Code Enforcement

Code Enforcement is the process by which the City ensures compliance with the laws and regulations stated in the Malibu Municipal Code (MMC) and Zoning Ordinance to promote and protect public peace, health, safety, and welfare, while guiding growth and development in keeping with the General Plan. For further information on the compliance process or to report a code violation in progress, contact Code Enforcement staff at 310-456-2489, ext. 484.

Municipal Code Violations & Penalties

Failure to comply with provisions outlined in the MMC are subject to penalties as defined in MMC Section 1.16.010, which states:

B.     Infractions. Any person violating any provision or failing to comply with any mandatory requirement of this code expressly stated by this code to be an infraction shall be guilty of an infraction. Any person convicted of an infraction shall be punishable by:

        1.     A fine not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100.00) for a first violation;

        2.     A fine not exceeding two hundred dollars ($200.00) for a second violation of the same provision of this code within one year;

        3.     A fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500.00) for each additional violation of the same provision of this code within one year.

        Each person shall be guilty of a separate offense for each and every day during any portion of which any violation of any provision of this code is committed, continued or permitted by such person and shall be punishable accordingly.

 A complete list of MMC Chapters subject to these penalties are specified in MMC Section 1.10.040.


Renting Out a Trailer Parked on Your Property

Camping trailers and RVs parked on private property may not be rented out (short- or long-term) or used as a guest house within the Malibu city limits.They may not be hooked up to a septic system or used as a habitable space.

Landscaping - When You Need a Permit 

Trimming or removing a tree? Know your tree species before you cut! Malibu has five native, protected trees that require a permit before being trimmed or removed: Oak, Sycamore, Alder, Walnut, and Toyon.

Planting new landscaping? Anytime you intend to plant vegetation that has the potential to grow over six feet in height or form a solid hedge, you will need to acquire a Landscape Approval from the Planning Department. If you intend to plant more than 1,500 square feet of turf on your property, you will need a Landscape Approval. New irrigation systems require a Plumbing Permit from the Building Safety Department. A visit to the Public Counter will help identify what you need.

Business Signs - When You Need a Permit 

Anytime a new business opens or an existing business wishes to install a new sign, a Planning Approval in the form of a Sign Permit must be acquired. This is often a one- stop visit to the Planning Counter at City Hall. If the sign requires electricity or, depending on how the sign is proposed to be mounted to a structure, a Building Permit may also be needed.

Planning Approvals vs. Building Permits

For some small projects on your property, you may only need an approval from the Planning Department. That usually means a single, short visit to the Public Counter to speak with Planning staff. However, larger, more complex projects, such as building an additional room, grading, etc., could require both Planning Approval and a Building Permit, which requires a little more paperwork and a little extra time.

For more guidance, visit the Planning Counter, call the Planning Hotline at 310-456-489 ext. 485, or email Calls and emails are always returned within 24 hours.

Encroachments and Public Right of Way

An encroachment is when a developed piece of property, such as landscaping, a fence, a mailbox, or a parking space, extends beyond the edge of the actual property line and into the public right-of-way, which is the City-owned public street.

Valet Safety Ordinance


On June 27, 2016, the City Council adopted Ordinance No. 407 establishing MMC Chapter 9.38, which requires valet parking attendants working on public rights-of-way in Malibu to wear high-visibility reflective safety apparel at all times (day or night). The ordinance is meant to keep valets and their customers safer by making them more visible to motorists on PCH and all City streets. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Volunteers on Patrol (VOP) are conducting outreach among valet service operators in Malibu to educate them about the ordinance requirements.


For further questions, contact Code Enforcement Manager Doug Cleavenger at 310-456-2489, ext. 231 or