Code Enforcement

Code Enforcement staff responds to complaints of violations of the City of Irvine’s Zoning Code and Code of Ordinances, which include regulations pertaining to building/construction; encroachments; hoarding; housing; noise; property maintenance; public nuisances; short-term rentals; signs; water quality; and zoning/land use.

When a violation is identified, Code Enforcement contacts the responsible parties utilizing an educational, resource-based approach in an effort to gain cooperative compliance. If the responsible party in a violation fails to comply with City codes, Code Enforcement can issue citations and assess fines. In the case of significant violations, the City Attorney’s Office can prosecute the case civilly or criminally.

Code Enforcement responds to fire/life safety complaints within two working days, and non-fire/life safety complaints within eight working days.

For more information on the process, or to register a complaint, please telephone the City of Irvine Code Enforcement Section or click here to send an email.


Code Enforcement Supervisor
Cassi Palmer - 949-724-6430

Code Enforcement Technicians
Denise Bonanni - 949-724-6323
Thea Errickson - 949-724-6482

Senior Code Enforcement Inspectors 
Susan Craft - 949-724-6427
Wendy Cunningham - 949-724-6651
Eric Gonzalez - 949-724-6431
Samantha Phillips – 949-724-6428

When emailing a complaint, please be sure to include a thorough description of the potential code violation and the specific location. A daytime phone number is helpful should additional information be required.

Code of Ordinances

Zoning Ordinance


Building uses are regulated under the City’s Zoning Code as well as the California Building and Fire Codes.

Zoning Code:

Land uses are defined and regulated by the City of Irvine Zoning Code. Due to the transient nature of occupancy (less than 31 days), short-term rentals are considered a hotel/motel use, which are prohibited in all residential zones in which single family homes are found and the majority of zones in which multi-family developments are found.

Some multi-family developments (i.e. apartments and condominiums) exist or could be constructed in the 3.1 Multi-Use, 5.0 IBC Mixed Use, 5.1 IBC Multi-Use, and 8.1 Trails and Transit Oriented Development zones (Zoning inquiries by address and Citywide zoning maps are available at Zoning). In each of these zones a hotel use is subject to a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) which is considered through a discretionary review by the Planning Commission via a public hearing. (Information on the CUP process is available at Development Assistance Center).

Building and Fire Codes:

The California Building and Fire Codes establish minimum standards for the protection of life, health and safety as well as accessibility for disabled individuals. Higher standards apply for hotels versus apartments or condominiums. These differences are due to the transient and public nature of the guests. Therefore, should a conditional use permit be granted, a Certificate of Occupancy would be required before the short-term rental (hotel) use may commence. A Certificate of Occupancy is issued at the successful completion of all building modifications made under an approved plan and building permits necessary to conform to these higher standards.


The Zoning Code regulates land use to promote harmonious and compatible uses while the Building and Fire Codes seek to ensure minimum standards are met based on relative risks and public versus private use. Due to economic considerations, development generally conforms to the lowest standards allowed by code; thus any change necessitating a higher standard will likely entail modifications to the building. It is therefore important that before embarking on a venture to establish a short -term rental (hotel) use, that both Zoning (land use) and Building and Fire Code implications be carefully analyzed and understood.


In recent years, abandoned shopping carts along City streets have become a noticeable and growing issue affecting the quality and aesthetic appeal of the City’s streetscapes.  In order to preserve the well-landscaped and uncluttered streetscapes that are part of the value and quality of life that Irvine residents enjoy, the City has adopted an ordinance establishing rules to better control shopping carts.

These rules are similar to those adopted by many other communities in Southern California and require stores with eleven or more shopping carts to develop either a Shopping Cart Retrieval Plan or Shopping Cart Containment Plan to be submitted to the City for approval. Once a plan is approved by the City, stores must implement and maintain them. For any new store with eleven or more shopping carts, a plan is required to be approved before opening for business, and must be implemented on the first day of business.

Below is a link to a standard Shopping Cart Retrieval Plan, which may be used as a guide for meeting plan submittal requirements.

Should you have any questions regarding shopping cart regulations, please contact Lou Kirk by telephone or email as indicated above.

City Council Ordinance

Standard Shopping Cart Retrieval Plan