The following false alarm fee schedule is based on a 12-month calendar year:
- 1st False Alarm: No Charge
- 2nd False Alarm: $97.00
- 3rd False Alarm: $126.00
- 4th False Alarm: $155.00
- 5th False Alarm: $183.00
- 6th False Alarm: $201.00
- 7th False Alarm: $229.00/possible revocation
- Improper application or installation on interior motion detectors.
- Improper application or installation of outdoor beams.
- Improper charging or checking of batteries.
- Faulty equipment.
- Use of incorrect key pads
- Failure to train other authorized users.
- Failure to secure doors and windows before turning on alarm.
- Failure to notify monitoring facility of unscheduled openings or closings (businesses using set schedules).
- Failure to update authorized personnel list with monitoring facility.
- Attend a false alarm prevention program offered by the Whittier Police Department. Receive a certificate of completion, which can be used in lieu of payment for one fine assessed pursuant to the False Alarm Ordinance.
- Ensure those operating your alarm system are familiar with the system operations.
- Secure doors and windows before activating the alarm system.
- Beware of changes in the environment (i.e., new animals, design changes, seasonal decorations, plants, etc.)
- Notify monitoring facility of any and all changes (i.e., houseguests, name changes, change in phone number or contact information, new employees, termination of employees, etc.)
- Equipment should be routinely inspected and maintained by qualified personnel.
- Encourages the proper maintenance of alarm systems
- Reduces the number of false alarms.
- Allows police to utilize time and focus on other calls for service and self-initiated activity.
- Decreases the potential danger created by false alarms for responding officers and anyone the officers find at your premises.
“False alarm" means an alarm signal, eliciting a response by the police when a situation requiring a response by the police does not in fact exist, but does not include an alarm signal caused by violent conditions of nature or other extraordinary circumstances not reasonably subject to control by an alarm business or alarm user.
To give police and other emergency personnel accurate contact numbers in case of an emergency. It also provides the police department a list of responsible persons who can respond to the alarm location in the event of a break-in. If during any 12-month period an alarm system in a residential unit, commercial establishment, or industrial building has five or more false alarms, the user’s permit may be revoked and police response to such alarms suspended.
To Obtain an Alarm System Permit
Download and complete the Alarm System Permit Form. Mail it with your total due to the following address listed below. If you need assistance or have questions, please contact the Whittier Police Department at 562-567-9200.
Attn: Records Supervisor
Whittier Police Department
13200 Penn Street
Whittier, CA 90602
If you wish to apply in person, Whittier Police Department lobby hours are Monday through Friday 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM and Saturday-Sunday 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The Police Department is located at 13200 Penn Street.
Alarm permit applications are processed through the police department. The records supervisor is responsible for all matters involving permits and alarm service providers.
Alarm System Permit Fee
Residential and commercial alarm system permit fees are $24.00. This is a one-time fee with no annual renewal required. However, any change in emergency contact information, alarm system ownership, or alarm company should be provided to the police department immediately by contacting the records supervisor at 562-567-9200.
Penalty for Not Having an Alarm System Permit
A late fee of $57.00 will be charged in addition to the filing fee for any alarm user who fails to obtain a permit within sixty day of having an operational alarm system that may initiate a police response. Furthermore, any violation of this ordinance is considered an infraction and may be prosecuted as such.
In accordance with Whittier Municipal Code 5.20.040, any individual or business that has a functioning alarm system at their residence or place of business inside the City of Whittier must obtain an alarm system permit.
If you live within the City limits, you are not required to have a microchip for your dog at this time. However, LA County recommends them as a tool for faster return of your pet.
If you live within the Whittier City limits, you are not currently required to license your cat. The County has a voluntary program available. The cost to license your cat is $10 if your cat is unaltered and $5 if your cat is spayed or neutered.
Whittier Municipal Code 18.10.20(A) states that single family residences are allowed a maximum of 3 dogs and/or cats per household. Multiple family homes (two or more units on a lot) are allowed a maximum of 2 dogs and/or cats per unit.
The current fees are as follows:
- Unaltered Dog $60
- Spayed or Neutered Dog $36
- Senior Citizen* $18
- Late Fee $20
*In order to qualify for the senior citizen rate, you must be at least 60 years old and your dog must be altered.
Call Animal Control at Phone: (562) 940-6898 and be ready to give them the location of the animal and major cross streets.
Phone: (562) 940-6898
Please visit the Los Angeles County Animal Control website below to see pictures and descriptions of all animals available for adoption at the shelters.
Call the number below to report any stray dogs or cats. Be ready to tell them the cross streets where the animal was last seen, type of animal, color of the animal, and any other information you may have.
Phone: (562) 940-6898
Los Angeles County Animal Control has a volunteer program. Please click the link below to find out how to become a volunteer.
Puente Hills Habitat Preservation Authority Ecologist, Dan Cooper, has provided some tips on Living with Coyotes.
Find information about Title 10 here.
The County’s Downey shelter implants microchips for free, call them at 562-940-6898 for details. There is a one time fee to have the dog registered nationally. Please call Downey Animal Shelter for details. In addition, most private veterinarian offices will implant the chip for a fee.
Licenses are issued by Los Angeles County Animal Control in Long Beach or at the shelter in Downey. Applications are available by calling Animal Control or going to the county website (link located below) and clicking Pet Licensing on the left side.
Animal Control does not trap coyotes. Please call one of the following for coyotes or visit this website for more information on living with wildlife:
- Habitat Authority 562-945-9003
- Dept of Agriculture 626-575-5462
Animal Control no longer picks up trapped animals, but you can drop them off at a shelter.
Building & Safety
“Owner/builder” describes a situation in which the homeowner becomes the general contractor. As an owner/builder, you (not the person you hire) assume responsibility for the overall job. Your responsibilities may include such things as state and federal taxes, workers’ compensation insurance and other legal liabilities.
For more information on this, go to the CSLB website.
What is an Owner-Builder?
- An owner-builder is what the term indicates: a person owns the property and acts as their own general contractor on the job, and either does the work themselves or has employees (or subcontractors) working on the project.
- The work site must be their principal place of residence that they have occupied for 12 months prior to completion of the work.
- The homeowner cannot construct and then sell more than two structures during any three-year period.
Laws and Regulations
- Business & Professions Code section 7044 has more information about owner-builders.
When you sign a building permit application as an owner-builder, you assume full responsibility for all phases of your project and its integrity. You must pull all building permits. Your project must pass codes and building inspections.
The owner-/builder is responsible for ordering materials and making sure all suppliers are paid.
An owner-builder also is responsible for supervising, scheduling, and paying subcontractors. If you use anyone other than your immediate family or a licensed subcontractor for work, you may be considered an “employer.”
Employers must register with the state and federal governments and are obligated to participate in state and federal income tax withholding, federal Social Security taxes, workers' compensation insurance, disability insurance costs, and unemployment compensation contributions.
Tip: For more specific information about your obligations under federal law, contact the Internal Revenue Service at (800) 829-1040, and the U.S. Small Business Administration at (800) 359-1833. For more specific information about your obligations under state law, contact the Employment Development Department at (916) 653-0707, the Department of Industrial Relations at (415) 703-5070, and the Franchise Tax Board at (800) 852-5711.
Unless you are knowledgeable about construction, mistakes can be costly and take additional time to repair or correct.
Subcontractors and suppliers who are not paid on schedule may file mechanics liens against your property. Educate yourself about mechanics liens and how to prevent them.
If your workers are injured, or your subcontractors are not licensed or do not carry liability insurance or workers' compensation insurance and they are injured, you could be asked to pay for injuries and rehabilitation through your homeowner’s insurance policy or face lawsuits.
You should be cautious of unlicensed individuals claiming to be contractors who prey upon homeowners. They may promise to guide you through the owner-builder process for a consulting fee, but they are breaking the law.
- As an owner-builder, you assume full responsibility for all phases of your project and its integrity.
- Licensed contractors must demonstrate knowledge of their craft, be tested, fingerprinted, bonded, and undergo an FBI background check before they are licensed to work in California.
- Illegal contractors can botch a job or leave with the down payment, leaving the owner-builder to deal with the consequences.
No, it is illegal and unsafe to live in any garage. Living in a garage may be dangerous due to fire hazards and carbon monoxide poisoning from gas fired appliances (like a water heater or furnace). You may be able to get a permit to convert a garage into a living space, as an addition to your home, however, you will be required to comply with the city’s requirements for off-street parking, which includes the requirement to have a two-car enclosed garage. Contact the Planning Division for further assistance.
Yes. After your permit is issued, a series of inspection will be required. Depending on the scope of your project, inspections may be required for foundation, framing, plumbing, electrical and similar work. The City requires a final inspection on all building permits.
Yes. All work completed under a building permit issued by the City of Whittier must pass a final inspection by the Building Inspector. Even though a contractor may have taken out a building permit for a property owner, it is ultimately the responsibility of the property owner to see that a final inspection is attained for each building permit. Failure to have a final inspection could result in withholding approval of any future permits.
A building permit is not required for one story, detached accessory structures used as tool or storage sheds, play houses, and buildings of similar use, provided the floor area does not exceed 120 square feet.
However the location of the structure; regardless of the size, should be reviewed by the Planning Division prior to placement.
Please contact the Building and Safety Division via phone at (562) 567-9320 for additional information or stop by our office at City Hall.
Do I Need Permits for Items Such as a Patio Cover, Patio Slab, Driveways, Block/Retaining Wall, Reroofs, Painting, Carpet Installations, etc.?
Patio Covers - A permit is required for a patio cover. Refer to the Patio Cover Standard Plan for additional Information.
Wood or Vinyl Fences - A permit is required for a Fence over 18” high. Refer to the Wood Fence Requirements Handout for additional Information.
Submit a plot plan showing the location of all proposed walls or fences. Refer to the Standard Plot Plan Form for additional information. Contact the Planning Division for information regarding restrictions and requirements for fences.
If the fence is to be located on a shared property line, please complete the Common Property Line Wall Agreement Form, and have the property owner(s) on the adjacent property fill out and sign the form.
If the fence is to be located entirely on your property, please complete the Fence or Wall on Owners Property Form.
Window Replacement - A permit is required for Window Replacement. Provide a floor plan or site plan with the window sizes, and locations, along with a brochure from the manufacturer, and photos of the exterior of the house to the Planning Division for approval prior to building permit issuance. Refer to the Window & Door Replacement Handout for additional information.
Water Heaters - A permit is required for a Water Heater replacement. Refer to the Typical Water Heater Installation Handout for additional Information. Submit a completed CF-1R-ALT form to show energy compliance. This form may be obtained at the counter.
If the water heater is located in an outdoor enclosure, or in the garage, submit a plot plan or floor plan showing the location on the property to the Planning Division for approval of the location. Refer to the Standard Plot Plan Form for additional information.
Air Conditioners - A permit is required for an air conditioning condenser replacement or new installation. Submit a plot plan showing the location on the property to the Planning Division for approval of the location.
Refer to the Standard Plot Plan Form for additional information.
Patio or Driveway Slab - No permit is required for a patio or driveway slab. A permit is required for footings for a future patio cover.
Driveways - Driveways require approval from the Planning Division, and a driveway approach permit from the Engineering Division of Public Works.
Block Walls/Retaining Walls - A permit is required for a block wall if the wall is 18” or more in height, and retaining walls of any height.
Submit a plot plan showing the location on the property to the Planning Division for approval of the location. Refer to the Standard Plot Plan Form for additional information.
Refer to the Typical Garden Wall Detail; Typical Retaining Wall Detail with Level Surcharge; or Typical Retaining Wall Detail with Garden Wall Handouts for additional Information.
If the wall is to be located on a shared property line, please complete the Common Property Line Wall Agreement Form, and have the property owner(s) on the adjacent property fill out and sign the form.
If the wall is to be located entirely on your property, please complete the Fence or Wall on Owners Property Form.
Roof & Reroof – Roofing and reroof permits and inspections are required for any roof structure your property. Most permits may be issued over the counter. Refer to the Roof & Re-roof Guidelines Handout for additional information.
All Roofs in the City of Whittier are required to meet a Class A rating.
To obtain a permit, provide Manufacturers Specifications for Roofing Materials, (i.e. Shingle style, Model Name, and Color) Provide the ICC-ES Report. Also, specify whether the existing roof is being removed, if new roof sheathing (plywood) is being applied, and what base or underlayment is to be installed.
For Flat or Low-Sloped Roofs, (with a pitch/ slope of 2:12 or less) provide specifications for the entire roof system to be used. (i.e. Base Sheet, Nail Base, Mid-ply, and Cap Sheet.) Provide the ICC-ES Report.
For reroofs on structures built prior to 1941, planning approval of the Architecture, finish materials, and colors will be required.
Some items are exempt from permits such as:
- wall papering
- installing carpet/ flooring
- window coverings
If you have any questions regarding what work requires permits, please contact the Building & Safety Division at (562) 567-9320.
Per the California Business & Professions Code, section 5537, an unlicensed person may prepare plans for projects that conform to conventional construction as specified in the building code, for residential structures not to exceed two-stories and a basement in height.
If the construction will deviate from these standards, a licensed Architect or Engineer will be required to prepare, stamp and sign the drawings.
There are several reasons to hire an architect, even for smaller projects. Licensed Architects are highly trained in all aspects of creating a safe and livable building, not just the artistic aspect. The licensing process requires education, training and testing, as well as an apprenticeship requirement. The process takes many years. A do-it-yourselfer, designer or contractor will simply not have the depth of understanding of a licensed Architect. Be aware that by law, only a licensed professional can call themselves an “Architect.” If someone calls themselves a “designer” or other designation, they are not an Architect.
5537. (From the California Business & Professions Code)
- This chapter does not prohibit any person from preparing plans, drawings, or specifications for any of the following:
- Single-family dwellings of wood frame construction not more than two stories and basement in height.
- Multiple dwellings containing no more than four dwelling units of wood frame construction not more than two stories and a basement in height. However, this paragraph shall not be construed as allowing an unlicensed person to design multiple clusters of up to four dwelling units each to form apartment or condominium complexes where the total exceeds four units on any lawfully divided lot.
- Garages or other structures appurtenant to buildings described under subdivision (a), of wood frame construction not more than two stories and basement in height.
- Agricultural and ranch buildings of wood frame construction, unless the building official having jurisdiction deems that an undue risk to the public health, safety, or welfare is involved.
- If any portion of any structure exempted by this section deviates from substantial compliance with conventional framing requirements for wood frame construction found in the most recent edition of Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations or tables of limitation for wood frame construction, as defined by the applicable building code duly adopted by the local jurisdiction or the state, the building official having jurisdiction shall require the preparation of plans, drawings, specifications, or calculations for that portion by, or under the responsible control of, a licensed architect or registered engineer. The documents for that portion shall bear the stamp and signature of the licensee who is responsible for their preparation. Substantial compliance for purposes of this section is not intended to restrict the ability of the building officials to approve plans pursuant to existing law and is only intended to clarify the intent of Chapter 405 of the Statutes of 1985.
- This chapter does not prohibit any person from preparing plans, drawings, or specifications for any of the following:
School District Development Fees are required for any construction that is 500 square feet and over; excluding utility structures, i.e. garage, patio, shed, etc.
