Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Alarm Permit

    • False Alarm Ordinance

    • How does the false alarm program work?

    • What Are the Most Frequent Equipment Problems that Cause False Alarms?

    • What are the most frequent human errors that cause false alarms?

    • What can you do to reduce false alarms?

    • What does the false alarm program do?

    • What is a false alarm?

    • What is the Purpose of an Alarm System Permit?

    • Who Needs an Alarm Permit?

  • Animal Control

    • How much will my dog license be?

    • Who do I call about coyotes?

    • Tips for Living with Coyotes

    • I have lost my pet

    • I want a dead animal removed

    • I want to adopt a pet (dogs, cats & rabbits)

    • I want to report a stray dog / cat

    • I want to volunteer to work with animals

    • Where can I find Los Angeles County Code Title 10?

    • Where do I get a license for my dog / cat?

    • Where is the animal shelter?

    • Am I required to get a microchip for my dog?

    • Where can I get a microchip for my dog?

    • Will Animal Control pick up a live animal?

    • How many dogs can I have?

    • Do I have to license my cat?

  • Building & Safety

    • Do I Need to Post My Permit on a Window?

    • Do I Need Permits for Items Such as a Patio Cover, Patio Slab, Driveways, Block/Retaining Wall, Reroofs, Painting, Carpet Installations, etc.?

    • Do I Need a Permit for Play Houses and/or Storage Sheds?

    • Do All Permits Need a "Final" Inspection?

    • Do all Building Permits Need Inspections?

    • Can I Use My Garage as a Living Area?

    • Can I be my own General Contractor or Owner/Builder?

    • How do I arrange for an inspection?

    • Do you need a permit for a garage sale? What are the garage sale regulations?

    • What if My Property has a Whittier Address, but is in the Unincorporated Area?

    • How Do I Submit a Building Permit Application Form?

    • What Drawings are Required?

    • Do I Need to Pay School Fees for My Project?

    • Do I Need to Hire an Architect or Engineer for My Project?

    • What are the Public Counter Hours?

    • How Long Does My Building Permit Remain Valid?

    • Do you need a permit for a home alarm?

    • Does My Contractor Need a License?

    • How Can I Get a Building Permit Application Form?

    • How Do I Request a Building Inspection?

    • What are Construction Hours?

    • What are the City Hall Inspector’s office and field hours?

    • What do I do if I have Unpermitted Work at my Property?

    • What is required for a Pool and/or Spa?

    • What Supporting Documents Do I Need?

    • What Will the Inspector Look at for the "Final" Inspection?

    • When Do I Need a Building Permit?

    • When Do I Need a Demolition Permit?

    • When My Project is Done, What Do I Do With the Permit?

    • Who do I call if my building is in the unincorporated area, not the City of Whittier?

    • Why Do I Need a Building Permit?

  • Business

    • Does the city offer any business assistance?

    • Can I go paperless?

    • What are the hours of the Business License office?

    • What is FOG Fee?

    • What are the hours when I can reach one of the technicians or an inspector?

    • What are business license taxes used for?

    • Can I apply for a Business License online?

    • How would I request a refund for an online payment?

    • Can I have a home based business?

    • How much will my business license tax be?

    • What is California Legislative SB-1186 C (7.5)(4467)(a)(4469)/AB-1379 C (667) Statutes 2017?

    • Can I have the penalties waived?

    • What happens if I renew my business license late?

    • Why do I have to pay Uptown Association Fees?

    • What information is required on a business license application?

    • When will my business license expire?

    • Why did I receive a citation?

    • Will I receive a notice when my business license expires?

    • Where can I find help finding qualified employees for my business?

  • Certificate of Appropriateness (Demolitions)

    • Who pays for the historic resource evaluation?

    • 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?

    • Who manages the historic resource evaluation process?

    • How long does it take for a historic resource evaluation to be prepared?

  • Certificate of Appropriateness (General)

    • Is a Certificate of Appropriateness required for interior work?

    • Do I need to comply with the City’s Historic Resources Ordinance?

