.  However, Code Compliance will make every effort possible to obtain compliance as soon as possible.

What constitutes a code violation?

Many issues that arise between neighbors are not necessarily a violation of a city ordinance. For instance, leaves dropping into a yard from a neighbor's tree or damage to a fence are not violations of public law. Division staff strongly encourages neighbors to contact each other and try to resolve differences before filing a formal complaint with the city's Code Compliance office.  For further information about what does, and does not, constitute a code violation, please call 760-602-2703 during regular business hours or click on the Neighborhood Preservation tab above.

Are anonymous complaints accepted?

A person must provide his or her name, address and telephone number in order to file a complaint. This personal information will be kept confidential and allows the officer to provide updates on the progress of the case and to obtain additional information if necessary.

To register a complaint via the Internet, please complete the following form with all required fields.  The Complaint Investigation Form may be printed and mailed or brought in to the city offices at 1200 Carlsbad Village Drive, Carlsbad, California 92008. The form can also be faxed to the office at 760-720-2037.

Please note: Name, address and phone number of the complainant are required to investigate a complaint.

Abandoned Vehicle Hotline: 760-931-2289 public streets
Animal Control / Shelter: 760-438-2312
Better Business Bureau: 858-496-2131
Building Department: 760-602-2700
City Business License: 760-602-2423
Contractors State License Board: 800-321-2752
County Assessors Office: 760-940-6868
Graffiti Removal: 760-434-6700
Housing & Neighborhood Services 760-434-2815
San Diego County Health Department: 858-505-6903
San Diego Vector Control: 858-694-2888
Waste Management: 760-929-9400 trash service
Weed Abatement: 760-602-4668

NeighborhoodPeople live and raise their families in Carlsbad's neighborhoods.  Recognizing the importance of protecting the home environment, the city has adopted codes and policies that govern the use and maintenance of private property. Code compliance officers strive to maintain a balanced role in promoting active cooperation and communication between neighbors and effective enforcement of the City of Carlsbad's municipal codes.

In general, the city acts on behalf of the public at large - - the division does not take action on behalf of one resident against another. In other words, the city does not handle neighbor disputes or civil problems that do not violate public law. For instance, a neighbor's tree may drop leaves in an adjoining yard, or cause damage to a fence or other structure. These types of situations are a private matter between the two property owners, and the city has no jurisdiction. Also, CC&Rs are not enforced by the city. 

The City of Carlsbad provides a mediation program free to its residents with support from the National Conflict Resolution Center.  Mediation is a confidential meeting between people who have a disagreement and a trained, neutral mediator who guides a discussion of issues toward a mutually acceptable agreement.  Cases may be self-referred by any Carlsbad resident who is involved in the dispute by calling 760-434-2868.  National Conflict Resolution Center is currently serving as our scheduler.

To obtain further information regarding what is not a code violation, please call 760-602-2703 during the department's regular business hours.  

On November 1, 2012, a new ordinance took effect in Carlsbad calling for a smoke-free environment in all outdoor dining facilities where food and drink are served to the general public, including restaurants, bars and cafes.  This new ordinance also prohibits smoking within 20 feet of the establishment in any given direction.

In an effort to support your business and ensure your patrons enjoy a pleasant experience, the City of Carlsbad has prepared informational documents to help your business achieve compliance.  Signage for your business is available for download.  Please permanently affix these signs to your building in prominent locations, including each point of entry to outdoor dining areas.

For more information on business compliance, please call 760-602-2703.

For more information:

Village Bar Summit 2013

Community issue

Carlsbad is a family-friendly community where both residents and tourists gather to enjoy the sun, our beaches and our Village nightlife.  Recently, there has been an increase in alcohol related criminal activity and concerns related to public safety as a result of over serving of alcohol and overcrowding within many Village restaurants and/or bars.  This activity is a concern for other businesses and property owners within the Village, and also represents a public safety concern.  As a result of the increasing problems associated with alcohol related incidents, the city and business community are holding a Village Bar Summit to develop some solutions to the noted problems.  By working collaboratively, the city and business community can ensure the safety of our residents together, and thereby ensure that businesses remain successful and consistent with the revitalization vision for the future of the Village.

We have provided frequently asked questions with regard to this issue.


  • Carlsbad Municipal Code, Chapter 8.09, Entertainment license
  • Carlsbad Municipal Code, Chapter 6.14, Smoke-free outdoor dining

Points of contact

  • Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, Luis Madriz 619-701-3077
  • City of Carlsbad, Police Department, Detective Mike Larson 760-931-2164
  • City of Carlsbad, Code Compliance, Scott Rudinger 760-602-2703
  • City of Carlsbad, Planning Department 760-602-4610


Contact Information

Code Compliance Division
760-720-2037 fax

1200 Carlsbad Village Drive
Carlsbad, CA  92008

General Information

Business hours
Monday Thursday
7:30 a.m. 5:30 p.m.
8 a.m. 5 p.m.