Complaint Process

When you Might File a Complaint

If you believe that someone else in Pismo Beach is violating some zoning standard - for example, by building a high fence, running a business with employees from a home, paving a front yard, installing large signs on a roof - you may file a complaint.


Discuss the issue with a planner. You may learn that there is no violation, or that steps are already being taken to correct the situation. If the problem still appears to be a violation, you may submit your concern using Pismo Pulse, an easy way to send your questions, complaints and compliments directly to the city staff person who can help you.

What Happens Next

The complaint is reviewed by the Planning Department and given to a planner to investigate. The planner investigates the complaint, normally within ten days of receipt, and determines if it is valid. If not, the planner will inform you, in writing or by telephone or electronic mail, that there is no basis for complaint, no action will be taken. The file is closed.

If the complaint is valid, the planner will request compliance of the offending party:
  • 1st Notification: By letter or telephone call. Includes date for action to correct, usually 10 to 15 working days. If the violation is not corrected or the appropriate steps taken within that time period, the planner will send out a 2nd letter.
  • 2nd Notification: By letter gives date for action, usually 5 working days, notes that any further delays will result in referral to City Attorney for action. If the violation is still not corrected (or, for example, a building permit applied for to correct the violation), a 3rd notice is sent.
  • 3rd Notification: Last chance to comply before referral to the City Attorney. Action is required by a specific date, usually five days. A copy of the letter is sent to the City Attorney. If no action is taken by this deadline, the file is forwarded to the City Attorney for further action.