    • What is the difference between a “historic resource” and “vintage” building/structure?

  • Cultural Arts

    • What kinds of art programs do you offer?

    • I want to display my artwork in the City Hall lobby. How do I do that?

  • Elections

    • Can an individual run for Mayor and a Council seat?

    • Can incumbent Council Members run for Mayor?

    • Can someone deliver my nomination paper to the City Clerk for me?

    • How do I become a registered voter in Whittier?

    • How often does the City Council meet?

    • If I submit a voluntary candidate's statement and I change my mind, may I withdraw the statement?

    • Is the City Council position paid?

    • Is there a fee for my candidate's statement?

    • Is there a filing fee involved for my candidacy?

    • May I change or correct the wording or spelling on my candidate's statement after submission?

    • What are the eligibility requirements to run for Whittier City Council?

    • What district do I live in?

    • What happens if I change my mind about running for office after filing the nomination paper?

    • What if some of the signatures I obtain on my nomination paper are not registered voters or do not live within the City limits?

    • What is the deadline for registering to vote?

    • Where can I call for more information and will they speak Spanish?

    • Where can I get a copy of the voting districts map?

    • Where can I obtain information on elections?

    • Who can sign my nomination paper?

    • Why is Whittier now voting by districts?

  • Emergency Information

    • Can I get Earthquake preparedness material in Spanish?

    • What opportunities are there for citizens to get involved in Emergency Response/ Preparedness?

  • Employment

    • What positions do you have available?

    • Where can I find information on City of Whittier employee salaries?

    • Where can I find detailed information about a job listing?

    • Where can I get an employment application?

    • Can I fax my employment application to you?

  • General

    • When are the Council meetings/Planning Commission meetings shown on CableTV?

    • Who do I talk to regarding filming in the City of Whittier? Do I need a film permit if I’m a student?

    • How do I set up a tour of City Hall for my classroom or Girl Scout/Boy Scout Troop?

    • Who is our City Attorney?

    • How do I talk to/reach a Council Member? Is the City Council in the office (i.e. City Hall) during the day?

    • What do I need to do to put something on the Channel 3 message board?

    • Who do I talk to regarding the Cable Television franchise?

    • Which cable company serves Whittier and what are the service parameters?

    • Is it possible to have the curb in front of my home or business painted?

    • How can I serve the City?

    • My water has odor/discoloration/sediment. Who do I report these types of problems to?

    • How can I become a Council Member? How can I become the Mayor?

    • I would like to re-landscape or make improvements within my parkway. Do I need City approval?

    • How do I register to vote?

    • Where does my property line begin?

    • Can you tell me when the Commissions meet?

    • How can I become a Board and Commission member?

    • Does the City do a Certificate for an Eagle Scout or Girl Scout Gold or Silver Award?

    • Who provides the U.S. Passport Acceptance Service?

    • Who can I call for information on services and resources in the Whittier Community?

    • Where can I view information regarding property taxes in the Los Angeles County area?

    • Where can I find information about the members of the City Council?

    • What is the City's official flower?

    • What is required for a passport for children under 16?

    • I'm replacing my existing driveway approach; do I need to obtain a permit?

    • I would like to request a Proclamation or Certificate of Commendation. Who do I talk to?

    • How long is a banner permit good for?

    • How long does it take to get my Passport?

    • How do I report an abandoned shopping cart?

    • ¿Quién puede firmar mi papel de nominación?

    • Can I request a DVD of a City Council or Planning Commision Meeting?

    • What is the parkway area in front of my property?

  • Housing Assistance

    • What is the Section 8 Housing Assistance Program?

    • Does the City of Whittier have Section 8?

    • How can I get information regarding the Section 8 program?

    • How does the process for the Section 8 program work?

    • How long does the entire Section 8 process take?

  • Landmark Designation

    • What is the difference between local, state and federal landmark designation?

    • Would local historic landmark designation mean that I would not be able to build onto my home or make exterior repairs to my house?

    • Does the City regulate the interior of historic landmark buildings?

