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City Manager FAQs

I am having a dispute with my neighbor who has weeds, junk in their yard, or an illegal business.

Please contact Code Enforcement at 778-4469 or via email ( or via their online form.

Where can I get legal advice?

If you  need assistance with a legal matter in Sonoma County, please visit Sonoma County Community Services for information or the Sonoma County Bar Association for a referral. The City Attorney’s Office does not, and cannot, represent members of the public or offer them advice.

What does the City Attorney’s Office do?

The City Attorney’s Office is responsible for providing, coordinating and managing the provisions of all of the City’s legal service needs. The office provides legal services and support for the City Council, all City subordinate bodies (commissions and committees), the City Manager, Assistant City Manager and all City departments.

What happens if my driver’s license is suspended as a result driving under the influence?

You will receive an Order of Suspension/Revocation from the officer. If you hold a valid California driver license, the officer will pick it up and send it to DMV. The Order of Suspension/Revocation serves as a temporary license which expires 30 days from its issue date. Then the suspension/revocation action goes into effect.

The temporary license does not allow you to drive if you do not have a valid California driver license or there is another driver license action in effect.

Learn More

What are my rights as a victim of a crime?

You have rights as a victim.  Marsy’s Law assured that.  Learn more.


Can I be compensated as a victim of a crime?

By law, qualifying victims of crime may receive financial assistance for losses resulting from a crime when these losses cannot be reimbursed by other sources. The State Board of Control (Board), Victims of Crime Program (Program), administers California’s Crime Victim Compensation Program.  Learn More.

When do I need a Park Rental Permit

You will need to obtain a permit from Parks & Rec (and pay a fee) if you want to use a park for an event that involves:

  • Organized activity in which 20 or more persons are expected to participate or attend
  • Having exclusive use of an area
  • The event is publicized prior to the date of the activity
  • For the sale of goods
  • Activity involving the use of amplified sound
  • Activity involving the placement of structure, stages or booths
  • Use of alcohol
  • Requires special City Services

Read the Park Rental Book for more info or contact Parks and Recreation Services by email at or by phone at 707.778.4380.

When do I need to install sprinklers?

All new residential and commercial construction requires the installation of fire sprinklers. Some existing buildings, both residential and commercial, without fire sprinklers may require a fire sprinkler retrofit as a result of major remodels, additions or renovations. There are exceptions for some Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU). Detailed fire sprinkler requirements can be found here.

Where can I learn CPR?

The Petaluma Fire Dept. does not offer CPR classes. However, the Petaluma Health Care District offers training and classes for CPR, AED, and other lifesaving skills, through its HealthQuest program. Go to the PHCD website for upcoming classes, or call Tami Bender, Healthquest CPR Program Manager, by phone (707-766-9226) or email.

Why does a fire engine respond to medical aids with an ambulance?

Many times a fire engine with medically trained firefighters can arrive much faster than an ambulance. Thus,  lifesaving treatment immediately. Firefighters on an engine also respond with the ambulance to ensure there are personnel available to assist not just with the patient but also to manage other hazards that may be associated with the incident. Many times medical aids are not as straight forward as dealing with just one patient and we don’t know the extent of the incident until we arrive on scene.

Why do firefighters take the fire engine grocery shopping?

Firefighters make their own meals in the fire house and therefore need to shop groceries. This is an on duty activity which means when an emergency is dispatched we drop everything and respond no matter where we are and we need to have the fire engine with us.

How do I get a copy of the fire code?

Petaluma enforces the current California Fire Code. Amendments to this code adopted into local law can be found in the Petaluma Municipal Code.

Where do I place smoke and carbon monoxide alarms?

Smoke alarms should be placed as follows:

  • one in each bedroom
  • one in the hallway or common area serving the bedrooms
  • in multi-story homes a smoke alarm shall be placed on each level.
  • one carbon monoxide alarm shall be located on each level of the home.

Refer to the manufacturer’s installation instructions for the placement of individual smoke or carbon monoxide alarms.

