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Every record made or received by the City is presumed to be a public record, unless it is subject to an exemption. Exempt records are those that Federal, State or Local law prohibits the City from disclosing or permits the City to decline to disclose. For example, the United States and California Constitutions prohibit the disclosure of personal information that would violate an individual's right to privacy.
The custodian of records must either give you a copy of the requested record or provide you with a written justification of why the record is not public (i.e. exempt from disclosure). The City is not required to create a document in response to a request. Nor is the City required to honor prospective requests.
With our current Business License system, we are not able to accept online payments for the Mill/DID taxes. To pay Business License taxes, business owners will need to either come into our office 1010 10th Street, Suite 2100 or mail in their “Declaration of Gross Receipts” report with the payment to PO Box 3442, Modesto Ca 95353.
Modesto City Council Page
Trees are maintained on a regular cycle. For more information visit the Tree Maintenance Process web page. To report a concern, submit an online request.
Mistletoe is a problem for Modesto’s trees, and if it is not promptly removed, it spreads from tree to tree, weakens the tree, and can kill trees that are stressed from other factors. To report a concern, submit an online request.
Trees are a living public asset and provide unique environmental and aesthetic benefits to every neighborhood. However, at some point in a tree’s life cycle, it may die or require removal due to risk factors. Modesto makes every effort to preserve trees. When a tree is removed, it is removed entirely and replaced in most instances. Root cutting/shaving is another service the Forestry Division offers. This service is provided to reduce the risk from above ground roots or deeper roots that may potentially cause damage to public and private property.
When trees reach the end of their life cycle and have to be removed, Forestry workers use a coordinated approach to get the job done safely and efficiently. To report a concern, submit an online request.
Modesto maintains a database of its 81,000 street and park trees. This database records planting and maintenance of every City tree. The City is in the process of updating its tree inventory and Urban Forest Management Plan, and is working with state agencies on this effort. The tree inventory and Management Plan are used to schedule maintenance and to track the City’s progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. To report a concern, submit an online request.
$5000 X .002 = $10
For a list of allowed Adjustments, see the back of the Declaration of Gross Receipts form or contact the Business Licensing Division. Be sure to write the adjustments on the appropriate lines on the back portion of the form that is returned to the city.
On December 12, 2017, the Modesto City Council had a first reading of amendments to the Municipal Code to regulate commercial cannabis activity and personal cultivation. View the web page for more information.
The amended Municipal Code will become effective after a second reading on January 16, 2018, followed by a statutory 30-day waiting period. The anticipated effective date is February 16.
Ordinance documents and City Council resolutions will be posted in the City Documents Archive.
View the zoning information and tentative Cannabis Land Use Matrix on our website. To see what the current zoning of a specific address or parcel number is, you may refer to the City of Modesto Geographic Information System (GIS). Please direct other zoning-related inquiries to the City of Modesto Planning Division at (209) 577-5267.
City of Modesto Commercial Cannabis Permit Applications and related permit application documents are available on our website.
Please read the information provided on the website. It is recommended that you order your LiveScan background check(s) first, since you will need your order receipt as part of your Phase 1 Permit Application.
The fee schedule can be found on our website.
There are no restrictions on the number of commercial businesses other than dispensaries, which will be limited to a maximum of 10 within Modesto city limits.
No cannabis delivery services will be permitted within the City limits.
Commercial cannabis activities will be allowed in specified zones subject to certain buffers. Buffers are 600 feet from schools, daycare establishments and youth centers, 200 feet from parks and libraries, and 100 feet from residential property. View a tentative map showing zoning for cannabis activity on our website.
No commercial cannabis activity is permitted in a defined downtown area. View the prohibited area map on our website.
Adults over 21 years of age, and those over 18 years of age with a valid medical marijuana prescription may grow up to six plants, indoors, at a single residence. The limit of six plants is by residence, regardless of the number of residents. Growing activity must be completely indoors, secured and screened from public view.
To keep current on cannabis information, check this page for updates and subscribe to Modesto City News.
In order to obtain a Sign Permit, you must fill out an application and turn it into our office in person at City Hall, Suite 3100. Please review our Sign Permit checklist prior to submitting the application packet.
For general questions, or help identifying which district your property may fall into, please call the Community Development IFP Division at (209)571-5211.
For more information about Modesto's Community Facilities Districts visit our website here.
