Frequently Asked Questions

 
Public Works
How much do permits cost?
View the latest fee schedule here.

Where can I find the Public Works Standard Plans?
You can find it here.

How many days does it take for plan checking?
1-2 weeks.

How do I schedule a turf removal? (any other turf removal inquiries)
Please contact the Public Works Department at (562) 431-2527 Ext. 1345.  More information can be found through the Municipal Water District of Orange County on their website at www.MWDOC.com

Who do I contact for water conservation?
Please contact the Public Works Department at (562) 431-2527 Ext. 1317.

Who do I call for Large Item pick up? (things that don’t fit in your trash can)
Republic Trash Services (800) 299-4898.

When is street sweeping?
You can find the street sweeping map here.  There is no street sweeping if there is a 5th day of the month. 

What do I do if I need my water shut off for a plumbing repair?
Monday-Friday 7:30 to 5:00 call 562-431-2527 ext. 1414.
Any hours aside from this call 562-799-4100.

Who do I call if I see a dead animal or injured animal?
Call Long Beach Animal Control Services at (562) 570-7387.

Who do I call if a street light is not working correctly?
Call Southern California Edison at (800) 611-1911 or you can report it online here.

How often does the City use its beach cleaning equipment?
During summer months, the beach crew uses its beach sanitizing machinery seven days a week in order to clear the sand of trash and other debris that has accumulated from the previous day. During the fall, winter and spring the beach crew reduces the usage of its beach sanitizing equipment. During these months, the sand sanitizing equipment is ran at least two days a week, typically on Monday and Friday and/or when needed.

How often are trees trimmed in the City?  
Ficus, Coral & Palms are trimmed annually.  All other Genius/Species are trimmed on a 5 year rotation.  

Who do I contact if I have concerns regarding a City tree?
Please contact the Recreation Manager at (562) 431-2527 ext. 1341

What should I do about a swarm of bees?
If the bees are on City property, contact the Public Works Yard at Ext. 1414. 
If the bees are on private property, call a beekeeper.

Where can I obtain sand bags?
Sand bags can be obtained at the fire stations during the winter months.

What should I do about trash not collected? I have a large item I would like picked-up, who should I call?
Call Republic Trash Services at 800-299-4898. 
Planning/Building & Safety
How do I know if I need a building permit?
It is recommended that you contact the Building Division to inquire about permits and code requirements before you proceed with any development or construction activity, even if a contractor or salesperson has told you that a permit is not required. Staff can determine zoning and flood zone designations to help you better prepare your plans.


What type of work requires a building permit?
Any building or structure that is to be erected, constructed, enlarged, altered, repaired, moved, improved, removed, converted or demolished requires a Building Permit from the Building Department. 
Examples of minor projects for which a permit is required include:
  • Window replacement.
  • Re-roofing.
  • Kitchen/bathroom remodeling.
  • Woodstoves and other fuel burning heating appliances.
  • Water heaters.
  • Replacement of heating and cooling systems.


What type of work does not require a building permit?
There are some exceptions that do not require a Building Permit. However, it is important to note that while the building code may exempt certain work from building permit requirements, electrical, plumbing or mechanical work is not exempted.
Some examples of these are:
  • Painting, wall papering, floor covering, and similar finish work.
  • Movable cases, counters and partitions not over 5 feet 9 inches high.
  • Fences not over 6 feet high. (Note: Please check with the Planning and Engineering Departments for additional requirements concerning locations of fences.)
  • One-story detached accessory buildings used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses, and similar uses, provided the floor area does not exceed 120 square feet. (Note: these structures must still comply with the local Zoning setback requirements. Please check with the Planning Department to ensure compliance with these requirements. If Electrical or plumbing will be installed – a permit will be required)
 
Recreation
Registration & Classes:
Can I sign up for a class that has already started?
Most instructors will take students at any time during the session. Please contact the Recreation Department at (562) 431-2527 ext. 1344 to see if a specific class or instructor allows late registration. 