Where do I get sandbags before a flood event?

 During some flood events sand and sandbags are made available from an unmanned station located at the end of Hopper Street.  Shovels are provided for you to bag your own sand.

How do I make a lead paint abatement complaint?

Poisoning because of lead paint is a serious issue. If you suspect a lead paint hazard in your home or business, please contact the Fire Prevention Bureau to learn about safe abatement procedures and complaint options. You can contact Fire Prevention via phone (707-778-4389), email ( or in person at 22 Basset Street, adjacent to City Hall.

For more information about lead paint, go to the EPA’s web page on the topic.

How do I make a smoke nuisance complaint?

Smoke nuisance complaints are handled by the Bay Area Air Quality Management Board (BAAQMD).

What is a business license inspection and how do I schedule one?

As part of the business license process, the City’s Fire Prevention and Building Divisions need to inspect your business to ensure that you business meets minimum requirements for safety and emergency access. To schedule a business license inspection, call (707) 781-1201 or send email to bizcheck@cityof

You can prepare for the inspection by reviewing this checklist of items.

Is my house in a high fire hazard zone?

To find out whether your residence or business is located in a high fire hazard zone, review the City’s High Fire Hazard Severity Zone map.

How do I make a weed abatement complaint?

Fill out and submit the Weed Abatement Complaint form online. Or download the paper form then submit to the Fire Prevention Bureau in person or by mail (22 Basset Street), or via email to

When do I need a fire department permit?

There are two types of fire department permits: Construction and Operational.

Construction permits are needed for the installation of fire protection systems (such as fire sprinklers) and high-piled storage systems and for construction that involves hazardous materials and processes.

Operational permits are required for certain business types or business activities, such as businesses involving hazardous materials or hazardous operations, day care and residential care facilities, tent installations, tire storage, and other uses.

To clarify whether you’ll need a permit and which kind you’ll need, contact Fire Prevention Bureau via email at or by phone (707-778-4389).

How do I register for Domestic Partnership?

The City of Petaluma’s Domestic Partnership Registry allows unmarried couples to formally declare and record their self-described status as domestic partners and to obtain written certification. Review the Domestic Partnership page and registration forms below. 

Domestic Partnership Form 

Domestic Partnership Termination Form

How do I submit a Public Records request?

To request City Public Records, please complete the Request for Public Records Form online. Or download and print the paper form, then complete and return to the City Clerk in person or by postal mail (11 English Street, Petaluma, CA 94952) or by email to Turnaround times and copying charges are listed on the form.

How do I access City records and documents?

You can search, browse, and read documents in the City’s archives using the City’s online records management system.

Where are the City’s dog park or dog run areas located and what are the hours?

Check out our dog park map then read the dog run flyer to find out more about hours, location, and rules related to City-run dog parks/dog runs.

How do I serve on a City Board, Commission, or Committee

Appointments to the City’s 15 citizen boards, commissions, and committees are made annually in June. The recruitment process begins in mid-May. Read the info sheet about serving on City Boards, Commissions, and Committees to learn more. You can also download the Board, Commission & Committee Application, as well as supplemental questions for the Planning Commission.

What benefits does the City of Petaluma offer?

The City of Petaluma offers benefits, including but not limited to health, dental, vision, life insurance, and employee assistance, flexible spending, and deferred compensation programs. The City participates in the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) to provide retirement and health benefits.

Where can I find a salary schedule for jobs with the City of Petaluma?

We frequently update our salary schedule to reflect applicable changes throughout the year

Can I submit an application for a position that isn’t currently available?

Applications can be submitted only for open recruitments for the classification being recruited. You can submit an “interest card” via our page on to be notified by email when we begin recruiting for a position in an area you are interested in, within one year.

Can I submit a resume in lieu of an application or supplemental questionnaire?