Projected allocations are 50% to improvement of local streets and roads, 10% to local traffic management, 5% to improved bicycle and pedestrian paths, 28% to regional projects, and 7% to improve transit connections for Seniors, Youth and Veterans. The City of Modesto is developing a comprehensive plan for local projects and will update it regularly. Measure L Regional Projects (partial list) •Upgrade the Briggsmore-Carpenter Interchange •Construct a new eight-lane interchange at Standiford •Complete State Route 132 by constructing a four-lane expressway from State Route 99 to Gates Road Complete list of Measure L Regional Projects.
• Annual Independent Audits and Compliance Reports• Measure L Oversight Committee• Provisions for Maintenance of Effort• Administrative Costs Maximum of 1%• Funds Must Stay Local and Only Be Spent on Transportation• Sunset Date 2042
The Stanislaus Council of Governments will appoint a citizens oversight committee representing each of the constitutive jurisdictions to ensure that the revenues received from Measure L are used according to provisions of the Measure L ordinance ( http://www.stanislaus-localroadsfirst.com/uploads/5/4/7/5/54754127/ordinance.pdf ). In addition to the Measure L Oversight Committee, the City of Modesto approved the creation of a Citizens’ Transportation Sales Tax Commission which will consist of eleven members appointed by the City Council by resolution. This Commission will provide oversight and recommendations regarding the use of Measure L funds. There will also be an annual audit by an independent audit firm to ensure that the provisions and restrictions of Measure L are being adhered to.Links to oversight reports and information will be available online.
In addition to the Measure L Oversight Committee, the City of Modesto approved the creation of a Citizens’ Transportation Sales Tax Commission which will consist of eleven members appointed by the City Council by resolution. This Commission will provide oversight and recommendations regarding the use of Measure L funds.
There will also be an annual audit by an independent audit firm to ensure that the provisions and restrictions of Measure L are being adhered to.
Links to oversight reports and information will be available online.
The General Plan is a City’s “blueprint” for achieving the vision for the future. The Modesto General Plan and other related documents are available online.
Zoning is the law that regulates how property is used and sets standards for new construction. Some properties are zoned to allow only homes and other properties are zoned to allow stores and businesses. The purpose of establishing zoning designations is to ensure that neighboring land uses are compatible with one another. Residential uses are generally not compatible with industrial uses.
More information regarding zoning:
You can find the list of uses allowed in each zone online.
A legal-nonconforming condition is a building or use of property that was lawfully built and maintained, and that because of changes to zoning or development standards, no longer conforms to the regulations of the zone in which it is located. A legal-nonconforming use or building may remain at its location and if destroyed by accidental or natural causes, be rebuilt up to the original size for up to one year following destruction. The Zoning Code allows for limited expansion of non-conforming uses. This information can be found online.
A variance is an exception to requirements of the Zoning Code for development of property, such as building setbacks. A variance may be justified when a regulation restricts the use of property because of some unique feature of the property such as its shape or topography. A variance requires approval by the Board of Zoning Adjustment at a public hearing.
In order to approve a variance, specific findings must be made, as follows:
More information regarding the variance process, see Variance Brochure (PDF) or Variance Submittal Requirements (PDF).
The Planned Development (P-D) zoning designation is utilized to allow for custom tailored, site specific zoning, which encourages creative, flexible and efficient land uses. Planned Development (P-D) zones are often established with variations from use, density, height or other standards that are strictly regulated in other zones.
For detailed information regarding the Planned Development (P-D) process or a specific Planned Development (P-D) Zone, contact the Planning Division at (209) 577-5267.
A setback (see House Setbacks (PDF)) is the minimum distance required between a building or fence and a property line. Setbacks vary throughout the City depending on the zoning. General residential setback information can be found online.
Visit Fence Standards for Corner Lots (PDF) or Fence Standards for Interior Lots (PDF) for further information.
The location of your property line can be verified by a Licensed Land Surveyor (LLS). You can find a Licensed Land Surveyor by looking online or in the Yellow pages under “Surveyors – Land” or “Engineers – Civil”. Once you have found a Licensed Land Surveyor, you may want to check the status of the Licensed Land Surveyor at the State of California’s Website.
Changing the boundary between two properties requires what is called a Lot Line Adjustment, which must be approved by the City. Lot line adjustments are handled by the City’s Land Development Engineering Division. If you have questions about Lot Line Adjustments, please contact the Land Development Engineering Division at (209) 342-4712.
If you are interested in dividing your property, you will need to determine whether it is large enough to divide. For information about minimum residential lot requirements, refer to the Zoning Code.
For a commercial property, the ultimate use or uses of the property will need to be considered and whether there will remain sufficient space to accommodate the building(s), required landscaping and parking. For specific questions about site development standards, contact the Planning Division at 209-577-5267.