If I sign up late and miss the first few meetings of a class, is the registration fee prorated?
Most instructors allow prorated fees. Please contact the Recreation Department at (562) 431-2527 ext. 1344 to see if a specific instructor allows a prorated registration fee.

Can non-residents register for classes and programs in Seal Beach? 
Yes

How can I become a recreation class Instructor?
Please access the Contract Instructor Application/Information here. Submit the application to Jessica Jacobs in the Recreation Department for review. If applicant is approved, instructors must provide a W9, Business License, insurance policy, and Live Scan fingerprinting. For more information please call the Recreation Department at (562) 431-2527 ext. 1344. 

Parks & Fields:
How can I reserve a picnic area at a park?
Access the Park/Beach Rental Application here, or obtain the application in person at City Hall. The Green Belt is not available to reserve. To check availability of a picnic area or park, please contact the Recreation Department at (562) 431-2527 ext. 1344 to check availability. 

Can non-residents reserve softball/soccer fields in Seal Beach?
Yes, non-residents can reserve fields in Seal Beach for a non-resident fee. All teams must submit an insurance policy that additionally insures the City of Seal Beach for $1 million for use of the fields. Applications/fees can be found here.  

Do any of the athletic fields have lights?
Yes, Zoeter Field has lights for night-use. Zoeter is a softball field. 

If I want to get married on the beach, do I need a Special Event Permit?
If you have less than 25 people and there is no setup involved, you do not need a permit. If you have 25 people or more, and the ceremony requires setup of equipment, you will need to submit a Special Event application that can be found here. Please call the Recreation Department at (562) 431-2527 ext. 1339 for more information.

Facility Rentals:
Can I host a birthday party, baby shower, wedding reception or similar event at a Community Center?
Yes, the Marina Center and North Seal Beach Center are great locations to host such functions. Please contact the Recreation Department at (562) 431-2527 ext. 1339 for availability and questions. The application and fee information for facility rentals can be found here.   

Can non-residents reserve facilities in Seal Beach?
Yes, non-residents can reserve a City facility for a non-resident fee. The application and fee information can be found here.   

Pool Information:

How do I purchase a swim pass for the McGaugh Pool?
Swim passes can be purchased with the Recreation Department at City Hall. You may choose 16 swims ($49), 34 swims ($98), or an annual pass ($250). 

Can one swim pass be used for multiple people?
The 16 and 34 swim passes allow guests to swim with the pass holder; one swim will be deducted for each swimmer. Annual swim passes are for individual use only

Can I reserve the McGaugh pool for a birthday party?
Yes, the McGaugh pool is available for party reservations on Saturdays and Sundays, June through August only. Please call the Recreation Department for details and availability at (562) 431-2527 ext. 1344. Pool Rental Application.

 
Finance
What is the fee for a general business license?
$219.00.

When do business licenses expire?
All business licenses run from July 1st to June 30th of each year.

Can a business license be issued a P.O. Box?
No, all business licenses must be issued to a physical address.

What do I need to bring in order to obtain a parking permit?
Drivers license, vehicle registration (FOR EACH VEHCLE DESIRING A RESIDENTIAL PASS), and a separate proof of residency (any utility bill *other than mobile/cellular phone, property tax bill, or a lease/rental agreement)

What forms of payment are accepted?
Cash or check only

Can I give a guest my residential parking permit?
No, residential parking passes are registered to one specific vehicle only. Guest passes are available for $20.00 each (guest passes are limited at 2/residence).

When is transient occupancy tax due?
Quarterly payors must submit their payment on or before the first day of the second month following the end of each calendar quarter.

Are there any utility exemptions for seniors?
Yes, anyone who is 65+ years old and makes less than $45,650/year qualifies for an exemption. 

What do I need to bring in order to apply for a utility exemption?
Please provide a copy of your utility bills (Landline, Cellular/Mobile, Gas, and Electricity), proof of age, and copy of your federal tax return.