Resumes typically required as part of an application but they are not be accepted in lieu of a completed application. Another thing to keep in mind: when you submit an application, be sure to provide answers to the supplemental questions and any other information required. Do not state “see resume” as a response to a supplemental question or request for other information (such as list of certifications). This is considered an incomplete response and would invalidate your application.  

How do I apply for a job with the City of Petaluma?

All open recruitments are posted online on our career page located at

What recreation classes do you offer?

View the Activity Guide and sign up for all Parks & Rec registration activities at our Parks & Rec registration website. 

What Summer Camps do you offer and how do I register my child?

View the Activity Guide and sign up for all Parks & Rec registration activities at our online Parks & Rec website.

Does the City have an adult sports league?

Yes, Petaluma offers adult sports year-round. For more info, check out our adult sports website, Team Sideline.

Does the City offer Paratransit services?

The City has its own Transit division, which offers regular bus service as well as specialized transportation, called Paratransit, for individuals who do not have the functional ability to ride public transit.

There are eligibility requirements to ride Partransit. Please visit the City’s Paratransit website, or call (707) 541-7180 or TDD (707) 541-7184, for more information and to request an application and interview.

Petaluma Paratransit operates generally within the city limits of Petaluma, regardless of the existence (or lack) of Petaluma Transit (PT) fixed route service. It also includes areas outside the city limits that are within a ¾ mile of an active PT fixed route.


Does Petaluma have a Senior Center? What are the hours?

The City of Petaluma’s Senior Center is a great place for seniors and active adults to socialize, learn, and play. The Center is located at 211 Novak Street in Petaluma, which borders on Luchessi park. Membership is $30 per year and includes a newsletter mailed to you each month.

To learn more, pick up a copy of our Activity Guide at the Lucchessi Community Center or view online. Or, contact Sandra Kraus, the Senior Center program manager, at 707-778-4349 or

How do I get a ride to the Senior Center, if I don’t drive?

There are several resources in Petaluma that offer free or low-cost transportation:

Petaluma Transit has bus stops on North McDowell Avenue and Maria Drive, which may be within walking distance for some seniors.  Visit the Transit website or call 707-778-4460 for more info.

Petaluma Transit also offers Paratransit services for qualified riders. You must apply and be deemed eligible. Visit the Transit website for more info or call (707) 541-7180 to receive an application and schedule an interview.

Petaluma People Services Center (PPSC) offers free rides to seniors through its iRide program. Contact PPSC via phone (707-765-8488) for more info.

What are City pool hours and aquatic programs?

The City has two pools: our Swim Center at 900 East Washington and our pool at the Cavanagh Center, at 426 Eighth Street.

For info about hours, programs, and facilities, visit our Petaluma swim website.

What are the Tiny Tot preschool hours and how can I sign up my child?

For a description of our Tiny Tot preschool program and guidance on how to sign up, read our Tiny Tot Info Guide.

How do I reserve a picnic area or bbq at a park?

Follow the directions and guidelines in the City’s Park Reservation Book.

How do I rent a room at the Petaluma Community Center, or another facility?

For info about City facilities rentals and an application, go to our Facilities Rental Book.

How do I rent a City Athletic Field?

Get info about Field availability, fees, as well as how submit a rental request in our Field Rental Book.

What is an Encroachment Permit and how do I get one?

The City needs to assure safety and accessibility on all public property and right-of-way, such as streets and sidewalks.  For that reason, it requires an encroachment permit any time a property owner, service provider, business, construction company needs to use part of the sidewalk, street, or other public right-of-way. You’d need an encroachment permit for:

  • Dumpsters, scaffolding, storage bins or other structures placed on a sidewalk or in the street (e.g., for a construction project or a move)
  • Outdoor dining, furniture, and awnings for a restaurant
  • Installing a bike rack (near your business, for example)
  • Construction on or repair of sidewalks or streets
  • Underground utility work
  • Tree trimming or removal
  • Transporting a wide load (transportation permit)

To get an encroachment permit or to ask if you need one, contact the Encroachment Permit Counter by phone (707-778-4303, option 6); email (; or in person at 11 English Street (East wing, lower basement floor). Download an encroachment permit application here.