School District Development Fees are to be paid prior to the issuance of any building permits.
Contact Information for each school district:
Los Nietos School District
8324 S. Westman Avenue
Whittier, CA 90606
- Residential (R): $1.84/sq. ft.
- Commercial (C / I): $0.30/sq. ft.
South Whittier School District
11200 Telechron Avenue
Whittier, CA 90605
- Residential (R): $3.20/sq. ft.
- Commercial (C / I): $0.51/sq. ft.
Whittier City School District
7211 S. Whittier Avenue
Whittier, CA 90602
- Residential (R): $3.36/sq. ft.
- Commercial (C / I): $0.54/sq. ft.
East Whittier City School District
14535 E. Whittier Boulevard
Whittier, CA 90605
- Residential (R): $3.36/sq. ft.
- Commercial (C / I): $0.54/sq. ft.
Fullerton Union High School District
1027 S. Leslie Street
La Habra, CA 90631
- Residential (R): $3.20/sq. ft.
- Commercial (C / I): $0.51/sq. ft.
*A copy of the building permit is required at the Fullerton Union High School District to pay the school district development fee. Verify current prices with the district office.
The School District Development Fee Forms are located at the City of Whittier Building and Safety Division. The projected square footage must be verified by the Building and Safety Division.
To determine which School District your property is located in, please contact the City of Whittier Building and Safety Division or click on the link to view the School District Map.
No, however, it is necessary for each inspection that the set of approved stamped plans, calculations and the original Building Permit card be available to the Building Inspector at the time of each inspection. The inspector will check the actual construction against the approved plans and sign-off on the back of the Building Permit card. A Correction Notice will be issued if anything is noted that needs further attention.
The City of Whittier does not require permits for garage sales; however, there are regulations that apply to your event:
- No more than one garage sale is permitted during any three-month period.
- No such garage sale shall be longer than two days.
- Such sales shall be conducted only during the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. of any day.
- Signs may only be posted on private property. Signs may not be posted in the public right-of-way, on City trees or in the parkway.
The Police Department issues alarm system permits. You can contact the Police Department at (562) 945-8250 or visit their website.
California State Contractors License
In California, anyone who contracts to perform work that is valued at $500 or more for materials and labor must hold a current, valid license from the Contractors State License Board. There are 43 different types of contractor licenses, including general and specialty contractors. You can check on contractors and obtain valuable information for your project at the CSLB website.
Whittier Business License
Anyone who does business in Whittier is required to have a current City of Whittier Business License, including contractors and subcontractors. To obtain a business license, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at (562) 567-9880. You may also be required to present a certificate of workers’ compensation and proof of liability insurance coverage.
The City now provides a Building Permit Application Form which you may download and complete, or you can may obtain one at the counter.
Please call one of our staff members at (562) 567-9320 Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM and they will assist you in scheduling your inspection. Be sure that the work is ready for inspection when you call, that you call a minimum of one business day prior to your request, that we have full access to the area of improvement (including provision of a ladder for roof access if needed) and that an adult is present during the inspection. Our cutoff time for inspections scheduled for the following business day is 3 PM and, on occasion, the inspectors' work load schedule may require longer than one business day notice so please provide as much advance notice as possible. When you call please have the following information ready to give to our staff:
- The job site address
- The permit number (the six digit number stamped on your permit)
- The type of inspection required (check your job card if you don't know for sure)
- Your name and a phone number we can reach you at if there are any concerns prior to the inspection
You may request inspections by calling the Building and Safety Division online via our Online Permits and Inspections Portal, by calling (562) 567-9320 or by visiting our counter at City Hall.
When placing an inspection request, please have the following information available: the project address, permit number, type of inspection you are requesting, contact name and telephone number.
Inspection requests received by the Building and Safety Division before 3 p.m. will typically be scheduled for the next business day. If the requested day is full for inspections, you will be scheduled for the next available inspection date.
We do not accept forms by mail, email, or fax. An applicant needs to bring in the application form to our Building Division counter during normal business hours: (Monday – Friday 8:00 am to 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm)
The required submittal documents include:
- The completed Building Permit Application Form
- Four (4) or Five (5) sets of Plans, as required, depending on your project.
- Two (2) copies of the required supporting documents (photos, plans, calculations, etc.); and
- Pay all the fees by cash, check, or credit card
It is highly recommended that you contact this office for complete submittal requirements depending on the scope of your project.
Your building permit will remain valid for 180 days from the date the permit is issued. Each time your project is inspected, and passes the inspection on your city Job Card, the expiration date is automatically extended to 180 days from that inspection date.*
If work has yet to start, or progress on the project has stalled, and the permit is still active, you may request, in writing with a detailed timeline of proposed project completion, an extension of 180 days. Submit a completed Request for Extension form.
W.M.C. Section 8.08.024 (I) Substandard property conditions designated.
Structures under construction for unreasonable periods. Any structure or portion thereof which has been under construction, whether authorized by a valid construction permit or not, for a period exceeding twenty-four months from the date upon which work commenced, and where the exterior of such construction is incomplete, as determined by the building department, and presents an unfinished appearance at the exterior.*
*Exterior Improvements must be completed within 24 months of permit issuance
Construction related activities* are permitted between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Monday - Friday and between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and local legal holidays.
*includes all preparation, clean-up and material delivery.
The inspectors are in the office between 8:00 a.m. -9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Inspectors are generally in the field from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Please call (562) 567-9320 a minimum of one business day in advance to schedule an inspection.
The Community Development public counter is open Monday – Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. Building inspectors are available by appointment Monday through Friday from approximately 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Call (562) 567-9320 to schedule an appointment.
Refer to the Plan, Permit, and Inspection Procedures for Previously Unpermitted Construction handout for more information.
The drawings or architectural plans required can vary depending on the scope of your project. Contact the Building and Safety Division regarding your specific project. Drawings that may be required include:
- Site Plan – This plan clearly shows an “aerial” or “birds-eye” view of your house, property lines, adjacent streets and properties and setbacks. This plan is mainly for the Planning and Building Divisions to assure proper setback and other requirements are met. On this plan, it should be clearly noted exactly what is existing and what is proposed to be built.
- Floor Plan – This plan clearly shows the interior of the building. Walls to be removed, new walls, windows, doors, etc. should all be clearly noted on this plan. Again, as with the site plan, what is existing, and what is proposed to be built should be clearly noted.
- Exterior Elevations – This plan shows the exterior details and finishes of the structure.
- Foundation Plan – This plan is required to show size and location of new foundations and footings for your project.
- Roof Framing Plan – This plan clearly indicates the size of roof rafters and ceiling joists. Typically, roof slope and roofing materials are called out on this plan.
- Floor Framing Plan – This plan clearly indicates this size of all floor framing members. Floor joists, beam and subfloor size are customarily called out on this plan.
- Cross Sections – These drawings show the building from a “cut-away” view and clearly illustrate all ceiling heights, wall construction, roof pitch, etc.
- Construction Details – This is a set of enlarged construction assembly details showing connections of structural elements, waterproofing and flashing assemblies, and/ or project specific conditions.
- Energy Calculations – These documents are required by the California Energy Commission to be submitted with your building plans. What these documents verify is the compliance of the structure (new and existing) to meet State energy standards. It is recommended that a professional energy consultant be utilized for this stage of your project. Also, a second energy consultant (provided by the applicant) will be required to check the original documents.
- Structural Calculations – Structural calculations may be required if your project is large or of unusual shape. Also, it is safe to assume if your project is two stories, calculations will be required. These calculations are to verify that structural elements are adequately sized and connected at critical areas.
Typically, Four (4) sets of plans are required at the time of submittal. The Plan Review process usually takes two weeks from the Wednesday following plan submittal. (The Plan Reviewer picks up, and delivers plans on Wednesday mornings)
Once we receive the plans back with corrections, the applicant will be notified to pick up the plans at the Building Department counter and make any necessary corrections, and resubmit the originally submitted plans (Mark-ups) and three (3) new sets of plans, and any other supporting documents to the Building Department. Rechecks usually take one (1) week from the Wednesday following resubmittal of the corrected plans.
Once we receive the plans back with approval from the plan reviewer, the plans will be routed to the Planning Division for final approval. Once the plans are returned to Building & Safety with approval, the applicant will be notified that the permits are ready to be issued.
If your property is located in the unincorporated area of Whittier, you will need to contact the following offices for permits and all other inquiries:
South Whittier Office
13523 Telegraph Road
Whittier, CA 90605
La Puente Office (North Whittier)
16005 East Central Avenue
La Puente, CA 91744
Submit four (4) copies of the site/ plot plan, and two (2) copies of the pool engineering plans/ details, stamped and signed by the engineer, to the Planning Division for approval of the location of the pool and pool equipment. Upon approval from the Planning Division, the applicant will then be directed to the Building and Safety Division counter for permit issuance.
Refer to the Pool and Spa Requirements handout for the requirements for pools and spas, and the fence and gate requirements.
The documentation required could vary from photographs of the current construction to full scale plans, structural calculations, Title 24 Report, etc. Contact the Building and Safety Division at (562) 567-9320 regarding your specific project.
The inspector will look to see that all work is done in conformance with the approved plans and applicable building codes. In addition, it is a state requirement that for permits over $1,000 in value requires the inspector to verify that smoke detectors/ carbon monoxide sensor are located in each area required by the California Building Code. If you need more information on smoke detectors, please contact the Building Department, or download the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Retrofit Verification Form.
With only a few exceptions, a building permit must be issued prior to the commencement of work to erect, construct, enlarge, alter, move, improve, remove, convert, or demolish any building or structure. Other permits, i.e. electrical, plumbing or mechanical, may also be required.
Due to the diversity of construction projects, we would recommend that you contact our Building and Safety Division to discuss the types of permits and City review process that may be required for your proposed project.
Based on the construction valuation, permit fees will also be charged. The Department may be reached at (562) 567-9320 or visit our counter at City Hall. The counter is open Monday – Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.
A permit is required to be issued by the Building and Safety Department, whenever a building is being demolished. This is to assure that construction debris has been removed, sewer or septic lines have been properly capped, and the site is restored to a safe condition to ensure that all health and safety hazards have been removed. Demolition permits are usually issued over-the- counter at the Building and Safety Division and the permit fees are minimal.
Demolition permits for buildings or structures that appear on a Federal, State, or local historical register as well as those that are determined to be historically significant, may require additional review prior to issuance.
California State Law also requires that all contaminants, such as asbestos, lead, and soil contaminants, be properly disposed of. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that all demolition permit applicants first obtain clearance from the South Coast Air Quality Management District, prior to applying for a demolition permit from the City of Whittier. This may include a requirement to have the property tested for lead, and/ or asbestos by a certified testing agency.
South Coast Air Quality Management District may be reached at 21865 Copley Dr. - Diamond Bar CA 91765, via telephone at (909) 396-2000, or the District’s website.
For further information, please contact the Building and Safety Division at (562) 567-9320 for additional information regarding demolition permits or stop by our counter at City Hall.
Your contractor should leave the approved plans and Building Permit Job Card with you for your files and future reference. This will serve as your permanent record that the work was completed in accordance with all applicable codes.
The number of the Los Angeles County Building Division is (562) 946-1390. The number for the Department of Regional Planning is (213) 974-6411.
Whether we are in our homes, offices, schools, or places of entertainment, we take for granted the fact that the structures that surround us are safe. What we usually don’t think about is that most aspects of building construction – framing, wiring, heating, and plumbing facilities – represent a potential hazard to building occupants and users.
Building codes strive to reduce risks to an acceptable level. Building inspections provide the means to verify that the codes have been followed. The building permit is the link between the two. The permit and inspections ensure that your personal safety is protected and that your investment in your home also is protected.
Yes, change your mailing preferences here.
Maybe. Businesses conducted from a home in the City are required to have a business license as well as approval from our Planning Department.
Before starting a home-based business, please contact our Planning Department at (562) 567-9320.
There is no provision in the Whittier Municipal Code for anyone to waive penalties.
The City actively promotes a business friendly environment to ensure Whittier remains economically viable. Please visit the city’s Economic Development page for more information.
The amount of business license tax depends upon the type of business. Please click the link below for the most common types of businesses and corresponding license tax.
Refund Policy - Customer may request a refund, due to overpayment and/or a duplicate payment. Requests must be received within seven business days of the original transaction. To request a refund, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Business License office at (562) 567-9860. Approved refund transactions will be processed within 3 – 5 business days; however the City of Whittier is not responsible for a customer's financial institution credit policies. Overpayments as the result of a credit card payment are charged back to the originating credit card. The City of Whittier reserves the right to refuse a refund request at any time; however every attempt will be made to honor your request.
Business license taxes become part of the City general fund which helps to pay for police services, libraries, community service programs, community center activities, street maintenance, and graffiti removal as well as several other programs offered throughout the City. If you would like to see the City budget documents, a copy can be viewed at the Controller's counter in City Hall.
Business License public counter hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The Planning and Building and Safety public counter hours are Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. One of the technicians is available during those hours to assist you with consultation or other information. Our Building Inspectors are available by appointment only Monday through Friday from 8 to 8:30 AM or from approximately 3:30 to 4:30 PM. Please call (562) 567-9320 to schedule an appointment.
Business license taxes are due 30 days after expiration. If the taxes are not paid at this time, penalties will accrue according to the penalty schedule below.
Penalties start accruing on the first day of each month following the due date. Businesses operating without a valid business license are also subject to our citation process until the entire balance is paid.
If your business is located in the Uptown area, the penalty schedule also applies to those fees.
The requirements depend upon the type of business, but the basic requirements are as follows:
- Business name and address (P.O. Box is not accepted)
- Mailing address (if different from business address)
- Description of business
- State license number (contractors only - license will be verified)
- Federal ID Number (if applicable)
- Owner information - name, address, social security number, date of birth, driver's license number, etc.
- Owner signature
- Planning department approvel (only if located within City limits)
California Legislative SB-1186 C (7.5)(4467)(a)(4469)/AB-1379 C (667) Statutes 2017 states that any applicant for a local business license or equivalent instrument or permit, and from any applicant for the renewal of a business license shall pay an additional fee of four dollars ($4) for that license, instrument, or permit which shall be collected by the city, county, or city and county that issued the license, instrument or permit.
(4469) On and after January 1, 2013, each city, county, or city and county shall provide to an applicant for a business license or equivalent instrument or permit and to an applicant for the renewal of a business license or equivalent instrument or permit, the following information: “Under federal and state law, compliance with disability access laws is a serious and significant responsibility that applies to all California building owners and tenants with buildings open to the public. You may obtain information about your legal obligations and how to comply with disability access laws at the following agencies:
The City of Whittier is required by both the Regional Water Quality Control Board, Los Angeles Region, under NPDES Permit No. CAS004001, Order No. R4-2012-0175, and the State Water Resources Control Board, under Order No. 2006-0003-DWQ, to conduct environmental compliance inspections of commercial facilities within its jurisdiction. Your facility and operations will be inspected by the City for compliance with these Orders. The purpose of the environmental inspection is to:
- Ensure that pollutants such as oil, waste water and trash do not discharge directly from your facility and into the storm drain system, and
- Ensure that excess fats, oils and grease (FOG) do not discharge into the sanitary sewer lines. Excess FOG creates clogs in sewer lines, which can cause sewer overflows. Sewer overflows can result in the discharge raw sewage into the storm drain system.