Sheds or gazebos are buildings that can be used to support the primary residential structure, which are also known as Accessory Structures (PDF).
A structure such as a patio cover or sunroom that is connected to your house is considered part of the house and is not an accessory structure. These types of structures require a building permit, must meet setbacks and can’t exceed the lot coverage requirements. For building related questions, contact the Building & Safety Division at (209) 577-5232.
Accessory dwelling units, otherwise known as second units, granny-units, guesthouses, mother-in-law quarters, are allowed by the City on most residential lots. The development of an accessory dwelling unit must meet standards such as size, height, setbacks, lot coverage, and parking. Please contact the Planning Division at (209) 577-5267 for more information.
All single-family residential units must provide two off-street parking spaces. In order to convert garage space into a bedroom, office, game room, or other living space, the property owner must demonstrate the ability to meet the off-street parking requirements. Contact the Planning Division at (209) 577-5267 for further information.
A second story addition to an existing home or accessory structure, or a new two-story home or accessory structure, may be subject to Second-Story Review (PDF). For information regarding the submittal requirements, please see the Second Story Review Submittal Requirements (PDF).
The City allows for home-based businesses and you will need a Home Business Permit and Agreement Form (PDF). You will also need to check the zoning in your area to see if the business is permitted. Please contact the Planning Division at (209) 577-5267 for further information.
For all other new business information, visit our New Business Page.
The City’s sign regulations are based on the zoning designation for property. For information about the City’s sign regulations, contact the Planning Division at 209-577-5267.
Signs generally require a permit to ensure all safety standards are met. For information about the sign permit process, contact the Building & Safety Division at (209) 577-5232.
Application forms and materials are available online or at the Planning Division office at 1010 10th Street, Suite 3100, Modesto.
Planning Division Fee Schedule (PDF) is available online. For questions regarding fees or forms, please contact the Planning Division at (209) 577-5267.
First, you must call Customer Service at 209-577-5395 to have your pending recurring payment removed from our system. Pending payments may only be removed 14 days prior to its scheduled draft date. This will NOT un-enroll you from Auto Pay you will need to complete the second step below.
Second, you will need to Log In to our ePay system and un-enroll in Auto Pay. Click > Auto Pay, Click> Disable, Click> Continue, Click> Ok. You will then see a message that reads “Your account is Currently Not Enrolled”
Auto Pay must be set up within your online account manager. For detailed instructions, view our online help document. The first auto payment will be processed on the due date of your next billing cycle for the full amount due shown on your bill.
You may set up eBilling by logging into your online account manager. For detailed instructions view our online help document. Once eBilling has been activated you will no longer receive paper statements. You may also sign-up for eBilling by contacting Customer Services at 209-577-5395.
Important: To avoid our e-notifications going into your “Junk” email folder, you must add: email@example.com as a contact or add to safe sender list for your email provider.
You may contact our office in person or by phone at 209-577-5395 to request termination of service and to provide a forwarding address for your final bill.
Metered: If your location is charged a metered water or sewer rate the service period appearing on your bill is from reading date to reading date. Any flat rate service charge also appearing on the bill will differ from these dates.
Non-Metered Flat Rate: If your location is billed on a flat rate, the service period appearing on your bill is from billing date to billing date.
A deposit may be required to establish service with the City of Modesto. Based on guidelines provided by the State of California, a deposit is not to exceed three times the average monthly bill for the property address. A deposit will also be added to active utility accounts if service is disconnected for non-payment. The deposit shall be applied to the closing bill upon the discontinuation of services and any remaining credit will be refunded. Residential $200 Commercial (based on average monthly billing of location)
Payments received after 3 p.m. on accounts that are disconnected, will not have the service restored until the following business day. Only City personnel are authorized to disconnect and/or reconnect service. Unauthorized tampering/damage could delay restoration of services up to one week and result in additional fees.
All occupied premises with the City of Modesto are required to have garbage service for the protection of the public health, safety and welfare pursuant to Modesto Municipal Code 5-5.101. For service issues, please contact your garbage company directly.
Delinquent notices will be mailed on past due accounts allowing 14 days for payment to be received to avoid disconnection. Checks are not accepted for accounts once a final notice has been mailed. The entire balance as stated on the final notice is required to avoid disconnection.
Note: Water, sewer, and storm drain charges are considered "ready to use" and will continue to be billed monthly as long as the utility account is open. Only water consumption is based on usage. Services where the water is off for non-payment are still connected to City systems and the charges will continue to be billed. Garbage service is not discontinued when water is turned off for non-payment, and the charges will continue to be billed.