I need info about Turning Basin and Marina.

Info about the Turning Basin and Marina can be found in our Turning Basin/Mooring FAQs document.

What types of trees can I plant in or near my sidewalk?

See the City’s Approved Trees List.

How do I report a clogged storm drain?

To report a clogged storm drain, contact the Public Works & Utilities Department at (707) 778-4546 or submit a storm drain report online or via our mobile app (search in Apple Store or Goole for engagEPetaluma)

Is fluoride added to the water?

The City of Petaluma does not add fluoride to its water.

Why is the water cloudy?

Cloudy water is caused by air bubbles in the water and is completely harmless. You can tell if it is air if the cloudiness clears first from the bottom of a glass with the small air bubbles moving up towards the surface.

If you’d like, you can draw tap water into a bottle/glass and store it in your fridge or let it sit in an open container until the bubbles naturally disappear. It takes only a few minutes for the air bubbles to clear.

What can I do about air in my water pipes?

Sometimes air enters the water pipes when the water service has been interrupted due to repairs.

To release air from your water pipes:

  • Run cold water for several minutes in order to release air and remove debris from the system
  • Use bathtub faucets and hose bibs when possible for flushing your system, as they generally have a larger capacity and do not have aerator screens to trap debris.
  • Clean faucet screens to remove debris that might clog the water fixture.

Why is my water brown?

Occasionally the tap water in your home may look brown. Discolored water is the result of the minerals and iron in the water main being stirred up from increased water pressure.  Discolored water is SAFE to drink and does not pose a health risk.  The main causes of brown/discolored water are:

  • Work being done on the water system
  • Water main flushing
  • An unexpected event like a water main break

If you find dirty water in your home or business, you should not use any hot water.  Run the cold water in the bathtub or outside hose bib for a minute or two, until the water runs clear.

How do I replace the sewer lines on my property?

Replacing the sewer lateral line on your property benefits you and the City. It can significantly reduce your monthly sewer costs as well as reduce sewage back-ups on your property. Improving the way sewage is collected on your property helps the system as a whole, which is good for the City and its sewer customers.

The City offers a Sewer Lateral Replacement grant program to help you offset the costs of this replacement. Read the brochure to learn more and/or download the application.

What type of water conservation rebates does the City offer?

The City’s Water Resources and Conservation Program provides rebates for installing high-flow toilets and washing machines, and for replacing your lawn with mulch. For more info, visit  

How do I check for water leaks or report a water leak?

Read our Water Leaks Tip Sheet for info. Or get help from a trained technician during a FREE Water-Wise House Call. To schedule, call (707) 778-4507 or visit

If you suspect a “non-emergency” water leak in the street or at the meter, please call (707) 778-4546 for assistance. If it is an emergency, please call 911. Water Resources & Conservation staff is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to emergencies.


How do I report water waste?

If you observe water waste, please either call our Water Conservation Hotline at (707) 778-4507, or use our online reporting form

How do I pay my water/sewer bill? 

Water/Sewer/Storm bills can be paid in person or by mail (Finance Department at City Hall, 11 English Street), or online at Payment drop-boxes are available at City Hall to submit payment when City Hall is closed.

How do I report abandoned furniture, shopping carts, or other items dumped on streets?

Contact the Public Works & Utilities Department at (707) 778-4303, email or submit a report online or via the EngagePetaluma mobile app (download engagEPetaluma in Apple Store or Google).

How I report a parks maintenance issue?

Contact the Public Works & Utilities Department at (707) 778-4303, email or submit a report online or via the EngagePetaluma mobile app (download engagEPetaluma in Apple Store or Google).

How do I schedule a D Street Bridge opening?

The D Street Bridge spans D Street where the Petaluma River flows into the Turning Basin. The City needs to open the bridge for vessels wanting access to the Turning Basin, including access to the Petaluma Yacht Club.