Please refer to the City of Whittier’s user fee schedule for the current FOG inspection cost.
Please contact the City of Whittier Public Works Department at (562) 567-9500 if you have any questions or concerns.
In many cases, the business license will expire one year from when it was applied for. The following are the exceptions:
- Retail businesses and restaurants expire at the end of January
- Rentals with 1-3 units expire at the end of April
- Rentals with 4 or more units expire at the end of December
- Out of City contractors have a 3 month option
The WorkSource Center at SASSFA offers free employee recruitment assistance as well as several other business services such as layoff prevention, on-the-job training and subsidized employment. Call 562-946-2237 or visit www.sassfa.org for information.
Citations are issued when all business license taxes, Uptown fees, or balance due statements are not paid. If a citation is received, this is a separate charge from the business license tax, Uptown fees, or balance due statements.
Please see the citation schedule below for more details.
All businesses located in the designated Uptown area have to pay Uptown Association dues. Please use the link below to determine which area and fee schedule applies to your business.
- Uptown is separated into two areas, Diamond and Silver
- All businesses pay a flat rate of $130 per year
- Retail stores and restaurants pay the $130 flat fee as well as a cost per square foot each year based upon which area they are located in
For more information on the Uptown Association, please call or visit their website.
Phone: (562) 696-2662
A renewal notice will be sent to the mailing address or email address that we have on file according to your contact preference. However, since timely tax payments are the owner’s responsibility, you are encouraged to calendar the expiration date of the license.
Certificate of Appropriateness (Demolitions)
Typically, most historic resource elevations take approximately 45 to 60 days to complete without any unforeseen circumstances.
Where do I find a historic resource consultant that meets the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s Professional Qualifications in History or Architectural History?
When a Certificate of Appropriateness Application is submitted for the demolition of a building, structure or object at least 50 years old (or 45 years old if it is part of a non-categorically exempt “project” under CEQA), or is an eligible or designated historic landmark, the City of Whittier will solicit three competitive bids by independent historic resource consultants that meet the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s Professional Qualifications in history and/or architectural history. Of the three professional bids received by the City, the applicant/property owner selects the consultant who will conduct the independent evaluation. The applicant/property owner then pays the City for the full cost of the evaluation up front. The City of Whittier will then enter into a professional services agreement/contract with the consultant preparing the evaluation.
The City of Whittier Community Development Department.
The applicant/property owner requesting the demolition.
Certificate of Appropriateness (General)
Compliance with the City’s Historic Resources Ordinance is mandatory for:
- All “vintage” properties developed prior to 1941;
- All eligible and designated historic landmarks; and,
- Properties located within a historic district.
Interior work which does not result in any alterations or changes to the exterior of a building or structure is not subject to a Certificate of Appropriateness Application.
A “historic resource” means any improvement, historic landmark or district, or other object of cultural, architectural or historical significance to the citizens of the city, the region, the state or the nation, which is designated or eligible for designation and determined to be appropriate for historic preservation by the Historic Resources Commission or by the City Council upon appeal. “Vintage buildings and structures” are improvements that were constructed prior to 1941 that are not currently identified as an eligible or designated historic landmark.
The Cultural Arts Commission, appointed by the City Council and is through the Community Services Division, calls for artists to submit portfolios once a year in late winter. Once portfolios have been reviewed, the Visual Arts Committee selects artists to display throughout the year. Artists will be notified of their scheduled time. Your name and address will then be placed on the mailing list so that you can receive information and what needs to be submitted.
The Recreation Division of the Parks, Recreation & Community Services Division offers many arts and crafts classes for adults and children. The classes are offered quarterly and include such things as painting, drawing, scrapbooking, quilting and stained glass. See the current brochure.
Nights at the Hollywood Bowl takes local residents to the Bowl for an enjoyable concert without the hassle of driving and parking. Summer Concerts in the Park feature music in the family atmosphere of a community park.
An individual can run for only one City of Whittier elected office at a time. However, a person serving as a Council Member may run for Mayor or a district Council seat and a person serving as Mayor can run for a Council position.
Yes. Any incumbent Council Member can run for Mayor even if their term will not be completed by the date of the election.
Yes. Please be sure that all forms are properly completed. If there are any questions on any form or they are not completed properly, your nomination paper may not be accepted.
Any person who is at least 18 years of age on Election Day, a citizen of the United States, or a naturalized citizen, and a resident of the City of Whittier can register to vote with the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk by filling out a Voter Registration Form.
If you move, change your name, or wish to change your political party affiliation, you must re-register to vote. You must be registered to vote at least 15 days before an election to be eligible to vote in that election. (NOTE: AB 1436 may allow registration up to and including the date of election if certain requirements are met.) Registration Forms are available at Whittier City Hall, US Post Offices, or online.
The City Council holds its regular meetings on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. Other adjourned or special meetings are scheduled as City business necessitates. These meetings are open to the public.
The candidate’s statement may be withdrawn but not changed until 5:00 p.m. the business day following the close of the nomination period.
Yes. Councilmembers receive a monthly stipend. In addition, Councilmembers are eligible to receive some benefits. A complete list of compensative benefits is available from the Human Resources Department.
Yes. The fee covers the cost of printing your statement in the Sample Ballot. The total for council candidates is $475 and for mayoral candidates, the total is $975.
No. The governing body has the discretion to establish a filing fee, and the City of Whittier has not done so. The City provides equal opportunity for all candidates to fully participate by not charging a filing fee.
No. Check your candidate’s statement carefully before submitting it, as it will be printed exactly as submitted.
To hold any elective office within the City of Whittier, a person must be a United States citizen, 18 years of age or older, and be a registered voter of the City of Whittier at the time the nomination paper is issued. To run for a district seat, a candidate must reside in that district by the filing deadline. The City Clerk will not issue a nomination paper if the candidate is not a registered voter. (California Elections Code Section 201.)
If an elected official moves his or her place of residence outside of the City limits or ceases to be an elector of the City during his or her term of office, the office of that elected official shall immediately become vacant. (California Government Code Section 36502.)
Enter your address and find your council district number.
You may withdraw as a candidate at any time prior to the close of the nomination period. After that date, you may not withdraw, and your name will appear on the ballot.
What if some of the signatures I obtain on my nomination paper are not registered voters or do not live within the City limits?
These signatures will not be counted toward the 20 signatures required for you to run for office. The City Clerk must verify the signatures on all nomination papers, so file your nomination paper early to avoid this problem. If you wait until the last day of the filing period to file and any sponsor signature, for any reason, is insufficient, it will not be counted toward the required signatures and you may not qualify as a candidate. If you file early, there will be time to check the signatures and notify you of any discrepancies, and you will then have an opportunity to circulate and submit a supplemental nomination paper.
The deadline to register to vote is 15 days before an election.
For additional information, contact the City Clerk’s Office at (562)567-9854. English and Spanish staff members are available during business hours and the City contracts for professional interpreter assistance in over 100 additional languages.
Voting districts map are available on the City’s website and from the City Clerk Department at City Hall, 13230 Penn Street, Whittier.
To determine your polling place or to obtain voter information, visit the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk website.
For Mayoral candidates, any registered voter in the City of Whittier may sign your nomination paper.
For Council Member candidates, only registered voters that reside in your district may sign your nomination paper.
Candidate and/or their circulator may sign their own nomination paper. No voter may sign more than one nomination paper for the same office. If the voter does so, the voter’s signature shall count only on the first nomination paper filed that contains the voter’s signature. Each seat on the governing board is a separate office. Your nomination paper must contain at least 20 and not more than 30 signatures; a minimum of 20 must be verified for your nomination to be valid.
In June 2014, Whittier voters approved a change from citywide voting to by-district voting for four council districts and citywide voting for the Mayor. District boundaries were set with expert assistance to adhere to state law and after community input on what neighborhoods should stay together.
We do have copies of a booklet entitled “Earthquake Preparedness,” available in Spanish and we’d be happy to mail you a copy, or you can pick one up by coming to City Hall. If you have Spanish-speaking neighbors who might want a copy, we could send you a few copies. For material in English, we can send them copies of some of the handouts from our ALERT Program.
The City sponsors several programs for citizens to become involved. Call (562) 567-9830 for more information.
Yes, we will accept applications sent via fax only if we receive your original application via the mail or in person and the job listing does not prohibit faxes. We will replace your faxed application with the original when it is received.
All of our current job openings are listed on our website. See current listings.
Salary, duties and position requirements are all listed on the job flyer. See current City postings.
Information on the City's employees' salaries, including a list of the top 25, can be found on the Administrative Services section of the City's website.
Employment applications are available in person from Human Resources in City Hall, you may download the application, or they can be mailed to you. To have an application mailed to you please call Human Resources Staff during normal business hours at (562) 567-9830.
Para los candidatos a Mayoral, cualquier votante registrado en la Ciudad de Whittier puede firmar su documento de nominación.
Para los candidatos del Consejo, solo los votantes registrados que residan en su distrito pueden firmar su documento de nominación.
El candidato y / o su circulador pueden firmar su propio documento de nominación. Ningún votante puede firmar más de un documento de nominación para la misma oficina. Si el votante lo hace, la firma del votante solo contará en el primer documento de nominación que contenga la firma del votante. Cada asiento de la mesa directiva es una oficina separada. Su documento de nominación debe contener al menos 20 y no más de 30 firmas; se debe verificar un mínimo de 20 para que su nominación sea válida.
City Council and Planning Commission meetings are broadcast live and rebroadcast during the week. Copies of meetings are available for viewing at the Whittier Public Library and can be purchased from the City Clerk Office at City Hall.
Yes, call the City Manager's Office at 562-567-9300.
The City holds an election for City Council on the second Tuesday of April in even-numbered years. The election is announced in November. Candidate Handbooks are available in mid-December.
Once the Election results are final, the City Clerk administers the oath of office to each newly elected Council Member. The first order of business is the election of the mayor from the members of the Council. The selected Council Member will serve as mayor for one year. On the third Tuesday in April of odd-numbered years, the City Council again selects a new Mayor.
Registered voters of the City of Whittier can apply to become a member of a City board, commission, committee or task force. The City Clerk’s office will have information about how to apply for the positions available.
The City also has volunteer positions available through the Community Services Division and the Whittier Public Library. Contact Ruri Pierre, Community Services Supervisor, at the Senior Center, (562) 567-9471, for more information, to volunteer for the Community Services Dept. Applications can be obtained at the Senior Center, 13225 Walnut St. Contact the Library at (562) 567-9900 for volunteer opportunities at the two libraries.
Voter registration forms are available at:
- City Clerk’s office
- Whittier Libraries
- Post Offices
You can also register to vote on-line through the Secretary of State's office by using the link below.
To obtain a form in the mail call the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk at the number below. The County is the agency responsible for voter registration records for Whittier voters.
To report abandoned shopping carts in the City of Whittier, call 800-252-4613, California Shopping Cart Retrieval Group, and give the location of the cart and the name of the store that the cart is from.
Please call the City Manager's Office at 562-567-9300.
How do I talk to/reach a Council Member? Is the City Council in the office (i.e. City Hall) during the day?
The City Council doesn’t hold regular office hours during the day due to regular full-time jobs; however, call Administration to leave a message at 562-567-9300.
The U.S. Passport Office guarantees delivery as follows:
- Routine Service: 4-6 weeks from receipt at the Processing Center.
- Expedited Service: 2-3 weeks from receipt at the Processing Center.
Please be advised that the Whittier Public Library has no authority to modify these time frames.
You may also request and pay extra for Overnight Mail Delivery from the Library to the Processing Center for an additional $18.95 express mail fee. The same service is also offered from the Processing Center to your residence for an additional $12.72.
A banner may be permitted for 10 days within a month.
Yes, all proposed improvements need to be reviewed by the City. Please contact the Engineering Division in Public Works prior to beginning any parkway improvements.
Please call the City Manager's Office at 562-567-9300.
Yes, anytime improvements are being made within the City's right-of-way, a permit is required. The permit can be obtained through the Engineering Division located in Public Works.
Contact the Engineering Division in Public Works at (562) 567-9500 and they can advise you on what your options are and provide you with an application.
Public Works Customer Service can schedule someone from the Water Division to go out and check on the problem for you. Please call (562) 567-9530.
Both parents or legal guardians must:
- Present evidence of child’s U.S. citizenship.
- Present evidence that they are the parents or guardian.
- Show valid personal identification.
- Sign and take an oath before an authorized passport acceptance agent.
The Friendship Rose.
The parkway area is defined as that portion of public right of way between the street and your property line.
City Council and Planning Commission meetings are shown live on scheduled meeting dates. Replays are shown throughout the week. Call Administration for schedule at 562-567-9300 or see this month's and next month's calendared meetings. The City channel on the Charter Communications System is Channel 3. Frontier Communications offers the City Channel on Channel 3.
Los Angeles County Assessor establish a multi-jurisdictional Los Angeles Property Tax Website to provide one-stop internet answers to basic questions about assessment, taxation and appeals matters. The new website can be accessed at http://www.lacountypropertytax.com/.
Property lines vary in location, but are often about 8 feet to 12 feet behind the curb. The Engineering Division in Public Works can assist you with this information. Please call (562) 567-9500.
Video programming services are provided by Charter Communications and Frontier Communications. The companies must provide customers with:
- response to service outages within 24 hours
- 2-hour or 4-hour service windows
- 90% of all customer calls connected to a live operator within 30 seconds
Please call the City at (562) 567-9480 if Charter does not meet these standards.
Frontier Communications FiOS is being offered in certain parts of the City. As the fiber optics are being installed in different parts of Whittier, it will eventually cover the entire city. For more information or to reach customer service, please call 1-844-515-8314 or visit their website at http://west.frontier.com/ca/whittier.
Our City staff and volunteers are available to provide information on a variety of services and resources in the Whittier Community. If you have questions on:
- City Services
- Legal Assistance
- State & Federal Services
- Health Services
- Local Organizations
- Social Services
Call the City of Whittier Information & Referral Office Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at (562) 567-9476.
Who do I talk to regarding filming in the City of Whittier? Do I need a film permit if I’m a student?
Yes, contact the Public Works Department at (562) 567-9500 for more information. Download an application.
The state now issues all cable television franchises in California. For further information, contact the State Public Utilities Commission at:
- LA Office - 213-576-7000
- Toll Free - 800-649-7570
The City contracts with Richard D. Jones, Attorney at Law. Contact the City Manager's Office for more information at 562-567-9300.
Library staff has been designated by the U.S. State Department as U.S. Passport Acceptance Agents. In this capacity we are required to follow all Federal rules and regulations. There are NO exceptions. Service may be denied if applicants do not supply the required documentation or adhere to U.S. Passport Acceptance rules and regulations.
Homelessness in Whittier
Could the City afford to run its own shelter to serve just Whittier homeless based on the homeless census numbers?There are three homeless services providers designated to serve the Whittier by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), which is the federally-recognized Continuum of Care for our community. LAHSA has designated Jovenes, Inc., as the provider for transitional-aged youth; The Whole Child as the provider for children and families; and Whittier First Day as the provider for single adults. These providers have the skills and expertise to provide appropriate service, guided by best practices, for individuals experiencing homelessness and related challenges. If the City were to open a shelter, it would be operated by an experienced service provider.