    • Can the City assign historic landmark designation to a property without the property owner’s consent?

    • 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?

    • Does historic landmark designation increase the regulatory requirements for a property?

    • 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?

  • Marriage Licenses, Certificates, Voting & Legal

    • When is the next election?

    • I want to get divorced.

    • I need a passport.

    • I need a marriage license.

    • I need a copy of a marriage, birth or death certificate.

    • How do I get a copy of a city document?

    • How can I see all the municipal laws?

    • How and where do I register to vote?

  • Mineral Extraction Information

    • When will this project commence construction?

    • What did the Court of Appeal decide regarding the litigation on this project?

    • Won’t the oil project change the visual appearance of the hills with oil pumps dotting the hills?

    • How can Whittier residents be assured the Whittier hills won’t have oil wells dotting the hills one day in the future?

    • How is the oil project proposed to be developed and operated?

    • Won’t this oil project allow the dangerous practice of fracking?

    • What measures are required by the project to benefit the Whittier Hills habitat?

    • What adverse impacts would the project have on the environment?

    • Won’t this project remove much of the site from recreational use available to the public?

    • Why has the City considered pursuing this oil project?

  • Parking Permits

    • How can I purchase a parking permit for the multi-deck parking structure at 6721 Bright Ave.?

    • How can I get Preferential Parking District permit?

    • How can I get a surface lot parking permit?

  • Parks & Recreation

    • Can I reserve the park, tables, or a room for a private party?

    • How do I rent a room or facility for my event?

    • Can I get a permit for a moon bounce?

    • Can I get married in the park?

    • Can I take pictures in the park?

    • How do I get my parkway tree trimmed?

    • Can I have my City tree removed?

    • Can you give me information on the Skate Park?

    • Where is Whittier Narrows Nature Center and Park? Where is Legg Lake?

    • Where can I get trail maps for the Whittier Hills?

    • What is the Greenway Trail? Where can I find out more about it?

    • How can I get a brochure and/or sign up for classes?

    • Are scholarships available?

    • What Therapeutic Recreation programs does the City offer?

    • How do I volunteer?

    • If I live in Whittier why don’t I get the discount for classes?

    • What are the swimming pool hours at Palm Park?

  • Passport

    • What is required to obtain a U.S. passport for adults?

    • What is required for a passport for children under 16?

    • What if I am not a U. S. citizen?

    • What if I need my Passport sooner than the Expedited Service delivery date?

    • What if my valid passport has been lost or stolen?

    • What is acceptable proof of identification?

    • What is acceptable proof of U.S. Citizenship?

    • When can I apply for a U.S. Passport at the Whittier Central Library?

    • Where can I obtain a Certified Birth Certificate?

    • Where do I get the photographs?

    • Who provides the U.S. Passport Acceptance Service?

  • Permits & Licenses

    • How do I obtain a massage permit?

    • What if my business involves retail sales?

    • May I put up a sign?

    • What if I’m using a fictitious name for my business name?

    • What if I want to operate my business from my home?

    • Is the business license transferable?

    • Do I have to display my business license?

    • What if I have more than one location in Whittier?

    • What if my business is located in the unincorporated area of Whittier?

    • Do I need a physical address for my business?

    • I want to apply for a business license. Can I download an application form from your web site?

    • Do I need to come in person to apply?

    • When is a business license required?

  • Planning

    • What are the hours when I can reach one of the counter technicians or an inspector?

  • Police

    • How can I learn about crime that has occurred in my neighborhood?

    • How do I pay for a parking ticket?

    • What is the address and phone number of the Whittier Police Department?

    • What are the hours of the public counter at the Whittier Police Department?

    • How do I pay for a traffic citation I received from a Whittier Police Officer?

  • Police Careers

    • What can you tell me about your field training program?

    • What kind of work schedule does the Whittier Police Department maintain?

    • How long is your probationary period?

    • What kind of medical insurance does the City of Whittier provide and how much does it cost?

    • How do officers get selected for special teams?