Call: (707) 778-4303
Online: Bridge Opening Request form:
Mobile App

Notice Required
6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., at least 4 hours notice
6:00 p.m. – 6:00 a.m. – at least 24 hours notice required



What is the street sweeping schedule?

Street sweeping and garbage service is not handled by the city of Petaluma. Please contact Recology, the garbage and sweet sweeping service provider, at  (800) 243-0291 or visit the Recology website.

How do I report a street-related problem?

Contact the Public Works & Utilities Department for street-related problems (see the list below). Call (707) 778-4303, send email to or submit a service report to or through our citizen request site.

Street-related problems include:

  • Broken/burned out streetlight
  • Broken traffic signal or crosswalk,
  • Pothole
  • Overgrown vegetation.


How does the City decide which streets to re-pave?

The City’s approach is to maintain and repair roads rather than re-pave them altogether. We prioritize to prevent streets in good to fair condition to poor or failed condition. This allows the City to make the best use of our paving funds.

To report a street in failed condition or to report a pot-hole, contact the Public Works & Utilities Department through the CitizenEngage app. Call (707) 778-4303 or send email to


How does the City fund street repair?

Street maintenance and improvement monies come into the City from a number of sources, each restricted for specific uses.

  • Federal funds – allowed only for specific types of work on specific streets;
  • Redevelopment funds – for reconstruction only on streets within the redevelopment are (PCDC) when determined by City Council to assist in removing blight;
  • Gas tax – to be used for road repair and maintenance, rehabilitation or reconstruction; the amount the City receives is based on taxes received;
  • Other grants.

Many of the roadway reconstructions you see around town are either related to utility work or funded through federal funds.  The federal funds come with restrictions on how and where the work can be done.

The City recently received funds from Senate Bill 1 which is called Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Account (RMRA) for Fiscal Year 2018 – 2019. The City uses the Street Saver pavement management system to evaluate road conditions and prioritize maintenance and rehabilitation projects.  We are currently looking into incorporating a larger project into our five year plan.

Who is responsible for street trees?

The owner of the property fronting the tree is responsible for maintenance of trees in the planter strip between the sidewalk and the street. All vegetation in the public right of way must be property maintained by the property owner to allow safe and unobstructed passages of pedestrians and traffic. Vegetation clearance should be 8-foot vertical clearance on sidewalks and 13-foot vertical clearance on streets.

See Petaluma Municipal Code, Chapter 13.10, for information about street tree maintenance.

How do I report a damaged or hazardous sidewalk?

To report a damaged and/or hazardous sidewalk, call Public Works at (707) 778-4303; send email to; or submit a report through our Citizen Request app, EngagEPetaluma.

Who is responsible for sidewalk repair/maintenance?

The owner of the property fronting the sidewalk is responsible for maintaining the sidewalk, curb, gutter and planting strip in a non-hazardous condition. Although the City of Petaluma has an easement to allow safe pedestrian access, it is not responsible for maintenance and repair. Property owners are potentially liable for personal injuries caused by their failure to maintain reasonably safe sidewalks. Repairing your sidewalk may reduce your potential liability.

Note: Sidewalk Repairs require an encroachment permit, which can be obtained from the Encroachment Permit Counter in the lower floor at the City Hall, 11 English Street. For more information, call 707-778-4303 or send email to

How do I report illegal dumping down a storm drain?

Contact the Ellis Creek Water Recycling Facility at (707) 776-3777 if you see or hear about anyone dumping anything into a storm drain. This might include include liquids left over from a restaurant or food/beverage manufacturing facility; dirty water from a construction site; holding tanks from campers or other recreation vehicles; motor oil; and household items or other trash.


What is a storm drain and what can I put into it?

Storm drain systems help prevent flooding by diverting rainwater off the streets and other paved surfaces and into a natural body of water, such as a stream or ocean.  

