Code Enforcement

To report a suspected code violation, submit a completed Code Enforcement Form (PDF). If you have a question about whether or not an action violates the code, the information on this page outlines the most common infractions for your convenience.

Construction Hours

Construction activities is only permitted during the follow times:

  • Monday to Friday - 8am to 6pm.
  • Saturdays - 10am to 5pm.
  • Sundays - 10am to 5pm. Only 2 people can perform work (the property owner plus one).
  • Weekends - Heavy equipment usage is prohibited. Two one-day exceptions may be requested per year.

View our Construction Hour Site Posting (PDF) for more information.

Fence & Retaining Walls

Planning Department approval is not required for new and reconstructed fences Section 17.4.27 of the Municipal Code. Fences within 5 feet of a street abutting property line are limited to 4 feet in height and must be visually open. Fences more than 5 feet from the front property line may be up to 6 feet in height, must be screened with landscaping and may be constructed of a solid material.

Fences may not be constructed in the public right-of-way without the approval of a revocable encroachment agreement. Because the public right-of-way is almost always wider than the paved roadway width and the pavement is not always centered in the right-of-way, a property line survey may be required. For additional information, please review Section 17.15.3 of the Municipal Code.

Tree Removal

Protected trees cannot be removed without a Tree Removal Permit. Trees are protected if they are:

  1. On Vacant Property - 6 inches or more in diameter, regardless of species.
  2. On Developed Property - 12 inches or more in diameter and are an oak species.
  3. Riparian trees - 4.5 inches in diameter within 30 feet of the bank of a water course.
  4. Required as condition of development approval, regardless of species.

Review the Tree Ordinance Handout for additional information about tree removal. 

Work Within Riparian Zones

Section 17.4.6 of the Orinda Municipal Code states that no structure may be built in the setback required for creeks, streams and watercourses unless City Engineer approval has been obtained under Municipal Code section 16.64.220.C and design review approval has been obtained under Municipal Code section 17.30.5. The City Engineer review ensures the safety of the structure and design review ensures that the site and landscape plan "retains, enhances and restores appropriate riparian vegetation." A Creek Protection Report prepared by a City retained biologist is required. A natural drainage course will be considered a creek, stream, or watercourse if an incised channel is present. If you are unsure whether the setback applies, you may request a site visit by City staff.