Accounts should be paid under written protest prior to delinquency to ensure that additional fees are not assessed or service is disconnected. A formal Request for Review form must be completed and submitted within 30 days from the date the disputed charges are billed. This form can be obtained by speaking to a Customer Service Representative at 209-577-5395 or visiting our office located at 1010 10th Street, Suite 2100, Modesto, CA 95354. Completed written dispute forms can be delivered in person at our office, or addressed to: City of Modesto - Collections Division, P.O. Box 767, Modesto, CA, 95353
Your garbage company is determined by which street you live on.
View the map to find your address and contact your company for more information. Gilton Solid Waste can be reached at 209-527-3781 or Bertolotti Disposal 209-537-6911.
If services are turned off for non-payment, payment of all balances owing plus fees will be required to restore service. Checks are not accepted for accounts once a final notice has been mailed.
***Payments received AFTER 3 p.m. on accounts that are disconnected, will not have the service restored until the following business day.***
The City of Modesto offers its residential garbage service customers a convenient way to dispose of large bulky household items via the Bulky Item Collection Program. Each residential garbage service customer may have two pick-ups per calendar year. Residents must contact their garbage company to set a collection appointment. Items should be placed out the evening before the scheduled collection day. Gilton Solid Waste can be reached at 209-527-3781 or Bertolotti Disposal 209-537-6911.
No, your Water, sewer, and storm drain charges are considered "ready to use" and will continue to be billed monthly as long as the utility account is open. Only water consumption is based on usage. Services where the water is off for non-payment are still connected to City systems and the charges will continue to be billed. Garbage service is not discontinued when water is turned off for non-payment, and the charges will continue to be billed.
If you are not sure who your garbage company is, view the Service Area Map online.
When at a marked stop, position yourself near the sign so the driver knows that you want to ride. The driver may not stop for you if it doesn't look like you want to ride. Back away from the curb as the bus approaches to avoid the mirror on the side of the bus.
Please request your transfer as you board. If you are planning to transfer and your bus is running late, please tell your driver. He will ask the driver of the bus you want to wait for you, if time allows.
Additionally, a transfer can be made at any point along the MAX route network where two or more individual routes cross or meet. Please consult the route maps for such points.
Ceres Area Transit (CAT) and Ceres Dial-A-Ride (DAR): You can transfer to CAT or Ceres DAR at Hatch and Herndon from Route 29 or 42. Notify your MAX driver if you wish to transfer to Ceres DAR. The driver will contact Ceres DAR and arrange for a Ceres DAR vehicle to pick you up.
eTrans Route 1: You can transfer to eTrans Route 1 from MAX Routes 22, 23, 27 and 37 at McHenry & Standiford Avenues. Call 209-541-6645 for more details.
Flat lots are located at:
-Corner of 9th Street and I Street
-9th Street between I Street and J Street
-Centre Plaza parking lot located on 11th Street between K Street and L Street
-Transportation Center parking lot located on 9th Street near K Street
Please call 209-342-2216 for more information.
Parking garages are located at:
-The 9th Street Garage is located on 9th Street between L and K Streets with entrances on 9th Street, L Street and K Street
-The 10th Street Garage is located on the corner of 11th Street and K Street with entrances on both K Street and 11th Street
-The 11th Street Garage is located on 11th Street between J Street and I Street with one entrance and exit located on 11th Street
Parking fees for parking lots and garages are $1.25 per hour or fraction thereof, with a $15 daily max.
Yes, unless the department you are visiting provides a validation ticket or if you are parked less than 20 minutes. The first 20 minutes are free. Pay at the Pay Station before returning to your vehicle. Please call 209-342-2216 for more information.
It is best to pay on foot before returning to your vehicle. There are Pay Stations near the elevator on the first floor of each garage. If you find yourself in the exit lane and have not already paid, you can pay but with a credit card only. Please call 209-342-2216 for more information.
Press the intercom at the Pay Station near the elevator or call 209-342-2216 and courtesy staff will bring you a lost ticket replacement. If you lose or damage your ticket, you will be charged $15, the maximum daily fee.
Parking garages do not have attendants on staff to collect cash. There are pay stations near the elevator on the first floor of each garage where you must pay your parking fee before returning to your vehicle. Read the easy-to-follow directions at the pay station. Flat lots all have centrally located meters to pay your parking fee prior to going to your destination. Read the easy-to-follow directions on the pay meter.
If you need assistance, please call 209-342-2216.