 
City Clerk's Office
How do I register for upcoming elections?
Complete the California Voter Registration Application Orange County form and mail to the Registrar of Voters, P.O. Box 15467, Santa Ana, CA 92735-9902. Registration forms are available on the wall just outside City Clerk’s office in City Hall.

Can I obtain a marriage license at City Hall? Are weddings held at City Hall?
A marriage license is obtained at the County. See http://ocrecorder.com/services/marriage for additional information. For information regarding reserving the court yard at City Hall please contact the Community Services Department at (562) 431-2527 x1339.

How do I view City Council/ Planning Commission meetings and agenda information?
Meeting agendas, notices, and videos can be viewed at on the following link:
http://www.sealbeachca.gov/Government/Agendas-Notices-Meeting-Videos 

 
City Manager's Office
Does the Mayor or City Council Members have an Office at City Hall?
No, however, they are available by email and phone.  Their contact information can be obtained here.

When are City Council meetings held?
City Council meetings are held on the 2nd and 4th Monday per month at 7pm.

Where is the Human Resources Department located?
HR is located on the first floor in the City Manager’s Office.

Is City Hall open on Fridays?  What are City Hall office hours?
City Hall is open Monday-Friday, 8-5pm and closed daily from 12-1pm.

 
Police
I received a parking ticket, what are my options?
-You may pay by Credit Card by calling (800) 989-2058
-You may pay online at www.CitationProcessingCenter.com
-You may pay by mail:       
                Citation Processing Center
                c/o City of Seal Beach
                P.O. Box 10479
                Newport Beach, CA 92658-0479

Please include your citation and license plate number on your check or money order. Do not send cash through the mail.

You can pay for a parking citation at the Seal Beach Police Department Monday-Friday between the hours of 9:00am and 5:30pm. Cash (exact change) or check are the only forms of payment currently accepted at the front desk.

You may contest the violation by following the directions on the back of the citation or you may come to the Seal Beach Police Department Monday-Friday between the hours of 9:00am and 5:30pm.

Paying or contesting the citation must be completed within 21 calendar days of issuance or a penalty increase will be added to the original fine.

How do I get a copy of a police report or traffic collision report?
Traffic Collision reports are available online at https://buycrash.com 

To obtain a copy of a report you must complete and submit a Request for Release of Records form to the Seal Beach Police Records Department.  We are open Monday-Friday between the hours of 9:00am and 5:30pm. There may be a fee associated with your report. Please contact the Seal Beach Police Records Department at (562) 799-4100 Ext. 1144

How do I get a restraining order?
Orange County Restraining Order information is available at 
http://www.occourts.org/self-help/restrainingorders

I am a victim of a crime, what resources are available?
The State of California operates a Victim Compensation Program available at http://vcgcb.ca.gov/victims

Orange County hosts Community Service Programs available at http://www.cspinc.org

I have lost property in the City of Seal Beach has it been found?
Your property may have been located and turned in to the Seal Beach Police Department Property and Evidence room. You may contact (562) 799-4100 Ext. 1114 to determine whether or not your property has been located.  If it has, you must arrange an appointment to pick up your property with the Property/Evidence clerk.

My car was towed, how do I retrieve it?
You may contact the Seal Beach Police Records Department at (562) 799-4100 Ext. 1144 Monday-Friday from 9:00am to 5:30pm to confirm your vehicle was towed. If you are unable to contact us during these business hours, please contact the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (562) 594-7232. We will need to know your license plate or VIN number and a brief description of the vehicle. Most towed vehicles involve a unique situation causing individual solutions. A Records Specialist or Police Dispatcher can assist further to assist you in retrieving your vehicle.

Can I park my oversized vehicle/RV on the street?
Parking an oversized vehicle (over 20’ in length or 90” in width) is prohibited between the hours of 2:00 am and 5:00 am without an Oversized Vehicle Permit.  The permit may be obtained from the Seal Beach Police Department Monday-Friday between the hours of 9:00am and 5:30pm.