It is unlikely the City could operate its own homeless shelter for Whittier homeless individuals only. The City does not have sufficient General Fund dollars to build and operate a shelter of its own. A total of 204 homeless individuals were living in Whittier during the 2018 point-in-time count, 156 of whom were reported as unsheltered. Regional funding for shelters generally requires that a shelter make beds available according to a prioritization of needs as established by the LAHSA coordinated entry system criteria.
Didn’t Los Angeles County raise its sales tax by ¼% through Measure H in order to address homelessness? What’s happening with those funds?The voters of Los Angeles County adopted a quarter-cent sales tax in 2017, which went into effect October 1, 2017. The tax generates approximately $355 million each year for homeless services for the next ten years. The funds are collected by the County and managed through the County CEO’s office (http://homeless.lacounty.gov). The County has an adopted 51-strategy homeless plan and does not directly allocate Measure H fund to cities.
- Yes, staff members and Council Members have visited the encampments. Police, parks, and other staff are at encampments on a daily basis. Service providers and outreach workers from Whittier First Day and PATH also have daily outreach schedules in our community.
- The Whittier Homeless Coalition (www.whittierhomeless.org) has a variety of opportunities depending upon your comfort level and availability. Individual and family mentorships, job opportunities, literacy tutors, mental health and substance abuse counselors, food and clothing donors, care package assemblers, and financial donors are all most welcome. The Coalition can help you determine how your talents can best be used to assist our neighbors in need.
Homelessness is a net drain on all community resources, not least of which is the loss of human dignity and productivity. There is no financial benefit to the City because of this homeless crisis; the increase in calls for service are are not reimbursed. The State provides funding directly to the Continuum of Care for homeless services, and the County receives funding through Measure H for expansion of homeless services. These resources do not flow to the City for additional services, although the City is applying for grants to implement the adopted Homeless Plan.
"Didn’t Los Angeles County raise its sales tax by ¼% through Measure H? What’s happening with those funds?"
"Who's in charge of serving homeless individuals?"
- The social services providers who perform outreach and case management for homeless individuals are specially trained to work with sensitive populations, including individuals who have experienced trauma, and individuals experiencing mental health challenges. Our Whittier Police Department’s Mental Health Team is also available to assist.
- Referrals to shelter and resources are made by outreach workers and case managers from LAHSA, People Assisting the Homeless (PATH), and Whittier First Day entering the individual into the Coordinated Entry System managed by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA).
I have compassion for individuals who are experiencing homelessness, but I am concerned for my business; what can I do?As a business owner, some basic tips to keep in mind include: Security lighting; lockable enclosures for trash and storage; security camera systems; alarms; and (depending upon your property’s specific needs), potentially the filing of a trespassing letter with the Whittier Police Department. In the Uptown area, coordinate with the Uptown Ambassador security service.
If you’re looking to help, Whittier First Day Coalition has a job board and a mentorship program, and gratefully accepts in-kind and financial donations to provide a “hand-up.”
If Whittier builds a shelter, what happens to those that don’t want to go? Will laws be enforced? What happens if/when the shelter is full?Anti-camping laws can be enforced when there is an available bed in the area for those in need. If there are no shelter beds available, the city’s park curfew and anti-camping ordinances cannot be enforced under the current court ruling (Martin v. Boise).
Is anyone asking where homeless individuals are from? Are the individuals in encampments from our community?Yes, outreach workers and social services providers are in regular contact with homeless individuals in our community. They have built relationships with many of the individuals on the street. If a homeless person is willing to be connected to family, reunification can typically be arranged. However, a substantial number of individuals are connected to Whittier, whether through school, jobs or family, and thus continue to call Whittier home.
- The City is investigating the expansion of shelter beds in our region. No decision has been made at this point. The expansion of the number of available shelter beds is a necessity under the Martin v. Boise case, as a jurisdiction cannot force individuals to leave a public space unless there is a shelter to which the individual can go. The term “jurisdiction” as used in the Martin v. Boise case has not been further clarified, so while it could be interpreted as narrowly as a city boundary or as widely as the County of Los Angeles, a reasonable interpretation could be a Service Planning Area (SPA) (Service Planning Area 7). Whittier is working with other cities in SPA 7 to identify one or more locations for an emergency shelter.
- Please work with the Whittier Homeless Coalition (www.whittierhomeless.org) or Whittier First Day (www.whittierfirstday.org). In the past, well-meaning groups have organized on-site meals or church services which ultimately created a larger disruption in the community rather than providing lasting help to our homeless neighbors. Long-term solutions require coordinated, consistent efforts, and the Coalition can help your group determine the best way to leverage your assistance without inadvertently exacerbating challenges experienced by our homeless neighbors.
Our community has established shelters like Salvation Army Hospitality House and Whittier First Day, so why are there still people living on the streets in our community?
The 2018 homeless count estimates that there are 52,765 homeless people living in Los Angeles County. The count of crisis shelter beds in the County varies, depending upon the availability of cold weather shelters and other factors, but there are fewer than half the number of beds necessary for the number of unsheltered individuals in the County. In Whittier, there were 156 homeless people without shelter, according to the 2018 count, but there are only 45 year-round crisis shelter beds available, with another 40 cold-weather shelter beds.
There are homeless people near schools/in parks/near churches/in the library/at shopping centers. What can be done?
If you see a homeless person, please help connect that person to resources by using the la-hop.org website to request outreach services.
All individuals have the right to remain in public spaces provided they are not blocking sidewalks or exits to buildings, and presuming their behavior is otherwise in keeping with the law. If a private property owner is experiencing challenges in asking a person to leave the property, that property owner should contact the police department.
What will be done to ensure the Whittier community receives further information about the City’s attempts to address homelessness?The City maintains a webpage with information and resources on homelessness in our community. The City has adopted a Homeless Action Plan. Progress toward accomplishing the goals of the plan is reported to the City’s social services commission on a quarterly basis. The City Council requested an annual update on progress on the plan. Recently the Council appointed an Ad Hoc committee on homelessness to perform additional analysis and provide recommendations to the full Council with regard to interim solutions and shelter options.
- Homeless shelters are allowed by-right in M-1 manufacturing zones and Supportive Housing and Transitional Housing are permitted in the following districts as established in the Whittier Boulevard Specific Plan: Gateway, Workplace Residential Overlay, Shopping Cluster (on first floor with restrictions on distance from Whittier Blvd.), Center, and Neighborhood Spine Districts.
Whittier already has shelters, and other services for homeless people. Why should we build another shelter?
The City Council has not determined whether a shelter will be constructed in the City, but City staff are exploring regional and local options to expand the number of shelter beds available. There are 156 unsheltered individuals in Whittier according to the 2018 Homeless Count, but there are only 45 year-round shelter beds in the City. There is a 40-bed faith-based cold weather shelter program runs November through March. Transitional housing is available at a 28-bed women and children’s crisis center, while the Salvation Army hospitality house has room for eight families, and the Salvation Army has 78 transitional housing beds, but these are not “crisis” beds available to anyone on a walk-up basis.
The Martin v. Boise case requires that a shelter bed be immediately available in order for the City to enforce park curfew and anti-camping ordinances.
- The federal government funds “Continuums of Care” to ensure that health needs of individuals are served, which includes serving the needs of individuals experiencing homelessness. The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) is the federally-recognized continuum of care for the City of Whittier. LAHSA coordinates services such as outreach, case management, and shelter, with local service providers including Whittier First Day, The Whole Child and Jovenes.
We are seeing an increase in encampments in our community, despite the fact that the number of unsheltered homeless individuals has improved, from 175 unsheltered persons in 2016 down to 156 unsheltered individuals in 2018.
As a result of the Martin v. Boise case, however, behavior such as sleeping on public property cannot be criminalized if a shelter bed is not available for that person. Therefore, the anti-camping and park curfew ordinances cannot be enforced until there are enough shelter beds available in our community.
It is our hope that continued outreach, as well as the expansion of the number of shelter beds throughout Los Angeles County, will help decrease the number of people living on the streets. Case managers and outreach workers are trying to build relationships with individuals experiencing homelessness in our community and connect them with resources. The Whittier Police Department's dedicated Mental Health Evaluation Team (MET), as well as the Problem Oriented Detail, have focused on addressing the challenges of homelessness for years. The City has been working with our service providers and waste franchise operators to ensure that litter and debris is regularly cleaned up and disposed.
- The short answer is that we do not know. We do know that there have always been unsheltered neighbors in our community; the 45-bed Whittier First Day coalition shelter was constructed in 2001 to help homeless individuals in Whittier. State and national data suggest that homelessness has increased substantially; the increase in homelessness is not isolated to our community. Interestingly, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) point-in-time count data shows that homelessness has decreased over the last three years, from 175 unsheltered persons in 2016, to 161 unsheltered in 2017 and to 156 unsheltered individuals in 2018 (2018 Homeless Count Results).
Certainly, the housing shortage in California contributes to the incidence of homelessness. The high cost of living in our region, coupled with extremely low vacancy rates and high rents, exerts substantial pressure on individuals trying to make ends meet.
While many homeless individuals and families are virtually invisible to those of us in the community, there is a small subset of homeless individuals who are in encampments in our City. There have been some suggestions that perhaps there has been an inadvertent reduction in access to mental health and substance abuse treatment and diversion programs due to recent criminal justice reform measures, but social science researchers are still investigating this question. What we do know is that there are simply not enough shelter beds in our community to accommodate the number of individuals in need of shelter.
- In September 2018, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in Martin v. City of Boise case that found citing or arresting someone for engaging in basic human needs is cruel and unusual punishment. Because the court held that sleeping is a basic human need, the court required a shelter bed to be available in order to enforce park curfew hours.
As a compassionate, caring community, Whittier is home to a number of shelters, service groups, and supports in the City that work to help individuals in crisis. There is a 45-bed crisis shelter at Whittier First Day and a 40-bed faith-based cold weather shelter program in the City which runs November through March. Together, these 85 beds are the only emergency shelter beds in Whittier, but there is a long waiting list for both shelters.
There are also transitional housing programs in Whittier, such as the 28-bed Women and Children’s Crisis Center, the Salvation Army Hospitality House which has room for eight families, and the Salvation Army which has 78 transitional housing beds. However, these beds are not immediately available to a person experiencing homelessness on the street today.
The 2018 Point in Time Count found that there are 204 homeless individuals in the City of Whittier (Homeless Count - By City/Community), 156 of whom are unsheltered. Because of the ruling in the Martin v. Boise case, a shelter bed must be immediately available in order for the City to enforce park curfew and anti-camping ordinances.
- Last year, the state allocated $500 million in funding for Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP). This block grant program was designed to provide direct assistance to cities with populations over 330,000 and to the continuum of care (CoCs) such as LAHSA, which administers homeless services in Los Angeles County. Although the deadline for this funding has closed, it is possible the state may release a second round of HEAP funding, which will be administered by LAHSA with priority to agencies that have adopted declarations of a shelter crisis.
- In September 2018, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in Martin v. City of Boise that found enforcement of anti-camping ordinances was a violation of the 8th amendment of the Bill of Rights prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment. Specifically, the Court found that without an available shelter, the “jurisdiction” of the City of Boise could not prevent individuals from engaging in basic human functions such as sleeping. Thus, cities, including Whittier, cannot cite and clear people from a public place unless there is a shelter bed available.
The City of Whittier does not have its own in-house program. However, the Los Angeles County Housing Authority administers Section 8 certificates for the City of Whittier.
Los Angeles Community Development Commission / Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles
700 W. Main Street
Alhambra, CA 91801
Phone: (626) 262-4511
The registration/qualification process is done through telephone registration only. The phone number is (626) 262-4511.
Once you have registered with the Housing Authority, you will be placed on the application waiting list. When your name moves to the top of the list the Housing Authority will send you an application for eligibility. Upon approval of your application, you will be placed on the waiting list for the next available housing certificate.
This is a first come – first served program and the current waiting period is from seven to ten years.
The Section 8 Program is a rental assistance program subsidized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Section 8 was designed to help reduce the burden of monthly rent for low-income families.
Can the City assign historic landmark designation to a property without the property owner’s consent?
The City’s Historic Resources Ordinance does not address local landmark designation of a property against the current property owner’s consent. While the City’s Historic Resources Ordinance allows anyone to nominate a property for local landmark designation under WMC Section 18.84.070, only the City Council can authorize local historic landmark designation of a property under WMC Section 18.84.100.
The City’s Historic Resources Ordinance already treats "landmark" properties and "vintage" properties (constructed prior to 1941) as virtually the same thing. However, landmark designation does offer potential opportunities for reduced property taxes and access to advantageous building code provisions contained within the California State Historic Building Code that cannot be applied to vintage properties.
Interior modifications to historic landmarks are not generally regulated by the City’s Historic Resources Ordinance unless the change(s) affect the exterior of the resource. However, any work proposed under a Mills Act Contract that involves the interior of a historic landmark building would be subject to agreement by the City of Whittier.
What is the difference between a “vintage” property and a designated “historic landmark” property? Is there any difference in how each property type is managed within the City’s Historic Resources Ordinance?
The City’s Historic Resources Ordinance generally manages all properties developed prior to 1941 in the same manner, regardless if they are “historic landmark” or “vintage” properties. The most noteworthy differences in owning a “historic landmark” property versus a “vintage” property (developed prior to 1941) are as follows:
- Additions and alternations that effect the exterior of a designed historic landmark building or structure must not compromise its important character defining features whereby the resource no longer retains sufficient integrity to convey its historic significance or threatens its status as a historic landmark;
- Unless a designated historic landmark building or structure is determined by the Building Official as “unsafe” or a “dangerous condition” exists that cannot be rectified by using the California State Historic Building Code, all contemplated demolitions to historic resources require the prior review and approval of the Historic Resources Commission under WMC Section 18.84.210. In addition, an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) must be prepared to consider both the environmental effects of the demolition and project alternatives to demolition;
- A historic landmark cannot be demolished without the City’s prior review and approval of a replacement improvement on the property and the issuance of a permit under WMC Section 18.84.420; and,
- The property owner has the duty to keep the historic landmark property in good repair at all times under WMC Section 18.84.370.
The City of Whittier, State of California and the U.S. Department of the Interior all maintain their own separate lists of historic resources. Although similar, each agency also maintains its own eligibility criteria for landmark designation. A resource listed as a historic landmark on one agency’s list does not necessarily mean it is listed on the others. To view each government entity’s list of historic resources follow these links: City of Whittier’s Local Official Register of Historic Resources, California Register of Historic Resources, National Register of Historic Places. Regardless of which government entity adopts a resource as a historic landmark, they are all treated the same under the Whittier Historic Resources Ordinance and the California Environmental Quality Act. However, resources not listed on the National Register of Historic Places may not be eligible for certain historic preservation funding or grants. In contrast, a Mills Act Contract can be implemented for all local, state and federally designated historic landmarks.
Where can I find the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties with Guidelines for Preserving, Rehabilitating, Restoring and Reconstructing Historic Buildings?
A link to the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines are available here.
Would local historic landmark designation mean that I would not be able to build onto my home or make exterior repairs to my house?