Pre-paid parking is available only at the 11th Street Parking Garage after 6:00 PM at the pay station on Sunday-Thursday. Event days, as well as Fridays and Saturdays, are "pre-pay upon entry" after 5:00 PM. Pre-paying your parking fee before going to your destination helps alleviate some traffic congestion upon exit of the parking garage, since this garage has only one entrance and exit. Please note: The City cannot honor merchant validations for pre-paid parking fees.
Pre-paid parking at any parking facility may be necessary for large events that have a significant impact to parking operations, such as downtown festivals and the Amgen Tour. Pre-paid parking during special events is evaluated on a case-by-case basis and signs will be posted at parking entrances. Please note: The City cannot honor merchant validations for pre-paid parking fees.
If your car was towed/stored for 30 days due to driving on a suspended license:
-Come to the main lobby and fill out a Request for 30-Day Hearing form. You are entitled to a hearing within 48 working hours. The hearing officer will review your case and, under certain guidelines, may release the vehicle early. If the storage is sustained, you will be required to wait the full thirty days to obtain a release. For further information, you may call the traffic unit at 209-572-9592 during regular business.
If your car is eligible for release, come to the main lobby during regular business hours with the registered owner, a licensed driver, and current vehicle registration. A vehicle release fee will be charged.
It is the policy of the City Modesto to process refunds for overpayment within four weeks. Overpayments must be researched and analyzed prior to any refund being issued. In the event of a balance on a previously unpaid invoice, any refund due will be applied towards this balance. Refund requests will be sent to the Accounts Payable division for processing and will be issued in the form of a check.
Refunds for overpayment will be processed within four weeks. In the event of a balance on previously unpaid parking citations, any refund due will be applied towards this balance. Refunds will be issued in the form of a check.
The following policy has been created pursuant to the Modesto Municipal Code 9-1.708 Fee Refunds. This policy is not intended to cover all scenarios that may relate to permit fee refunds. All refunds must be approved by the Chief Building Official.
To request a refund, you must complete the Refund Request form and submit it in person at the Building Safety Division or by mail to: City of Modesto, Building Safety Division, PO Box 642, Modesto, CA, 95355.
The Senior/Disabled Low Income discount is a 25% reduction off the billed service charges for water, sewer, storm drain and garbage.
Applicants must be over the age of 60 or permanently disabled, listed on the City of Modesto utility bill and have a total household gross low income not to exceed $28,750 annually.
Download the Senior /Disabled Low Income Assistance application or request one in person at the City of Modesto Customer Services office at 1010 10th Street, Suite 2100, Modesto CA. Please mail or bring your completed application and required documents to Central Valley Opportunity Center (CVOC) located at 1801 H Street, Suite A 4-6, Modesto, CA 95354.
No. Approved applicants are only eligible to receive the discount at their primary residence.
Yes. A discount approval letter will be sent to notify you once the 25% discount has been added to the utility account and/or if the account has been renewed to continue the discount. This process may take 4-6 weeks once application has been submitted and approved.
No. The City of Modesto can initiate the transfer process on your behalf, but you must first notify the Utility Billing Customer Service to start the process to transfer the discount to the new address upon terminating your address with a discount.
Yes. A renewal letter along with a discount application will be sent to you every two years when it is time to renew. You have 30 days to reapply to avoid any lapse in receiving the discount.
Commitments: Healthy Economy and Great Quality of Life Vibrant Infrastructure and Sustainable Environment Great Safe Neighborhoods Effective Responsive and Transparent Government
Water Rate Assistance Program is a low income assistance program that reduces your base service charge for water by$10.00 each monthly billing cycle.
Customers that meet the income eligibility guidelines found on our website.
Customers may apply and participate in either Water Rate Low Income Assistance program or the Senior/Disabled Low Income Assistance program, but not both. For more information regarding the Senior/Disabled assistance program please visit our website or contact our Customer Services representatives at 209-577-5395
Download the Water Rate Low Income Assistance application or request one in person at the City of Modesto Customer Services office at 1010 10th Street, Suite 2100, Modesto CA. Please mail or bring your completed application and required documents to Central Valley Opportunity Center (CVOC) located at 1801 H Street, Suite A 4-6, Modesto, CA 95354.
Applicants must reapply for the program every two years. Please allow 4-6 weeks for processing once the application has been submitted and approved. Applications may be submitted by mail or by making an appointment to submit the application directly to Central Valley Opportunity Center (CVOC). For further information, please contact Central Valley Opportunity Center (CVOC) at 209-577-3210.
Please allow 4-6 weeks for processing once your application has been submitted and approved by the Central Valley Opportunity Center (CVOC).