Storm drains are meant for rainwater only. Unlike the City sewer system, the storm drain system does not include a treatment or cleaning component.  Consequently, anything that’s hosed down a driveway, poured down a gutter, or dumped into a culvert goes untreated through the system — eventually poisoning the wildlife and plants in our creeks, streams, and the Bay.  

How is recycled water used?

In Petaluma, recycled water is used to irrigate crops, vineyards, and large landscaped areas such as golf courses, athletic fields, and parks. It also can be used to create or replenish wetlands and wildlife sanctuaries.  Recycled water signs are placed in areas where recycled water is used.

How do I report a lost pet?

Contact North Bay Animal Services at 707-762-6227 to File a Lost Animal Report. 

How do I schedule a tour of the Ellis Creek Water Recycling Facility?

Operator-led tours of the Ellis Creek Water Recycling Facility are available Monday through Friday, by appointment. Call (707) 776-3777 to schedule. You can take a self-guided tour of the facility’s outdoor features, such as the reclamation ponds, along the four miles of walking trails adjacent to the facility. 


How do I report an injured animal?

Call North Bay Animal Services at 707-762-6227. If their office is closed, a message on their answering machine will direct you to next steps.

How do I report a barking dog or other pet concern?

Call North Bay Animal Services at 707-762-6227. If the office is not open, listen to message on their answering machine for after-hours direction. 

How do I get a dog license?

North Bay Animal Services handles licensing for the City of Petaluma. Go to the Petaluma dog license page on their website for more info.  

Does the city have an animal shelter?

The City contracts with North Bay Animal Services to run an animal shelter at 840 Hopper Street. Go to the North Bay Animal Services website for info about hours of operation, directions, and other info.

How can I find out what happened at the City Council Meeting?

Go to the City’s Meetings page, where you can view streaming video of past Council meetings and/or download Council-approved staff reports.




How do I contact the Mayor and City Council?

See the City Council Roster City Council Roster for contact information.

How can I express my views to the City Council?

The City Council wants to hear from community members. To make sure that your input is part of the public record, it’s important to express your views by speaking during the Public Comment periods at a City Council meeting (Open Session); and/or by writing a letter that can be sent by email, postal mail, or dropped off at the City Clerk’s office.

Public Comment: Public Comment for items not on the agenda takes place at the beginning of the Council meeting. Public Comment on agendized Items takes place before each item on the agenda.  If you wish to speak, you must fill out a Speaker Card (available at the rear of the Council Chambers) and give it to the City Clerk before the Public Comment period starts. Each speaker has three minutes (per Public Comment period)) to express his/her views. If you wish to make an audio/video presentation during Public Comment, please contact the City Clerk’s office.

In Writing: Letters to City Council can be mailed to or dropped off at the City Clerk’s office, 11 English Street, Petaluma, CA, 94952. You can send email to Council Members individually, as a Council, or in care of the City Clerk.  

How can I find out what will be discussed at the next Council Meeting?

The Council Agenda and Staff Reports are posted on the City of Petaluma Meetings page, six days prior to the next regularly-scheduled Council meeting. Free printed copies of the agenda are also available from the Office of the City Clerk, located at 11 English Street. The City Clerk’s office is also available to answer questions, in person at 11 English Street, by phone (707-778-4360), or by email,  

When and where are the City Council Meetings?

The City Council meets regularly on the first and third Mondays of each month. Closed Session, which is not open to the public, is generally scheduled for 6:00 p.m. Open Session, which is open to the public, is typically held at 6:45 p.m. The meetings are held at City Hall, 11 English Street, in the Council Chambers.


What does the City Clerk do?



The City Clerk is in charge of putting on elections, managing City records, and coordinating all aspects of City Council meetings (including agendas, public comment, and technical support). Many of the Clerk’s duties are prescribed by Federal, State, and local laws., either in general terms (e.g., the Clerk must have a system for managing records) or specific terms (e.g., the Clerk must respond to a public records request in a certain way and in a certain number of days).  To learn more about City Clerks and their important role in government, go to the City Clerks Association of California website at

What are Petaluma’s laws about smoking in multi-tenant dwellings (like apartment buildings)? How do I file a smoking-related complaint?

