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  • Understanding the Citation and Appeals Process


DPS/Neighborhood Preservation
700 All America Way
Sunnyvale, CA 94088
(408) 730-7610

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Neighborhood Preservation



Understanding the Citation and Appeals Process

Administrative Action

In response to community concerns regarding poorly maintained and unsafe properties, the City Council approved new code enforcement procedures. There are two administrative actions that allow the City to take additional enforcement steps if efforts to achieve voluntary compliance is not successful. These administrative actions may result in penalties imposed upon the property owner as a personal obligation or a lien on the property. Neighborhood Preservation staff has the option, depending on case-criteria, to administer one of the following for non-compliance:

Administrative Citations

Neighborhood Preservation, pursuant to the Sunnyvale Municipal Code, section 1.05 has the authority to issue administrative citations for failure to correct code violations. Additional citations may be issued until compliance is met.

One of the most effective and efficient methods for achieving compliance is the use of the administrative citation. Prior to the issuance of an administrative citation, staff will attempt to achieve compliance with the property owner by issuing a courtesy notice and final warning letter.  If compliance is not met, staff will issue a citation. This procedure is more effective and efficient than the abatement order process because it is not as time intensive and provides that the property owner have the right to contest the citation with the Hearing Officer.

Payment Information

All fines are due within 30 days of the citation date. A late fee of 10% per month simple interest will be assessed for all payments received after the due date. Pursuant to Sunnyvale Municipal Code 1.05.110, unpaid citations may be added to your property tax bill. Payment may be in the form of a personal check, cashier’s check, or money order made payable to the City of Sunnyvale. You may pay the citation by mail or in person at:

City of Sunnyvale
Department of Finance
Accounts Receivable
P.O. Box 3707
Sunnyvale, CA 94088-3707

Hearing Information

The property owner has the right to contest the administrative citation and can request an Administrative Citation Hearing. The property owner must complete a Request for Hearing form and mail it, together with a deposit of the total amount to:

City of Sunnyvale
Department of Finance
Accounts Receivable
P.O. Box 3707
Sunnyvale, CA 94088-3707

Your request for hearing and deposit must be postmarked within 15 days of the date the citation was issued. You will be notified in writing of the location, date and time set for your hearing.

At the hearing, the property owner will be given an opportunity to testify and present evidence concerning the Administrative Citation. After considering all of the testimony and evidence, the Hearing Officer shall issue a written decision to the property owner within 10 days of the hearing. The decision of the Hearing Officer is final; however, you may appeal to the Santa Clara County Superior Court in accordance with the timeliness set forth in Government Code, Section 53069.4.

The fine shall be refunded if it is determined, after the hearing, that you are not responsible for the violation(s), or if there were no violation(s) as charged. If the citation is upheld, the City shall retain the original deposit as payment.

The fine schedule is as follows:         

Sunnyvale Municipal Code Provision


All violations of the Sunnyvale Municipal Code enforced pursuant to Chapter 1.05 are governed by this schedule of fines

Fines shall be assessed as follows:

(1)       $100 for the first violation.

(2)       $200 for the second violation occurring  within a 12 month period.

(3)        $500 for the third and any subsequent violation occurring within a 12 month period.


*  All fines are due within thirty (30) days of the citation date.  A late fee of 10% per month simple interest will be assessed for all payments received after the due date.

Notice to Abate Unsafe or Unlawful Conditions

Sunnyvale Municipal Code, section 9.26.030 allows City staff and their agents to abate health and safety hazards when voluntary compliance for the abatement of those hazards is not met. In cases where a property owner fails to remedy the ordinance violations present at the property, and the violations are mostly non-structural, the Neighborhood Preservation Unit has the authority to abate the property.

The abatement procedure includes the City hiring a contractor to "clean-up" the property and the property owner is charged for the full cost of the contractor’s service.

City of Sunnyvale

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8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

(408) 730-7500

  • Sunnyvale City Hall
  • 456 W. Olive Ave.
  • Sunnyvale, CA 94086
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