At long last, the City of Long Beach has announced staffing and a phone number to call for suspected un-permitted construction work on Saturdays. This is wonderful news for Historic Districts in Long Beach. In all Historic Districts a Certificate of Appropriateness is required for any construction work on your home, including changing windows and exterior painting. The Certificate of Appropriateness (C of A) is in addition to any necessary building permits. Most of us have seen the contractors roll into the neighborhood late on a Friday afternoon and work furiously all weekend to install vinyl windows, un-permitted fences and incorrect hardscape to name but a few violations. Until now, there was no one we could contact to report the problem until Monday morning and that was usually too late to stop the problem. It is frustrating for residents who follow the rules and respect the ordinance of our Historic District to see violators skirt the rules and chip away at the historic fabric of our beautiful neighborhood. There is also the worry of sub-standard construction work that is not up to code, since no inspections occur.
Now we have a phone number, 562-570-0000, that we can call on Saturdays from 7:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M to report any suspected un-permitted work. The report is anonymous. You just need to provide an address and the type of work that is happening. This number and service will supplement the regular Code Enforcement. During the week, you can call 562-570-CODE (2633) or go to the website at www.lbcode.org. If Code Enforcement finds that no building permit or C of A was issued, they will issue a Stop Work Order to pause any construction activity until the proper C of A and permits have been issued. If they fail to comply, this will result in administration citation fines and possible referral to the City Prosecutor’s Office.
Historic District residents in Long Beach have long been frustrated by the lack of enforcement of the Historic District Ordinances. In working through Code Enforcement, we now have the necessary manpower and tools to stop the un-permitted work and force compliance with the guidelines.
You can find out more about obtaining building permits and Certificates of Appropriateness at www.longbeach.gov or 562-570-6194.