Petaluma has a smoking ordinance that restricts smoking in multi-tenant dwellings as well as public spaces. Refer to the Municipal Code Section 8.20 for details. To file a smoking-related complaint, please contact the City Clerk’s office in person or by postal mail (11 English Street, Petaluma, CA, 94952) or by email (  

How do I file a housing complaint or understand my rights as a tenant?

Contact the Fair Housing Program at Petaluma People Services Center (PPSC) by phone (707) 765-8488, email (, or in person at 1500A Petaluma Blvd S.  More info is available at PPSC’s website, Note: the City does not provide legal advice about housing issues.

Does Petaluma have a rent control ordinance?

No, Petaluma does not have a rent control ordinance.  However, we do have a rent stabilization ordinance that covers mobile home parks.  Contact the City’s Housing Manager, Sue Castellucci, (707.778.4555) if you have a mobile home rent question.

How do I apply for Section 8 vouchers?

Sonoma County Housing Authority manages the Section 8 voucher program for all of Sonoma County, including Petaluma.  Please call (707) 565-7500 or visit their website.

How do I find out if there are any affordable housing vacancies in Petaluma?

You need to call each of the affordable housing developments in Petaluma to learn if there are vacancies. Refer to the list of affordable housing developments for contact information.  Be sure to check eligibility requirements and consider putting your name on a waiting list if there are no vacancies currently.

How do I get help if I am homeless?

Contact the Committee on the Shelterless (COTS), at 707-765-6530 or  COTS manages Petaluma’s two homeless shelters (the adults-only Mary Isaak Center and the Family Shelter) and can refer you to an array of services, including housing.  

Another resource is the County’s Coordinated Entry System, which matches people experiencing homelessness with available housing and other services. Call (866) 542-5480 or visit the Coordinated Entry System webpage at ttps://

How do I get rid of unused medications or other medicines? Can I flush them down the toilet or put them in the trash?

For the health and safety of people and the planet,  medications/medicines should not be flushed down the toilet, poured down the sink, or thrown away in the trash. This is true for pills and liquids, whether prescribed or over-the-counter.

Sonoma County has a Safe Medicine Disposal program featuring free drop off or mail back options. For more info, visit  Two drop-off locations in the Petaluma area are: Petaluma Police Department, 969 Petaluma Blvd. North; and Central Disposal Site – Household Toxics Facility, 500 Mecham Road, Building 5, (707) 795-2025.


How do I report illegal dumping down a storm drain?

Contact the Ellis Creek Water Recycling Facility at (707) 776-3777 if you see or hear about anyone dumping anything into a storm drain. This might include include liquids left over from a restaurant or food/beverage manufacturing facility; dirty water from a construction site; holding tanks from campers or other recreation vehicles; motor oil; and household items or other trash.

How do I get rid of the dirty water that’s generated as part of  a construction or remediation project? Can I send it down the storm drain or hose it into the street

Water from a construction or remediation project should never be sent down a storm drain or flushed into the street or gutter. Doing so pollutes our waterways, kills plants and animals, and sets you up for a hefty fine.

Instead, you’ll need to capture the water and discharge it properly into the into the City’s sewer system. This requires a special discharge permit and may involve a plan and special equipment. So, before your project begins, be sure to contact the City’s Environmental Services Division at 707-776-3777. City staff will help you understand the permit requirements, create a plan, and do  your part to keep our waterways clean.

My car was towed. How do I get it back?

First, you must request a tow release in person from the Police Department  and pay a City administrative fee of $160. Next, you must present the release to the tow company and pay its fees. Note: towed cars can only be released to the registered owner–no exceptions.

What is a clearance letter and how do I get one?