No. Landmark designation still allows additions and repairs to a historic resource using the City’s Historic Preservation Guidelines (WMC Section 18.84.460) contained within the City’s Historic Resources Ordinance. These Guidelines are adopted from the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties with Guidelines for Preserving, Rehabilitating, Restoring and Reconstructing Historic Buildings in order to appropriately manage any change to a building, structure or object so that important character defining features of the historic resource are preserved to retain its integrity. While these standards and guidelines urge repair of deteriorated historic fabric, allowance is made for their replacement where the severity of the deterioration is beyond repair. Historic properties are meant to be used and enjoyed by current and future property owners to ensure the resource’s use and longevity for future generations. Any property owner considering such work is strongly encouraged to contact the Whittier Community Development Department prior to developing any construction plans or beginning work.
Marriage Licenses, Certificates, Voting & Legal
Voter registration forms are available in the City Clerk's office, Whittier Libraries, any post office, or you can register online. Phone: (800) 815-2666. Online Voter Registration.
The Whittier Municipal Code can be searched and viewed at Municipal Code.
Public records request forms are located in City Hall at the City Clerk counter. Public Records Request.
Marriage, birth, and death certificates are available through Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder office. Marriage, birth, and death certificate information.
Marriage licenses are issued in the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder's office. Marriage license information.
ou can apply for a passport at most post offices and at the Whittier Central Library. Library Passport Services.
Divorce petitions are filed at the courthouse. Divorce Information.
The City holds an election for City Council on the second Tuesday of April in even-numbered years. City Election Information.
Mineral Extraction Information
How can Whittier residents be assured the Whittier hills won’t have oil wells dotting the hills one day in the future?When the project was approved, the City Council agreed that if the project moves forward, a conservation easement will be put into place-enacted, limiting the area where surface oil production activities can occur, and essentially limiting the oil production area to approximately 22.1 acres. The conservation easement is intended to cover the remaining approximate 1,260 acres and will limit activity to the preservation, restoration and enhancement of native species and their habitats. The purpose of the conservation easement is to ensure the hills will be retained in perpetuity in their natural condition and to prevent any use of the property that could impair or interfere with the conservation values of the property.
The drill site would be located north of the terminus of Catalina Avenue. As proposed, the fully developed project consists of a single pad with wells, and an oil processing plant, a gas plant, and an oil-truck loading facility all located on an approximately 6.9 acre site (Project Site) within the 1,290-acre City-owned Whittier Main Oil Field. A crude oil sales pipeline and a natural gas sales pipeline would be installed underneath existing Preserve roads (the Loop Trail Road) between the Project Site and Colima Road. The crude oil and gas pipelines would continue south under Colima Road to transport crude oil and natural gas to markets.
The Project Site would contain the oil and gas drilling and processing facilities on a single pad including a well area, a gas plant area and an oil plant area. The Project Site would consist of well cellars, well test stations, liquid and gas separating equipment, a truck loading facility, an oil processing facility, and a gas plant. The total permanent area required for the pad would be approximately 6.9 acres with an additional 8.2 acres of roadways (6.5 for project roadways and 1.7 acres for the secondary fire access along the Loop Trail Road), most of which are currently present. The County of Los Angeles Fire Department (LACoFD) may require a fuel modification zone (FMZ). An FMZ is a strip of land is where combustible native or ornamental vegetation is modified or partially or totally replaced with drought-tolerant, low-fuel volume plants to reduce fire risk around the facility. The Fire Department has stated that it would require FMZ of 20 feet for facility pads, 10 feet for roads and 100 feet for the office building. The FMZ would encompass an additional 6.9 acres along roadways and around the pads. Up to 8.5 additional acres may be temporarily disturbed for construction and grading the site including areas disturbed for parking and staging of construction equipment. These 8.5 acres would be re-vegetated after construction is completed. The total impacted area associated with pads, roads, FMZ, and construction-related temporarily disturbed areas would be 30.6 acres.
Roads, pipelines, and utility poles would be constructed. Electrical and pipeline interconnections would be made to the Southern California Edison (SCE) grid and the City of Whittier Sewer and Water District systems. After initial testing, access to the Project would be from both Catalina Avenue and Penn Street through the Savage Canyon Landfill property and through the Preserve to the Project Site (North Access Road). Vehicles with two axles and weighing less than 3 tons, and vehicles weighing less than 3 tons with two axles towing a single-axle trailer, would access the Project Site through Catalina Avenue (generally, automobiles and pickups).
Vehicles with more than two axles or weighing more than 3 tons (generally trucks), or vehicles towing larger trailers, would access the Project Site via the Penn Street entrance and the North Access Road. Oil and gas would be transported by truck during the Drilling and Testing Phase and by pipeline during the normal Operations and Maintenance Phase.
During the testing phase and the construction phase, the oil company proposes to transport crude oil in tanker trucks (10,000-gallon capacity) through Catalina Avenue until the North Access Road is completed and then through the North Access Road until the permanent sales oil pipeline is constructed.
During operations, the oil company proposed two methods for transporting the marketable crude oil. One method would be via the Truck Loading Facility inside the Project Site area, where the oil would be loaded onto oil tanker trucks and transported via the North Access Road to a nearby receiving terminal and then transferred into the Crimson California Pipeline System. Oil would be transported by this method during rare periods when the pipeline system is shut down.
The second oil transportation method would transfer the marketable crude oil by pipeline from the Project Site to the existing Crimson Pipeline System via a new 2.8-mile pipeline connection to a tie-in at Leffingwell Road and La Mirada Boulevard. The Crimson Pipeline System would transport the crude to the ConocoPhillips Refinery in Wilmington. This would be the primary transport method, while the tanker truck method would be used during the oil pipeline construction and as a back-up if the pipeline is temporarily shut down.
The proposed Project would involve three distinct development phases. The first phase, the Drilling and Testing Phase, would involve drilling up to three test wells at the Project Site and assessing the quality and quantity of oil and gas produced. Assuming successful testing, the second phase, the Design and Construction Phase, would involve construction of well cellars, installation of gas and oil processing equipment, and gas/crude transportation facilities. The third phase, the Operations and Maintenance Phase, would involve drilling the remaining wells (for a total of up to 60 wells; three test wells drilled during the test phase and the remaining 57 wells drilled during the Operations and Maintenance phase), as well as the operation and maintenance of the gas and oil facilities and the wells, which would include well workovers and occasional well re-drilling.
- The Final EIR identified several significant and unavoidable impacts that could not be mitigated below levels of significance despite application of various mitigation measures. These impacts included impacts to air emissions from construction activity, increase in greenhouse gasses associated with project operations, potential degrading of view sheds, and potential for rupture or leakage of pipelines. All other potential impacts were determined to be less than significant with implementation of mitigation measures. A more full explanation of the various impacts and mitigation measures is available for review in the Final EIR.
The Court of Appeal decision resulted in several important conclusions for the City:
- The Conditional Use Permit and Final EIR are valid;
- Reversed the Superior Court’s ruling that invalidated the settlement agreement between the City and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) – which was the basis for PAPA receiving a settlement. Thus the judgment in favor of PAPA has been eliminated;
- The lease with Matrix Oil remains invalid which means that a new lease would need to be approved;
- Allows Whittier to use potential oil proceeds “for the acquisition, development, improvement, rehabilitation or restoration of real property for parks and park safety, senior recreation facilities, beaches, recreation, wildlife habitat or natural lands”.
The oil project’s CUP approval and Final EIR require the following habitat mitigation and enhancement:
- Revegetation of approximately 25 acres with native seed material around the west end of the Colima tunnel to provide better cover and attract more animals to use the tunnel. (EIR Mit. Measure BIO-4h and CUP COA #23)
- Establishment of a Land Acquisition/Revegetation fund in the amount of one percent (1%) of gross proceeds, up to $15.0 million. These funds are to be used for acquisition of additional open space land however, if purchase of such lands cannot be accomplished within 10 years of establishment of the fund, the funds could be used to revegetate disturbed property to improve habitat to afford more and better foraging opportunities for wildlife. (CUP COA #80)
- Preparation of a study to determine the feasibility of an additional underpass or overpass north of the existing underpass on Colima Road and to decide which is most advantageous to animal survival while crossing Colima Road. If an additional wildlife crossing is recommended, Matrix Oil will bear all costs of the design and engineering, environmental review and mitigation (if required) and construction costs of the wildlife passageway/crossing. Matrix is required to advance the funds necessary to build any additional wildlife crossing, but the full amount of the costs advanced will constitute a credit against the Land Acquisition/Revegetation Fund established (pursuant to COA 80). (CUP COA #81)
- Creation of an exotic eradication/habitat enhancement program within designated priority areas within the Preserve and Project site – including annual contributions of $30,000 per year (with annual CPI increases). (CUP COA #70.2)
- A Conservation Easement on the City-owned Preserve Land, except for the surface areas approved for use in the Project. (CUP COA #74)
- Funding for preparation of a multi-year, scientific study to evaluate the wildlife movement patterns of bobcats and other wildlife species utilizing the Preserve. (EIR Mit. Measure Cumulative BIO-1c)
- To mitigate the Project's loss of coastal sage scrub (4.84 acres) and loss of habitat value due to the Project’s noise impacts affecting 5.49 acres of coastal sage scrub, the project will restore 19.99 acres of degraded habitats in the La Cañada Verde and Arroyo Pescadero watersheds to coastal sage scrub communities. (EIR Mit. Measure BIO-1a)
- The project will restore 22.5 acres of degraded habitats in the La Cañada Verde and Arroyo Pescadero watersheds to native communities, as agreed to by the appropriate resource agencies and the City. (EIR Mit. Measure BIO-1b)
- To mitigate the Project's permanent loss of 0.22 acre of riparian habitat, the Applicant will provide a minimum 3:1 areal replacement. To mitigate the Project’s noise impacts affecting 0.75 acres of riparian habitat, Matrix will provide a minimum 1:1 areal replacement. In total, 1.41 acres of degraded areas will be restored within the La Cañada Verde and Arroyo Pescadero watersheds (or as otherwise agreed to by the appropriate resource agencies and the City). The 0.12 acre of temporary grading impact would be mitigated through the 1:1 revegetation as specified in BIO-1.b. (EIR Mit. Measure BIO-2a)
- A worker carpooling program will be instituted offsite and away from congested areas to reduce Project traffic through congested areas during all Project phases. (EIR Mit. Measure T-1b)
- The project will construct and maintain interpretative signage within the Preserve’s trails to provide an educational component about the Preserve, drilling activities, mitigation, descriptions of local wildlife, habitats, environmental values of the Puente Hills area, historic uses, etc. (EIR Mit. Measure REC-1)
- High volume, high pressure hydraulic fracturing is prohibited. (CUP COA #77)
- Corrugated pipe culverts will be installed under roads with significant increase in use within leased area to facilitate movement of vertebrates including rodents, reptiles, and amphibians. (CUP COA #70.4)
- Use of the North Access Road is prohibited ½ hour before sunset to ½ hour after sunrise. (CUP COA #21)
- To mitigate for noise impacts associated with truck traffic on the North Access Road, a minimum 1:1 areal replacement of native habitat affected by 60 dBA or above averaged hourly (1.1 acres) will be provided by the Applicant. (CUP COA #85)
- There is no timetable for commencing construction on this project. No construction work on the project may commence until the City Council decides whether to enter into a new mineral lease agreement with an oil company.
If the City Council considers a new lease agreement it will occur in open session before the Council. The Council may occasionally meet in closed session pursuant to State law to receive updates from their legal counsel regarding current or potential litigation and real property negotiations. Regardless, any consideration of potential revisions to the Conditional Use Permit or consideration of a new mineral lease are required to occur in open session and members of the public will have opportunity to address the Council.
The Council sought to achieve two primary goals to benefit Whittier residents:
- Provide for the long-term fiscal stability for the City to provide needed public services to residents and;
- Facilitate the long-term preservation and enhancement of the Preserve’s ecological resources and native habitat.
The City Council’s project approval requires the oil company to provide nearly $100 million to be paid over the life of the project for mitigation in the Preserve. This includes removal of invasive plant species, revegetation with appropriate native plant materials to enhance habitat, study for the potential installation of a crossing beneath Colima Road for wildlife, etc.
Also, significant changes have occurred in oil production technology since the 1990s. New methods of drilling and pumping are much less invasive to the surface and environment. Rather than individual oil pumps scattered across the hills, oil can now be produced through a single small site (1%-2% of the entire site) where directionally-drilled wells can be clustered within an underground vault, thereby leaving the vast bulk of the habitat preserve untouched.
The project will have a limited visual impact on the hills. Wells are to be clustered in a small portion of the site and the pumps will be located in a vault below ground surface. From most vantage points in the community the facility will not be visible. However portions of the drill rig (during well drilling and maintenance) will be visible, along with storage tanks. Below is a photo simulation of the proposed project site as viewed from the Arroyo Pescadero overlook near Colima Road. No oil wells or pumps would be visible from surrounding properties.
- The City’s approval specifically prohibits high volume, high pressure fracking. Water that is pumped as part of the normal byproduct of oil production will be reinserted back underground.
- The project proposes a seven-acre production site that has the potential to cumulatively impact 22.1 acres at one corner of the Preserve. Only 2% of the former oil lands and .6% of the total Preserve would be affected - the remaining 3,837 acres Habitat Preserve would be left untouched - not impacting access or enjoyment to recreational users.
City-owned surface lot parking permits are available at the cashier window in City Hall. Annual permits (January-December) are sold through March and cost $100 or monthly permits can be purchased for $10 per month.
Permits are only available to residents of the Preferential Parking District. They are free and available at the City Hall Public Works counter. Residents must show identification and vehicle registration as proof of residency.
Monthly multi-deck parking permits are available for purchase at the multi-deck for $20.
Parks & Recreation
Scholarships are available for Community Services classes and affiliated sports organizations to City of Whittier residents. You will need to fill out an application form and supply us with proof of income and the Social Security number for every member of your household. Begin the process by calling the Community Center (562) 567-9430 and asking for a scholarship application.
Moonbounces are allowed at Parnell or Palm Parks, by permit. Please contact the Parks Division at (562) 567-9420 for applications, rules and costs.
The City will issue 2-hour permits for weddings at Penn Park and Central Park. Maximum attendance, including the wedding party, is 100 people and the permit fee includes the photo permit. If a professional photographer is used he must hold a current City of Whittier business license or obtain a 1-day business license prior to issuance of the permit.
It is City policy not to remove a healthy, mature tree. However, we will inspect the tree and notify you about your options and whether the tree meets removal guidelines. Call the Parks Division for more information.
We do not reserve the “park” but if the group exceeds 100 people it is possible to reserve tables. Contact the Parks Division at (562) 567-9420 regarding picnic reservations. Buildings available for private parties are Guirado, Palm, Parnell Parks. To make reservations, please call Community Services at (562) 567-9430. See accommodations at the City’s parks.
The City will issue 1-hour photo permits for portraits and photo shoots at Penn Park and Central Park. Permits will NOT be issued for Beverly Fountain or Mar Vista Fountain. If a professional photographer is used he must hold a current City of Whittier business license or obtain a 1-day business license prior to issuance of the permit.