    • How do officers get selected to work Whittier or Santa Fe Springs?

    • What can you tell me about the report writing process?

    • What is the top-to-bottom sworn command chain at Whittier Police Department?

    • Do you have air support?

    • Do officers have terrorism protective equipment?

    • Does the Whittier Police Department investigate homicides?

    • Does the Whittier Police Department handle CSI?

    • Where do you book prisoners and how lengthy is the process?

    • Which courthouse is used for Whittier Police Department cases?

    • Do you have a SWAT team?

    • Do you have MDCs in the patrol units?

    • Does the Whittier Police Department provide continued training to officers?

    • Do you have a substation in Santa Fe Springs?

    • Do you have gym at the station?

    • Do you have a Baker to Vegas team?

    • Do you have a tuition reimbursement program?

  • Public Transportation

    • Where can I get a Dial-a-Ride card?

    • Where can I purchase a Metro bus pass?

    • Do you have information on the area bus routes?

  • Research and Archives

    • I need to research the City’s policies. Where do I begin?

    • How can I locate information about my family history?

    • How can I view/purchase the video of a Council Meeting?

    • Do you have birth, marriage and death records?

  • Seniors

    • How old do you have to be to join the Senior Center?

    • How much is membership at the Senior Center?

    • May I have information on the special events at the Senior Center?

    • Who do I see if I want to volunteer in the Community Services Division or Senior Center?

  • Street Sweeping

    • Are parking restrictions for street sweeping enforced on holidays?

    • How do we carry-out this service?

    • How do I go about having "No Parking" signs posted?

    • Why do I have to submit a petition?

    • What happens after the PTC approves my request?

  • Utility Fees - General Info

    • How can I get additional information on the water fee increase?

    • When and where was the public hearing be to consider changes to water fees?

    • How was the public notified about the proposed fee increases?

    • When and how are new utility fees adopted?

    • When will the fees take effect?

    • How can I protest the proposed fees?

  • Utility Fees - Sewer

    • How is the sewer fee calculated?

    • How much will the Sewer Fee increase?

    • I don’t see a sewer fee on my water/solid waste bill. How do I pay the sewer fee?

    • My property is on a septic tank. Am I still charged a sewer fee?

    • What does the Sewer Fee fund?

    • How do I qualify for the sewer discount?

  • Utility Fees - Solid Waste

    • Will solid waste fees increase in fiscal year 2018-19?

    • Who is servicing my residence/business with solid waste collection and recycling services?

    • Do I qualify for a solid waste collection discount? How do I apply?

  • Utility Fees - Water

    • Why is the service fee on my water bill so high compared to the usage rate?

    • How do Whittier water service fees compare to other local water purveyors?

    • The City of Whittier does not supply my water. I am served by a private water company. Will my fees still increase?

    • What water infrastructure repairs have been made and how much has been spent?

    • How is my water fee calculated?

    • Will water fees increase this year? How much?

    • Why do water fees increase every year?

    • What repairs still need to be done, and what is the projected cost?

    • Are there other funds that can help alleviate some of the costs?

    • Do I qualify for a low income water discount? How do I apply?

  • Water Rate Information

    • How do other cities compare?

    • Who monitors the City’s progress on projects and reviews proposed actions related to water?

    • How does new development in the City of Whittier affect rates?

    • Why have I seen brown water from time to time? How does the City test water quality?

    • What water projects are currently funded by the City?

    • What is the Water Rate Study?

    • Has the City pursued state or federal funding to support the infrastructure improvements instead of increasing rates?

    • Has the City Council considered the impact that higher rates may have on residents with a fixed income?

    • Why do I have to pay a fixed service fee that benefits other people if I consume less water?

    • How does consumption and conservation affect my water payments?

    • Why have I seen different billing units in various examples of the water rate structure?

    • Does my water bill pay for employee salaries?

    • What does my water bill pay (and not pay) for?

    • Where does Whittier get its water from?

  • Youth Programs

    • Can you tell me about WYN CLUB?

    • Can you give me information on Friday Forum?