A clearance letter states that you have no criminal history with the Petaluma Police Department. The letter encompasses the previous eight years and applies only to Petaluma Police’s jurisdiction. To request one, contact Police Records by mail or in person. Provide a copy of your valid driver’s license, a written request, and pay a fee of $15. Most requests can be fulfilled within two days, providing the requestor’s record is clear.

What animals can be kept as pets?

Rules about which animals and pets can be found in Title 9, Section 9.08, of the City’s municipal code. Please contact North Bay Animal Services, the City’s animal control provider, if you have questions or concerns about animals with the City limits.

How do I get a copy of the City Budget and other finance documents?

The City of Petaluma’s 2019 Fiscal Year budget can be accessed here. The City of Petaluma Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for 2017-2018 can be accessed here.

Prior year reports can be obtained by contacting the Finance Department at

What is a solicitors/peddlers permit?

A solicitors/peddlers permit is required for people who move from location to location in the city, selling their services or goods. This permit is issued by the Police Department and requires a background check and proof of other applicable City licenses and permits.  For info, contact (707) 778-4372.

Download Solicitors Permit (New) here.

Download Solicitors Permit (Renewal) here.



How do I get a Police Report?

You must request a police report in writing online or with the report request form (submitted to the Police Department in person at the Police Department or by mail to Police Department, Attn: Records, 969 Petaluma Blvd. North Petaluma, CA 94952). Traffic collision reports may be requested online.

Reports may not be available if you request them. If the report is approved and available, your request will take between seven and ten working days. complex investigations may require more time to complete the report.

A variety of laws, rules and regulations apply to the release of information. Below is information about who is entitled to a police report and how to request one. Certain reports are not releasable at all; and others that must be redacted before release. To ensure that we can provide what you need, please call (707) 778-4372 and ask for records.

You are entitled to a report if you are:

  • The individual named in the report requested (driver, passenger, pedestrian, victim);
  • The property owner in the report requested;
  • The parent/guardian of juvenile party in the report requested;
  • An authorized individual in the report requested (signed authorization is required);
  • A representative of insurance company or insurance adjusting agency in the report requested;
  • The attorney of the individual named in the report requested.

Reports that cannot be released by the Police Department include:

      • Arrest reports: If you have been arrested – either booked into jail or cited – you are not entitled to receive a copy of the report from the police department. You will receive a copy from the courts or your defense attorney.
      • Reports involving minors: Any report involving a minor (17 years of age or younger) is not releasable to anyone without a court order. This includes the parents and/or reporting parties.
      • Medical reports: Any report consisting of medical information, including 72-hour mental health commitments (5150 reports), are not releasable without a court order to anyone, including the victim.

What are the Petaluma city limits where Petaluma Police will respond?

You can the City of Petaluma’s jurisdiction and Police Department beats on the City’s online map.

How long does it take for an officer to meet me when I come to the police station?

When you arrive at the Police Department, there may be a wait to speak with an officer. This is primarily because our officers are throughout the City responding to other calls for service and must be dispatched back to the station. Please make yourself comfortable in the lobby; the front counter staff can assist you with the initial intake of information so the officer will be prepared to speak with you when they arrive.

Where can I get Live Scan fingerprinted?

Go to the State Department of Justice website for a list of fingerprint providers in Sonoma County.

Do I always need to call the police when I’m involved in a crash?

If you are unsure if you should contact the police after a traffic collision, call (707) 778-4372 and the call taker will ask several questions to determine whether a police response is needed.

How do I submit an Online Police Report?

Some people find it more convenient to submit a police report online rather than in person or over the phone. A main advantage is that online reporting allows you to print the report once the form is complete, which saves you from having to request (and pay for) a copy of the report .

To submit an online report, visit


Is it legal for people to go through trash cans or recycling bins?

Unauthorized scavaging — or going through somebody else’s trash cans or recycling bins — is prohibited by the City’s municipal code (Section 8.16.340). If unauthorized scavaging becomes a problem in your neighborhood or business district, please contact the Code Enforcement officer for advice.

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