The Skate Park is located at the Whittier Community Center, 7630 Washington Ave. The Skate Park is open from sunrise until sunset, Monday-Sunday. There is no admission charge, but safety gear is required. The schedule can change due to classes and/or private parties.
The Recreation Classes Brochure is mailed to City residents four times a year and is also available online. There are various ways to sign up for one of the classes. You may come into the Community Center or Parnell Park and sign up in person; you can mail in the registration form and payment from the Brochure or online form; or register by phone or fax with a VISA or MasterCard.
Start by making a request to the Parks Division at (562) 567-9420. Once you have made your request, a supervisor will inspect your tree and then contact you with information about tree trimming.
Fill out a facility request form completely and submit it to the facility you wish to rent, along with your deposit. The forms can be picked up at any of our rental facilities or at the Community Center, 7630 Washington Avenue.
If this is a court referral, you will need to contact the volunteer center located at 13583 Whittier Blvd., Suite 201, (562) 464-3711 or La Mirada Volunteer Center at (562) 943-3177.
Your Whittier address is located in the unincorporated area of Whittier; therefore, you are not addressed for the City of Whittier taxes. Residents in the incorporated area of Whittier pay an additional City of Whittier tax along with the Los Angeles County tax. The City tax helps support our programs, so they receive a resident discount.
Fall/Winter/Spring - Adult Lap Swim
M-W-F: 6:00am to 7:30am
Mon.Sat: 11:30am to 1:00pm
Mon-Fri: 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Cost: $3.00 per swim
Summer - Recreational Swim
Monday–Sunday: 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Cost: $2.00 per swim
Summer - Adult Lap Swim
M-W-F: 6:00am to 7:30am
Mon-Sat: 11:30am to 12:45pm
Mon-Fri: 7:30pm to 9:00pm
Cost: $3.00 per swim
Open in January 2009, the Greenway Trail is a five mile bicycle/pedestrian trail which has replaced an abandoned railroad right-of-way. The Greenway Trail begins in the northwest corner of Whittier, near the 605 Freeway, and closely parallels Whittier Boulevard. When it reaches Painter Avenue, it travels along Lambert Road to Mills Avenue, which is where the right-of-way ends. There is an active rail line traveling east from Mills to the City limits, and Whittier hopes to eventually acquire an easement along this line to take the trail to the City limits and link the Greenway Trail to Orange County. The trail passes through residential, commercial, and industrial land, connecting the various areas of the community and allowing residents and visitors to hike or bike through town. For more information about the trail call the Public Works at (562) 567-9500.
We offer recreational and social activities for persons 12 years and older who are developmentally disabled. Programs include art and drama classes, excursions, Special Olympics and dances. We also have a Whittier Club of the Deaf, a social program for persons hard of hearing or deaf. More information can be found in the Community Services Division brochures. Please call (562) 567-9471 for more information.
The Puente Hills Habitat Preservation Authority manages the Whittier Hills land and trails. Information about the Arroyo Pescadero trails and Interpretive Center is available by calling (562) 945-9003
Whittier Narrows Park, Whittier Narrows Nature Center and Legg Lake are all Los Angeles County Parks that run along Rosemead Blvd and San Gabriel Blvd. Information about the parks is available by calling the Los Angeles County Parks & Recreation Department at (626) 575-5526.
You must make an appointment by telephone for acceptance service if you are traveling within 2 weeks. You must show proof of travel (i.e. airline tickets).
Call 877-487-2778 to make an appointment at the:
Los Angeles Passport Office
11000 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 1000
Los Angeles, CA 90024
For more information, please visit travel.state.gov.
If your current passport has been lost or stolen, you must submit form DS-11 for a new passport along with all oringial documentation. You must also submit Form DS-64, "Statement Regarding Lost or Stolen Passport." If you have lost your expired U. S. Passport, you must apply for a new passport and submit all original documentation, but the Form DS-64 is not necessary.
Adults may submit their current, valid Driver’s License or California I.D. card. Adults may also submit a current U.S. Passport or current Military I.D. Card.
You must provide an original copy of your certified birth certificate (no photocopies). The California Certified Abstract of Birth and the Texas Certified Abstract of Birth are NOT ACCEPTED by the U.S. State Department. You may NOT submit a hospital birth record. Your certified birth certificate will be submitted with your passport application. If you are a naturalized U.S. Citizen, you must provide your Certificate of Naturalization. This certificate will be submitted with your passport application. These original documents will be returned with your new passport. You may also submit your expired U.S. Passport. Your old passport will be returned with your new passport.
The following requirements are the same for both first time and renewal applicants.
The child and both parents or legal guardian(s) must be present and:
- Submit a completed, unsigned DS-11 form in person;
- Present evidence of child’s U.S. citizenship.
- Present evidence of relationship between child and parent(s)/guardian(s);
- Present identification of parent(s)/guardian(s);
- Submit a photocopy of front and back of identification for each parent/guardian.
- Submit one 2" x 2" passport photograph.
Only one parent or guardian must be present for 16 and 17 year olds.
To apply for a new passport, or to renew a passport that was issued more than 15 years ago, you must submit:
- Completed, unsigned application form DS-11.
- Proof of United States citizenship (the original documents-no copies.)
- Government issued I.D.-as well as a photocopy of the front and back of the same.
- One 2" x 2" photograph.
- Social Security number
- Fee for U.S. Department of State-check or money order.
Make an appointment for a U.S. Passport. You can also phone 562-567-9904 for further information or to make a Passport Appointment.
Depending upon where you were born, you need to contact the County Recorder or Registrar of Birth. You can also find this information using vital check at 1-800-255-2414 or on the web at www.vitalchek.com.
The Library has identified local camera and photography stores that provide Passport Photos, and the list is available from the library. You need one, 2-inch by 2-inch passport photograph. The background must be light colored. You may not submit school photographs. Digital photos are acceptable. The library takes pictures for $10.00.
Library staff have been designated by the U.S. State Department as U.S. Passport Acceptance Agents. In this capacity we are required to follow all Federal rules and regulations. There are NO exceptions. Service may be denied if applicants do not supply the required documentation or adhere to U.S. Passport Acceptance rules and regulations. Book your appointment.
Permits & Licenses
The business license must be posted or exhibited in a conspicuous part of the place of business. The owner of a mobile business must carry his license with him at all times while engaged or operating within the city.
Yes. The business license application requires a physical address for the business location. The Planning Division checks the zoning on every city business license application. Private mailbox addresses are for mailing purposes only and cannot be used as a business address.
If your business is physically located in the city limits of Whittier, you must apply in person or your application will not be accepted. Businesses located outside the city limits may apply by mail.
The City of Whittier has a handout on Massage Technicians and Therapists that explains the Whittier Municipal Code. Massage is permitted under the following conditions: a) When performed by or under the direct supervision of a medical doctor, chiropractor, acupuncturist, or physical therapist. b) When approved with an Adult Conditional Use Permit. You can pick up an application for the Permit at the Planning Division counter.
Yes, download the application. For more information, contact the Business License Division at (562) 567-9880.
A license cannot be transferred unless a licensee sells his entire business as a corporation. No license shall be valid for any location other than that specified on the business license. Contact the Business License Office if you move your business, (562) 567-9880.
Check with the Planning Division before using or installing any type of permanent or temporary sign or banner. Signs are not allowed to be posted in the parkway or on City trees.
A separate license must be obtained for each branch establishment or separate place of business.
Whittier Municipal Code Section 18.10.02 regulates businesses based out of the home. Contact the Planning Division of the Community Development Department at (562) 567-9320 for the regulations.
If you are using a fictitious business name (dba-doing business as), California Business & Professions Code requires that you file a fictitious name statement. Contact the Los Angeles County Clerk/Recorder’s Office at (562)466-1694 or visit their website at regrec.co.la.ca.us for further information.
A Seller’s Permit is required if your business engages in the sale of tangible goods by wholesale or retail. Contact the State Board of Equalization at (562) 466-1694 or visit their website at http://www.boe.ca.gov/ for information.
Contact Unincorporated Los Angeles County Business Licenses at (213)974-2011 or visit their website at ttc.lacounty.gov.
Any person who conducts any business, trade, profession, calling or occupation in the city is required to obtain a license whether or not the physical business address is in or outside the City.
The Planning and Building and Safety public counter hours are Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. One of the technicians is available during those hours to assist you with consultation or other information. Our Building Inspectors are available by appointment Monday through Friday from approximately 3:00 to 4:00 PM. Please call (562) 567-9320 to schedule an appointment.
You can learn more about crime in your neighborhood by visiting CrimeReports.com.
- What is CrimeReports.com? CrimeReports.com is an online mapping and analysis service provided by Motorola Solutions, Inc., headquartered in Schaumburg, Illinois.
- CrimeReports.com combines the value of police data with the ease-of-use of Internet-based mapping and an analytics module so that members of the public can view police data in a high-impact map or summary descriptive format. Members of the public may also sign up to receive free email alerts based on user-defined parameters (e.g., geography, crime types, frequency, etc.).
- What type of Whittier Police Department (WPD) data is used in CrimeReports.com? The CrimeReports.com service utilizes calls-for-service (CFS) data from the WPD CAD system. CAD stands for Computer Aided Dispatch. CAD is a highly specialized application that allows for the coordinated communication, assignment and tracking of Police Department resources in response to citizen and police generated calls-for-service.
- What specific types of data from CAD are used in CrimeReports.com? Calls-for-service data is utilized for CrimeReports.com, including the following data fields: entry date, entry time, event number, event location, final event type, and final event disposition.
- How much crime data can I search? Members of the public may query crime data from the 180 days prior to the date that the data is requested through CrimeMapping.com.
- Does CrimeReports.com have a FAQ site? Yes. FAQ and other related information (e.g., company, partners, legal) can be found on the CrimeReports.com site.
Instructions can be found on your ticket or you can:
- Look for your ticket online at: citationprocessingcenter.com.
- Penalty may also be sent by mail WITHIN 21 DAYS. Place check or money order made out to:
- City of Whittier
Citation Processing Center
P.O Box 10478
Newport Beach, CA. 92658
- City of Whittier
- To request an Administrative Review write to:
- City of Whittier
Citation Processing Center
P.O Box 10478
Newport Beach, CA. 92658
- City of Whittier
- For more information call Parking Administration at (800) 989-2058.
Warning! Failure to respond within 21 days will result in a penalty increase and a vehicle registration hold.
Instructions can be found on the back of your ticket or you can:
- Look for your ticket on online at lacourt.org starting about 30 days after you received the ticket.
- If you do not find your ticket online, contact the Whittier Police Department (WPD) Traffic Bureau at (562) 567-9256.
- Even if your ticket is not online you must still take care of it.
- If you already contacted the WPD Traffic Bureau and your ticket is still not online, go the courthouse listed on your ticket. Do this by the due date on your ticket.
Warning! Even if your ticket is not online, you must still take care of it by the deadline.
- Monday-Friday: 7:00am-8:00pm
- Saturday-Sunday & Holidays: 10:00am-5:00pm
13200 Penn St.
Whittier, CA. 90602
Yes. Each officer is issued a bag containing a gas mask with CBRNE filter, a Tyvek protective suit, gloves, boots, and chemical tape.
Yes. The Whittier Police Department regularly participates in the Baker to Vegas relay cup challenge.
Yes. The Police Services Center is staffed by both Whittier and Santa Fe Springs personnel and houses the WPD Santa Fe Springs detective bureau, problem oriented policing team, traffic, and records bureau. The staging facility is also located in Santa Fe Springs and is where officers report for duty. The staging facility houses all police units, locker rooms, briefing room and sergeant’s office.
The Whittier Police Department maintains a 21-member tactical team, which is primarily used for high-risk warrant service. All team members attend a basic SWAT school and the team once a month.
For situations that call for SWAT and negotiations, the Whittier Police Department uses LA. CO. Special Enforcement Bureau under a mutual aid agreement.
Yes. College tuition is reimbursed at up to 75% of Cal State rates and up to $250 per semester for books. The program is applicable up to and including a Masters degree. For detailed information and conditions that apply, please contact Human Resources at (562) 567-9830.
The Whittier Police Department does not have a dedicated air unit, however under county mutual aid, air support is available for critical incidents.
Yes. There is also a Gym at the Santa Fe Springs staging facility.
Yes. Every unit is equipped with a touch-screen DATA911 MDC system.
Yes. The Whittier Police Department handles all CSI for incidents that occur in Whittier and Santa Fe Springs. Our forensic unit recently received a $550,000 grant, which resulted in significant equipment and services upgrade.
Yes. The detective bureau investigates all crimes that occur in Whittier and Santa Fe Springs.
Yes. In addition to range and use of force qualifications six times a year, teams receive a variety of training via POST telecourses and shift training. As part of the 24-hour POST continued training requirement, officers are sent to off-site law enforcement courses on a regular basis.
The Whittier Police Department offers a variety of special assignments and teams such as detectives, special enforcement team, bike patrol team, K9, narcotics, traffic and administration. Most of the positions carry a five-year assignment length. When an officer who is assigned to a specialized position approaches the five year mark, an announcement is posted and interested personnel submit memorandums of interest. Oral interviews and a review of the applicant’s employee package are conducted. The best qualified candidate is recommended to executive staff for approval.
Officers who return to the patrol division after a specialized assignment must work a full year in patrol before being able to apply for other specialized positions.
Some teams are a collateral duty, in addition to an officer’s full time duties. The entry team, SORT team, terrorism team, training team, and trauma response team, accept new members when positions become available.
Deployment to Whittier or Santa Fe Springs is determined by staff, department needs, or by a formal request.
One year for all new hires.
The Whittier Police Department’s primary method of report writing is by dictation. Each officer is assigned a digital recorder, a log sheet and a report envelope. Once reports are dictated and logged, the envelope and tape are submitted to the records bureau at the end of shift. Records personnel transcribe the reports and save them into the records management system. You may review your reports at any computer terminal.
If you have not dictated before, it may seem a bit awkward at first. With a little practice, you will soon realize the many benefits of report dictation.
The Whittier Police Department’s field training program follows the guidelines set forth by POST. The field training program consists of six initial cycles, each lasting approximately four weeks and each with a different training officer.
Chief, two captains, six lieutenants and fourteen sergeants.
The City of Whittier offers both PPO and HMO medical and dental plans. Vision plan coverage is only offered to the employee. The cost of your selected plan will be deducted from your paycheck.
Our work schedule offers great balance between work and family time by offering a variety of shifts and days off. All members of a patrol team work the same schedule and have the same days off. Shift rotation takes place every six months, usually in January and June.
Patrol: 3/12.5 hour shifts
6 patrol teams working 3/12.5 hour shifts with one additional 10 hour shift every 28 days (usually on a Thursday). The shifts are as follows:
- Mon-Wed 6am-6:30pm
- Mon-Wed 6pm-6:30am
- Fri-Sun 6am-6:30pm
- Fri-Sun 6pm-6:30am
- Thurs-Sat 6am-6:30pm
- Tue-Sat 2pm-2:30am (Tue/Wed) & 6pm-6:30am (Thurs)
Inside personnel: 4/10 shifts
- Other specialized units
The Whittier Police Department maintains a jail facility at the station where all arrestees are booked. The officer’s responsibility during booking is to complete a booking sheet and collect the arrestee’s personal belongings. Jail staff handles photos, fingerprinting and processing.
The Whittier municipal/superior/traffic courthouse is located next to the Whittier police station. On some cases, appearance may be necessary at the Norwalk superior court, which is approximately 15 minutes from the station or at the Los Padrinos juvenile hall in Downey.
Information on bus routes and schedules is available at the Transit Depot, 7333 Greenleaf Avenue. (562) 567-9480.
Dial-a-Ride cards may be purchased at the Senior Center, Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays, 12 noon-4 p.m.; the Transit Depot, Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.; and Parnell Park, Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Metro bus passes may be purchased at the Senior Center and the Transit Depot. Bus passes are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis from the 25th of the month until the 10th of the next month or until all are sold.
Research and Archives
The County of Los Angeles Registrar/Recorder’s Office maintains all birth, marriage and death records. The telephone number is (562) 462-2137.
The City of Whittier has three types of documents that can help you research your family history – cemetery records, Assessor’s Parcel Rolls, and City Directories.
Cemetery Records – The City’s cemeteries were developed as a passive park in the 1960s. The records of burials continue to be maintained at City Hall. The listings include name of the deceased, date of death, and burial location at the Broadway and Mt. Olive Cemeteries.
Assessor’s Parcel Rolls – The City has Assessor’s Parcel Rolls from 1898 through 1951. These records provide information about owners and valuations of property. The County Recorder’s Office, 12400 Imperial Blvd, Norwalk, has assessor information from 1951 to present. The Whittier Public Library can also help you with the City’s collection of Assessor Parcel Rolls.
City Directories – The Records Management Division has City Directories from 1909 through 1977. These directories are similar to telephone books. The listing can include occupation and names of family.
These records are available through the Records Management Division, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. To make an appointment to view records call (562) 567-9870. The Whittier Historical Society Museum and the Whittier Public Library can also help you in your research.
Council meetings are broadcast live over cable TV on Channel 3 on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. View the replay schedule of the City Council meetings. DVDs of Council meetings are available to view at the Records Management Division of the City Clerk’s office the day after the meeting. To make an appointment to view a DVD call (562) 567-9870. DVDs are also available for checkout and return at the Whittier Public Library. You can purchase a copy of the meeting on VHS tape for $36.00, and a DVD of the meeting is available for $5.00. Call (562) 567-9850 to place your order.
The City Clerk-Treasurer Department’s Records Management Division can help you discover the history of Whittier’s governmental policies. The Department maintains the City’s Minutes (the record of the Council’s decisions), Ordinances (the City’s laws), and Resolutions (Council’s decision to act) from 1898 to present. Agenda packages and staff reports to the Council, from 1939 to present are available for public review.
The City honors both the federal Freedom of Information Act and California’s Public Records Act. The Public Records Act requires that the City respond to a request for Public records within 10 calendar days.
Copies of many city documents cost 15¢ a page. Copies made from microfilm are 20¢. Arrangements can be made to obtain copies of photographs, videotapes, audiotapes or other media.
Annual membership for City of Whittier residents is $3. Annual membership for non-city residents is $3.
The Senior Center is open to persons 55 years and older, except for the daily nutrition program, which is for those 60 years and older.
Special events are conducted at the Center monthly. The Newsletter and flyers are available at the front desk.
Contact Ruri Pierre, Community Services Supervisor, at the Uptown Senior Center for information. Applications can be obtained at the Uptown Senior Center, 13225 Walnut Street, (562) 567-9471.
Parking restrictions are not enforced on the following holidays:
- New Year's Day
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- Presidents' Day
- Cesar Chavez Day
- Memorial Day
- Indpendence Day
- Labor Day
- Columbus Day
- Veterans Day
- Day After Thanksgiving
- Christmas Day
All parking regulations are established by the City's Parking and Transportation Commission (PTC). You can obtain a petition form from the Public Works Department and circulate it around your neighborhood. You should secure the signatures of your city block supporting the posting of the "NO PARKING" sign prohibiting on-street parking on the street sweeping day. A majority of support is needed.
The petition shall be submitted to the Public Works Department for verification of the percentage of supporters. A report, with the petition, will be forwarded to the Parking and Transportation Commission for review and action.
You may download a petition form to establish “NO PARKING” zones or call (562) 567-9500 to request the form.
We operate two (2) street sweepers daily. These sweepers are responsible for visiting and cleaning every street on a bi-weekly basis. You should notice these sweepers going by your property frontage every other week. Their job is to pick up litter and debris that are deposited along the roadway as well as the gutter areas.
The sweepers begin working in the early morning hours, usually around 5:30 AM and run until 2:00 PM Monday through Friday. Our sweepers also respond to your requests, as available, for additional sweeping under special or unusual circumstances.
Some Of The Difficulties
Our job seems pretty straightforward, but nevertheless we encounter difficulty on a daily basis.
First, we constantly encounter parked cars along our sweeping routes. This problem is most apparent in multi-family residential neighborhoods, especially around high-density apartment developments. Parked cars interfere with our ability to clean the gutter area where the majority of litter and debris accumulates.
Second, many residents or their landscaping gardeners, blow off large piles of leaves and debris into the gutter areas for our sweepers to pick them up. You may not be aware that our sweepers are not designed to pick up large piles of leaves. Also, it should be noted that disposing such an act is in violation of the Federal Clean Water Act. Violators can be cited and fined for thousands of dollars for deliberately causing debris to run into the County’s storm drain system. Residents and their gardeners should make every effort to deposit the debris into the trash container.
A Pro-Active Approach
To deliver effective street sweeping services on your street, the City has developed a procedure for you to establish a “NO PARKING” zone on street sweeping days. The designated zone will be posted at the end of the block and parking compliance will be enforced by the Whittier Police Department.
Once the PTC approves your request, staff will order the appropriate signs for posting in your neighborhood. To avoid the proliferation of signs, we will only install one sign at the beginning of each residential block. The sign will indicate the “time and day” that parking is prohibited. Normally, it will take about 3 to 4 weeks to have the signs fabricated and installed.
The Whittier Police Department will be responsible for enforcing the established parking zones. All vehicles that are parked in violation of the posted sign will be cited and fined.
For Street Sweeping Operating Schedule call (562) 567-9530.
It is our experience that resident initiated petitions allow neighborhoods to participate at the early stage of the issue. It also encourages and promotes a better understanding of the desires of your neighbors. It is an effective way to reach a consensus and secure a "buy-in" from the neighborhood.
Utility Fees - General Info
Any property owner or tenant directly responsible for the payment of the proposed fees may submit a written protest to the proposed rate changes; however, only one protest will be counted per identified parcel. Protests to the proposed rate changes must be submitted IN WRITING either by mail or by personal delivery to the City Clerk prior to the conclusion of the public hearing on May 14, 2019 as follows:
City Clerk, City of Whittier, 13230 Penn Street, Whittier, CA 90602
Any protest received by telephone or via e-mail or other electronic means and oral comments at the Public Hearing will NOT qualify as a formal protest, unless it is accompanied by a written protest.
A valid protest MUST include:
- Statement stating that the identified property owner or tenant is opposed to the proposed rate changes.
- Identification of the property by either assessor's parcel number or street address.
- Name and the original signature of the property owner or tenant submitting the protest.
For more questions, please call (562) 567-9500.
The Notice of Public Hearing to Consider Proposed Changes to Water, Sewer and Reclaimed Water Rates (green, quad-fold notice) was mailed to all Whittier property owners and tenants directly responsible for the payments of these fees on March 22, 2019. The notice was published in the Whittier Daily News on March 22, 2019 and a copy placed on the City website. Additional notices were placed at various City facilities, including Public Works counter in City Hall, the Community Center, Senior Centers and Libraries. The notice covered rate changes for fiscal years 2019-20 through 2023-24.
The fees proposed in the Notice of Public Hearing to Consider Proposed Changes to Water, Sewer, and Reclaimed Water Rates (green, quad-fold notice) list the maximum amount the fees can be increased without another notice and public hearing. The Public Hearing to hear and consider all public testimony and protests was held in City Council Chamber on May 14, 2019.
Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at 6:00 P.M.
City Council Chamber
City Hall (Second Floor)
13230 Penn Street, Whittier
For Fiscal Year 2019-20, the new rates will take effect beginning August 1, 2019. Fiscal Years 2020-21 through 2023-24, rates will take effect July 1.
Utility Fees - Sewer
Whittier property owners with a combined gross income of all members of the family or household residing together of less than twenty-nine thousand five hundred fifty dollars ($29,550) for the prior calendar year and have been approved for the City’s utility users tax exemption are qualified to receive the discount. For more information on applying for the City’s utility users tax exemption call the Treasurer’s Office at (562) 567-9850.
Sewer rates are based on measured water usage plus an annual customer service charge of $6.95 to each customer account to cover customer service related costs.
The annual fee in 2019-20 for a single family residence using 13 billing units of water per month is calculated as follows:
Annual Usage Charge: 13 units/mo x 12 mos x $0.96 usage rate = $149.76 Annual Customer Service Charge (New): $6.95
Annual Total Sewer Fee:
Note: 1 Billing Unit (BU) = 100 cu ft or 748 gallons of water
On May 14, 2019 at 6:00 PM, the City Council held a public hearing in the City Council Chamber to consider the adoption of the proposed sewer rates. The tables below show the maximum sewer rates adopted for the next 5 years.
COMMODITY CHARGE PER BILLING UNIT (1 BU = 100 CU FT OR 748 GALLONS OF WATER) EFFECTIVE DATES
QUALIFIED LOW INCOME
Proposed Annual Max Usage (BU/unit) Effective Dates Current Rates 8/1/2019 7/1/2020 7/1/2021 7/1/2022 7/1/2023 Residential 300 280 280 280 280 280 Multi-Residential 180 280 280 280 280 280 Commercial NA NA NA NA NA NA Private Development 546 280 280 280 280 280 Qualified Low Income 300 280 280 280 280 280 Proposed Annual Max Bill ($/Unit) Effective Date Current Rates 8/1/2019 7/1/2020 7/1/2021 7/1/2022 7/1/2023 Residential $273.00 $275.75 $290.10 $304.47 $318.85 $336.05 Multi-Residential $163.00 $275.75 $290.10 $304.47 $318.85 $336.05 Commercial NA NA NA NA NA NA Private Development $273.00 $197.35 $206.10 $217.67 $229.25 $240.85 Qualified Low Income $151.26 $155.35 $164.10 $172.87 $181.65 $190.45 Proposed Customer Charge ($/Parcel) Effective Date Current Rates 8/1/2019 7/1/2020 7/1/2021 7/1/2022 7/1/2023 Residential NA $6.95 $7.30 $7.67 $8.05 $8.45 Multi-Residential NA $6.95 $7.30 $7.67 $8.05 $8.45 Commercial NA $6.95 $7.30 $7.67 $8.05 $8.45 Private Development NA $6.95 $7.30 $7.67 $8.05 $8.45 Qualified Low Income NA $6.95 $7.30 $7.67 $8.05 $8.45
The sewer fee is included annually on your property tax bill issued by the County of Los Angeles itemized as “Sewer Svc Chg”.
The sewer fee is waived if your property is not hooked up to the sewer system. There are only a few properties in Whittier served by private septic tanks.
The Sewer Fee funds the cost of operation and maintenance of the sewer system to ensure compliance with regulations governing public health and environmental protection, and the rehabilitation and replacement of the aging sewer system infrastructure.
- Sewer Rate Study link.
Utility Fees - Solid Waste
Solid waste collection customers with a combined gross income of all members of the family or household residing together of less than twenty-nine thousand five hundred fifty dollars ($29,550) for the prior calendar year and have been approved for the City’s utility users tax exemption will qualify for the $5 per month discount. For more information on applying for the City’s utility users tax exemption call the Treasurer’s Office at (562) 567-9850.
As of July 1, 2016, 10% discounts were made available for low income seniors and active military members. Seniors must be 62 years of age or older, be head of household and qualify for Supplemental Social Security Income. Active military members must maintain the property as his or her permanent residence while stationed away from home. These discounts to not apply to charges for additional carts, temporary bin services or temporary roll-off service. Call your solid waste service provider to apply.
- Athens Services (888) 336-6100
- Republic Services (800) 299-4898
Athens Services and Republic Services are private franchised waste hauling companies who were approved by the City to provide solid waste collection and recycling services to City residents and businesses for the period of November 1, 2017 - October 31, 2025. Athens serves the west side of the City and Republic serves the east side of the City with the dividing line being Ocean View Ave. with a few exceptions. Both companies are responsible for servicing all containers (trash, green waste & recycling) in their service area.
- Athens Services (888) 336-6100
- Republic Services (800) 299-4898
The current agreements the City has with Republic Services and Athens Services calls for an annual rate increase according to a formula based on costs for disposal, labor, fuel and the Consumer Price Index (CPI). For single-family residential customers the cost for solid waste collection, disposal and recycling for fiscal year 2018-19 is $22.93 per month and $1.84 per month for street sweeping for a total monthly fee of $24.77.
Utility Fees - Water
Federal and State Grants are available; however, they are very competitive and will not be awarded for general pipeline replacement, as that is considered part of general maintenance required of the water agency.
Water customers served by the City with a combined gross income of all members of the family or household residing together of less than twenty-nine thousand five hundred fifty dollars ($29,550) for the prior calendar year and has been approved for the City’s utility users tax exemption qualify for the $6 per month low income water discount. For more information on applying for the City’s utility users tax exemption call the Treasurer’s Office at (562) 567-9850.
To provide perspective on how the proposed water rates compare with neighboring communities, a bill comparison survey was developed. The figure below show a comparison of Whittier's water bill (in monthly dollars) with those of neighboring utilities. As can be seen in the figure, Whittier's bill is in the middle of the neighboring utilities. It should be noted that the bills for most of the comparison utilities represent current bills and don not include likely future annual increases, which are not yet publicly available.
Water rates include two components: a fixed service charge varied by meter sizes and a commodity charge for the water used. Water fees are calculated by multiplying the usage rate by the water usage and adding the service fee.
The bi-monthly bill for water charges for a single family residence with a 3/4" meter and using 13 billing units (BU) of water per month (26 BU bi-monthly) in 2019-20 is calculated as follows:
Tier 1 Commodity Charge: 22 units x $2.08 = $ 45.76 Tier 2 Commodity Charge: 4 units x $3.41 = $ 13.64 Service Charge: $ 65.84 Total bi-monthly water fee (2 months): $125.24
A water bill estimator is available online. You will be able to input your bi-monthly water usage and the estimator will show you how the proposed changes will affect your bi-monthly bill.
The City of Whittier does not supply my water. I am served by a private water company. Will my fees still increase?
You would need to check with the private water company that provides your water service. Contact telephone numbers are listed below:
- Suburban Water Systems (562) 944-8219
- San Gabriel Water (562) 699-1041
- Orchard Dale (562) 941-0114
- Golden State Water (562) 864-8214
- Cal Domestic (562) 947-3811
Whittier has a number of assets, including 143 miles of water mains, 11 reservoirs (with 23 million gallons of storage), 6 booster stations, 8 wells, and a new Pumping Plant. All of these assets have a useful life, with over 75% of Whittier's assets aged beyond their useful life. The replacement costs of the water mains alone is estimated at over $200 million. Since 2011, the City of Whittier has completed approximately $26.5 million of infrastructure rehabilitation and replacement, which includes the new Pumping Plant, well rehabilitation, booster pump station electrical upgrade and 34,466 linear feet of new water pipeline. Over the next 10 years, the City's Water Master Plan has identified 113,611 linear feet of water main to be replaced for a total of $31.2 million along with $26.9 million in additional improvements to other water system assets. This list shows the completed and upcoming water main projects through 2028.
- Water Rate Study link
The City is committed to providing safe and reliable quality water for our customers. As our water system ages, it is important to continue investing in replacing and rebuilding them in accordance with a long-term, balanced financing plan. Based on the 2019 comprehensive water rate/cost of service study, it has been determined that changes are necessary to the City's water rates in order to generate the revenue required to fund the current and projected costs of operations and maintenance; fund capital infrastructure improvements vital for providing safe and reliable drinking water; maintain the operational and financial stability of the water fund; and meet debt service obligations.
The amount you pay for Water service in the City’s service area consists of two components :
1. A customer service fee or meter charge, which is a fixed amount based on your meter size and your customer class ( single family residential, multifamily residential, non – residential and landscape).
2. The usage rate or commodity charge ,which is based on the amount of water you use.
An estimated 75% of water system expenses are fixed. Whether a customer uses water or not, those costs must be paid. The fixed costs include, for example; labor to operate and maintain the water system, infrastructure rehabilitation and replacement (pipes, pumps, reservoirs and wells), water quality testing, regulatory reporting, electricity, insurance, debt service and security. The current rate schedule recovers 58% of water system revenues through the customer service charge. The 2019 Rate Cost of Service Study proposes a modified water rate structure that decreases the service charge to 52%, which emphasizes water conservation. During times of decreased water use due to drought and/or conservation water system revenue suffers if the rate structure is too highly weighted towards the usage fee. This slows necessary system improvements and eventually shows in the form of loss of water service (shut downs due to main breaks) and degraded water quality.
On May 14, 2019 at 6:00 PM, the City Council held a public hearing in the City Council Chamber to consider the adoption of the proposed water rates.
The tables below show the maximum water rates for the next 5 years.
Meter Service Charge - Single Family Residential Per meter size bi-monthly Meter Size Current Rates 8/1/2019 7/1/2020 7/1/2021 7/1/2022 7/1/2023 3/4" $80.70 $65.84 $69.13 $72.59 $76.22 $80.03 1" $120.52 $108.48 $113.91 $119.61 $125.59 $131.87 1 1/2" $268.22 $215.09 $225.85 $237.14 $249.00 $261.45 2" $363.58 $343.02 $360.17 $378.18 $397.09 $416.94 3" $781.46 $684.16 $718.37 $754.29 $792.00 $831.60 4" $1,060.28 $1,067.95 $1,121.34 $1,177.41 $1,236.28 $1,298.10 6" $1,660.84 $2,134.01 $2,240.72 $2,352.75 $2,470.39 $2,593.91 8" $1,736.78 $3,413.30 $3,583.96 $3,763.16 $3,951.32 $4,148.88 Meter Service Charge - Multi-Family Residential Per meter size bi-monthly Meter Size Current Rates 8/1/2019 7/1/2020 7/1/2021 7/1/2022 7/1/2023 3/4" $80.70 $88.83 $93.27 $97.94 $102.83 $107.97 1" $120.52 $146.80 $154.14 $161.84 $169.94 $178.43 1 1/2" $268.22 $291.72 $306.30 $321.62 $337.70 $354.58 2" $363.58 $465.62 $488.90 $513.35 $539.01 $565.96 3" $781.46 $929.36 $975.83 $1,024.62 $1,075.85 $1,129.64 4" $1,060.28 $1,451.07 $1,523.62 $1,599.80 $1,679.80 $1,763.78 6" $1,660.84 $2,900.26 $3,045.27 $3,197.54 $3,357.42 $3,525.29 8" $1,736.78 $4,639.29 $4,871.26 $5,114.82 $5,370.56 $5,639.09
Meter Service Charge - Non-Residential Per meter size bi-monthly Meter Size Current Rates 8/1/2019 7/1/2020 7/1/2021 7/1/2022 7/1/2023 3/4" $80.70 $74.72 $78.45 $82.37 $86.49 $90.82 1" $120.52 $123.27 $129.44 $135.91 $142.71 $149.84 1 1/2" $268.22 $244.67 $256.90 $269.75 $283.24 $297.40 2" $363.58 $390.34 $409.86 $430.35 $451.87 $474.47 3" $781.46 $778.81 $817.75 $858.64 $901.57 $946.65 4" $1,060.28 $1,215.83 $1,276.62 $1,340.46 $1,407.48 $1,477.85 6" $1,660.84 $2,429.79 $2,551.28 $2,678.84 $2,812.78 $2,953.42 8" $1,736.78 $3,886.53 $4,080.86 $4,284.90 $4,499.14 $4,724.10 Meter Service Charge - Landscape Per meter size bi-monthly Meter Size Current Rates 8/1/2019 7/1/2020 7/1/2021 7/1/2022 7/1/2023 3/4" $80.70 $93.48 $98.15 $103.06 $108.21 $113.62 1" $120.52 $154.55 $162.27 $170.39 $178.91 $187.85 1 1/2" $268.22 $307.22 $322.58 $338.71 $355.64 $373.42 2" $363.58 $490.42 $514.94 $540.69 $567.72 $596.11 3" $781.46 $978.96 $1,027.91 $1,079.30 $1,133.27 $1,189.93 4" $1,060.28 $1,528.57 $1,605.00 $1,685.25 $1,769.51 $1,857.98 6" $1,660.84 $3,055.26 $3,208.02 $3,368.42 $3,536.84 $3,713.68 8" $1,736.78 $4,887.28 $5,131.65 $5,388.23 $5,657.64 $5,940.52
Commodity Charge Per billing unit (1 BU = 100 cu ft or 748 gallons of water) Customer Class Current Rates 8/1/2019 7/1/2020 7/1/2021 7/1/2022 7/1/2023 Single Family Residential Tier 1 - First 22 BU $1.99 $2.08 $2.19 $2.30 $2.41 $2.53 Tier 2 - Over 22 BU $2.73 $3.41 $3.58 $3.76 $3.95 $4.15 Multi-Family Residential $1.99 $2.12 $2.23 $2.34 $2.46 $2.58 Non-Residential $1.99 $2.16 $2.27 $2.38 $2.50 $2.62 Landscape $1.99 $2.50 $2.62 $2.75 $2.89 $3.03
Note: The Non-residential customer class includes commercial, industrial and institutional customers.
Without knowing specific times and dates, it is hard to know the exact cause. Usually, brown water is seen when something stirs up an old system of piping. In general, brown water isn’t nice to look at but rarely poses a health threat. If you happen to experience brown water in your home, notify customer service at (562) 567-9530 and keep the water flowing from your hose bib until the water runs clear. Once clear, we also suggest running the water fixture located furthest from your meter (ex. upstairs shower) until the water runs clear.
The City of Whittier’s system maintenance includes preventative measures that consistently and systematically flush the water system. Additionally, there are 54 sampling stations installed throughout the water distribution system. Weekly water samples are taken from 15 different stations, as required by the State Water Board, to further ensure the best quality of water delivered to our customers. The City of Whittier publishes the Water Quality Report (Spanish) providing a summary of samples collected annually.
Water Rate Information
- Yes – for employees who work to support the water system. City staff members, including Water Operators, Specialists, Supervisors, Customer Service Representatives, and Engineers all work to maintain, operate, and replace the water system; they are essential to making sure our system is always “ready to serve.” Although your water bill does help fund these types of services, it does not contribute to any other special incentives not directly related to maintaining the water system as the City of Whittier does not offer bonuses to its employees.
Has the City Council considered the impact that higher rates may have on residents with a fixed income?
Yes. This has been an ongoing challenge across most California public water utilities, and the City Council has been concerned about the impacts on low-income customers. In fact, when the water infrastructure projects were first beginning (in 2011), the economy was still in the midst of the Great Recession. Council opted to risk reducing the number of projects (even though the delay would mean higher costs in the long term) in order to provide temporary relief to acutely affected customers. In those years, water projects were delayed because of the reduced revenues. This is not a long-term solution, however, given the vast needs to repair and improve the water system.
Low income, single-family residential customers may be eligible for a $6 per month water discount. California's Prop 26 requires that a public agency charge no more than the actual share of a service. Unlike a private utility, the City cannot include a profit margin or a "low-income" fund in its water rates.
Has the City pursued state or federal funding to support the infrastructure improvements instead of increasing rates?The types of grants available from the state and federal government will pay for such items as cleaning up contamination, decreasing reliability on imported water, or connecting rural systems to reliable sources. Grants are not available for general system maintenance and typical replacement projects. The City, through the Gateway Watershed Management Authority and Southeast Water Coalition, is working on identifying grant opportunities which would offset costs on projects of high importance such as emergency connections and our pipelines that run under the freeways. These types of projects are critical to the reliability of our system – especially in the event of an earthquake or similar disaster.
For standard residential water service, the City of Whittier’s rates remain less expensive than many of our nearby providers. When comparing water rates please keep in mind that water agencies have different expenses such as infrastructure replacement spending, number of main breaks, water supply costs. These cost influence the rates that an agency must charge to provide service to its customers. To provide perspective on how Whittier's rates compare with neighboring communities, a bill comparison survey was developed.
Because of all of the infrastructure required to get water to our customers, the large majority of water charges go to fund system infrastructure, operations, and maintenance before a drop of water is used. The City pumps water from wells, treats it, and then sends it to our customers, sometimes through reservoirs and pumping stations, all of which is funded by the fixed service fee. The amount of water a customer uses is the “commodity” price – the remaining portion of the water bill. That cost is comprised of charges to produce and pump our water rights, as well as the cost to test and treat the water.
- Each new development project is evaluated at the planning stage to determine its impact on the City’s water system. If an impact is expected, the developer is required to mitigate the impact by upgrading existing pipelines and/or adding new pipes to service the development. Additionally, any new connection to the water system is required to pay a connection fee, which is used to upgrade the system within that project area.
Your water bill consists of two components: a service fee, which is a fixed amount, based on your meter size and your customer class (single family residential, multifamily residential, non-residential and landscape); and a usage rate or commodity rate, which is based on the amount of water you use. An estimate of 75% of water system expenses are fixed. Whether or not a customer uses water or not, these costs must be paid. The fixed costs include labor to operate and maintain the water system, infrastructure rehabilitation and replacement (pipes, pumps, reservoirs and wells), water quality testing, regulatory compliance reporting, electricity, insurance, debt service and security. The current rate schedule recovers approximately 58% of rate revenue through the fixed service fee. The 2019 proposed rate structure will modestly reduce the revenue collected from the fixed service charge to approximately 52% and allow you to have greater control over the cost of your bill.
- In 2011, the water rate restructuring was set at 2011 costs, without an adjustment for increases in costs over time. In 2018, the City retained Stantec consulting firm to conduct a comprehensive Cost of Service/ Water Rate Study to ensure that the rates and charges are in alignment with the cost of providing service and are equitable among the customer classes. The Study evaluated the impact of the increased costs, both capital and ongoing operations and maintenance, on the revenue requirements over the next 10 years. It also examined the cost of service implications from the projected revenue requirements and established the rate plan needed for fiscal year 2019-20 through 2023-24 to generate revenue to meet the operating demands of the water systems.
Whittier has a number of assets, including 143 miles of water mains, 11 reservoirs (with 23 million gallons of storage), 6 booster stations, 8 wells, and a new Pumping Plant. All of these assets have a useful life, with over 75% of Whittier's assets aged beyond their useful life. The replacement costs of the water mains alone is estimated at over $200 million. Since 2011, the City of Whittier has completed approximately $26.5 million of infrastructure rehabilitation and replacement, which includes the new Pumping Plant, well rehabilitation, booster pump station electrical upgrade and 34,466 linear feet of new water pipeline. Over the next 10 years, the City's Water Master Plan has identified 113,611 linear feet of water main to be replaced for a total of $31.2 million along with $26.9 million in additional improvements to water system assets. This list shows the completed and upcoming water main projects through 2028.
- We pump water from two local adjudicated ground water basins – the Main San Gabriel Basin (MB) and the Central Basin (CB). A series of court cases from the 1950s and 1960s decided how much water we are allowed to pump. The court cases also assigned a “WaterMaster” that annually establishes the “safe yields” of water extracted from the groundwater basins. In the CB the Water Replenishment District of Southern California (WRD) determines how much groundwater is needed to keep the CB groundwater supplies at safe levels; this is done by the Watermaster in the MB. If we do not receive adequate amounts of rainfall to keep up with pumping demands water is purchased for groundwater recharge from costly imported sources. All of these agencies charge for their services, which are included in the City's cost of water and, hence, in our water rates.
Every project goes before the City Council a minimum of three times: Notice Inviting Bids, Award of Contract, and Notice of Completion. The City Council provides feedback and direction on all actions undertaken by staff through review of the City’s Work Plan. Additionally, the Whittier Utility Authority is also audited on a regular basis. The public is made aware of current projects through presentations like the State of the City Address, given annually by the Mayor and City Manager, and through the City’s website and social media channels. Annually, the City Council reviews the proposed budget and capital improvement program (CIP) at a publicly-agendized meeting, prior to the adoption of the budget.
We recognize that we can always do more to communicate better, which is why we’re creating this page. By combining information that might otherwise be found in multiple places, we hope to make information more transparent, more accessible, and easier to maintain. Customers may also notice additional details on their water bills, as well as information on Channel 3 and social media.
- A multi-year structure precludes the need to revisit the Proposition 218 process more frequently, reduces administrative costs, and allows our customers to plan for future costs more accurately.
- Think of the fixed service fee as a “readiness to serve” charge. Everyone pays into keeping the water system operating effectively and safely, which guarantees that the water produced can be served to each person’s property. Conversely, if a customer is charged less than it actually costs to serve that water, other customers would be subsidizing the high-conservation customer, which is a violation of Prop 218.
Friday Forum is a dance program for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students who attend a Whittier school or reside in the City of Whittier. Dances are held on the first Friday of each month at the Whittier Community Center. The dance begins at 7 p.m. and concludes at 10 p.m. The charge for the Friday Forum dance is $5 per student. Refreshments are also available for an additional charge. Space is limited, so children need to plan to arrive early. A valid school ID and signed parent permission slip are required. When the dance is over, parents/guardians need to walk into the Whittier Community Center to pick up their child. No child will be released without a parent or a guardian. Children that have not been picked up by 10:15 p.m. will be sent to the Police Station until their parents/guardian is able to pick them up. A late fee will be charged.
The Whittier Youth Network (WYN) Club is an after-school/summer drop-in recreation program for children second-fifth grade and summer ages 7-13 years. Activities include homework, arts and crafts, games, enrichment classes, sports and field trips. The cost for the program is $40 for the school year and $30 for the summer program. The program begins immediately after school each day, and at noon during the summer months. Each site has a minimum of two staff that is trained and has passed a thorough background investigation. Please contact the Community Services office at (562) 567-9450 for the nearest location.