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You can help the City by reporting the location of abandoned carts. These are several ways to report abandoned carts:
1. Call Customer Service Hotline (831) 768-3133
2. e-mail location to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please call our main office at (831) 768-3050 during business hours to report illegal construction activity. You may also file a complaint online 24 hours a day, seven days a week by visiting our website and filled out the
Because construction and demolition materials are a significant and growing part of landfill waste in California, the City of Watsonville and the California Green Business Standards Code require recycling of at least 65% of materials generated at construction and demolition projects. The City has developed the Construction Waste Management Plan in order to help contractors meet the requirement.
For more information, click
Up to nine cannabis manufacturing in the City may be approved.
Appointments are required to submit a pre-application for a cannabis manufacturing facility. No applications will be accepted without an appointment. Partial submittals are not allowed.
You must submit an application for a Zoning Verification Letter to determine whether the potential business location meets ordinance requirements, including required separation from sensitive uses.
To download an application for a Zoning Verification Letter, click
Potentially eligible sites for obtaining a regulatory permit to operate a medical cannabis facility must be within the Industrial Park (IP) or General Industrial (IG) Zoning District and outside the separation requirements listed in Section 14-53.122 of the Watsonville Municipal Code. An applicant or licensee may have one cultivation and one manufacturing site upon which cannabis is cultivated and/or manufactured in the City, if each site is permitted.
To download a map showing potentially eligible cannabis facilities, click
Please refer to the Application Procedure for information on the application process . A pre-application is required prior to application for an Administrative Use Permit. All pre-applications will be reviewed and pre-approved by a selection committee consisting of senior staff from the City Manager's Office, Police Department, Fire Department, Human Resources Department and Community Development Department.
The City is not accepting any applications at this time. In 2016, the Watsonville City Council adopted regulations for the establishment of up to six medical cannabis cultivation facilities, and has issued six permits.
The City is currently working on regulations for testing, distribution and transport of cannabis. It is likely that the City Council will consider regulations for those activities later this year (2018). It is not likely that cannabis dispensary regulations will be considered prior to 2019.
Yes, a Live Scan criminal background check is required for all facility owners, managers and employees from the Police Department annually.
The Live Scan process involves submitting fingerprints to the DOJ, which will review for criminal offender record information (CORI). CORI reports will be provided to the City of Watsonville for the sole purpose of determining eligibility for operating a cannabis facility. Those who do not meet criminal history eligibility requirements will be disqualified.
To download a request for Live Scan form, please click here.
Yes, all owners, managers and employees must be issued an identification badge from the Police Department, in accordance with WMC Section 14-53.208. No owner, manager or employee shall engage in any activities associated with the cultivation or manufacturing of cannabis without first obtaining a valid identification badge.
Here are the steps for obtaining an identification badge:
Nature Center staff is available on Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. You may also call or e-mail the Nature Center. Residents may leave a message and they will receive a call back.
Physical Address (behind Ramsay Park)30 Harkins Slough RoadWatsonville, CA 95076Telephone: (831) 768-1622E-mail: email@example.com
Contact Customer Service at (831) 768-3133 and your bin will be picked up at no charge. The $10 fee is non-refundable. The compost bin is property of the City of Watsonville.
Composting is a natural, biological process that recycles organic materials such as food scraps, leaves and yard trimmings into a rich (fertile, dark, sweet smelling) soil-like material called compost or humus (pronounced hyu, like you.) It improves the health of both soils and plants when added to the garden or indoor plants.
Materials like vegetable and fruit scraps, eggshells, coffee grinds, tea bags and much more can be placed in a container to decompose. Almost anything that is organic material and not animal based is a good candidate for composting.
This is a voluntary program for residents who want to participate in diverting food scraps from the landfill and instead composting in their own backyard.
These funds will cover training and delivery services provided
Composting makes a valuable soil amendment. Through this process of decomposition, food scraps and yard trimmings remain as beneficial natural resources instead of becoming wastes, and entering the waste stream. Our food comes from nature, so better to put it back where it came from. In nature, the concept of waste does not exist!
According to the EPA, 30% of household waste is food. This can be composted instead of throwing it away in the garbage can
Complete Streets are roadways that are designed to be accessible by everyone: pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, AND motorists. Complete Streets are designed to be useable by anyone and everyone of all abilities, whether they’re 8 years old or 80 years old (or somewhere in between!). (click here for link to National Complete Streets Coalition https://smartgrowthamerica.org/program/national-complete-streets-coalition/)
Like many cities throughout the country, Watsonville’s streets were originally designed with the primary goal of moving vehicles. This Plan would establish a vision for changing Downtown Watsonville from its historically car-centric design into a more walkable, bike-able, inviting, and vibrant neighborhood that would continue to serve as Watsonville’s social hub. By implementing Complete Streets principles, pedestrian and bicycle safety can be improved.
Yes – there has been extensive outreach to encourage community participation. Since April 2018, over 35 outreach events, informational booths, input booths, and presentations have been held to give the community a chance to help shape the plan. For those who could not attend any of the events, written and on-line surveys were made available at each phase of the project to provide input.
A wide range of methods were used to notify the community. These included things such as: informational posters, notices on the City’s website, announcements at Council meetings, presentations at Downtown Business meetings and other local meetings, booths at a variety of public events, Instagram posts, etc.
To date, the majority of respondents have been Watsonville residents. About a third of respondents live outside of the City, but almost all report visiting Downtown regularly.
Three alternatives were developed and presented to the community in 2018:
1) a vehicular-oriented alternative, which kept the existing number of travel lanes
2) a bicycle-oriented alternative, which added new or widened existing bike lanes
3) a pedestrian-oriented alternative, which included widening sidewalks
The preferred plan directly reflects the input received from the community from information gathered from August through September 2018. The input indicated a preference to improve options for cyclists and pedestrians in the Downtown. (click here for link to information gathered from August through September 2018)
There was a traffic study prepared in 2012 that generally concluded that a four to two lane reduction or “road diet” on Main Street would be viable. The traffic study included suggestions to mitigate or reduce the impacts that a lane reduction would produce.
As Main Street is part of State Route 152 and the study was conducted over 7 years ago, a new Traffic Study will be required should the Road Diet be approved as part of the final Downtown Complete Streets Plan. The City would be required to obtain Caltrans approval and permits for any changes proposed on the State Route.
The Downtown Complete Streets Plan is a document that establishes the vision for the transportation network in the Downtown; it is the first step. Once approved, this Plan will allow the City to apply for grant funding for the required next steps. These would generally include items such as preparing traffic and any other required studies; preparation of design documents; and ultimately building improvements.
Projects of this magnitude can cost approximately $25 M to $30 M. A rough cost estimate will be included in the final Plan and will also be broken down by streets or phases. Once funding and required permits are secured, construction time would be dependent upon how the various items of work are phased – but it is likely that the overall project would take over 10 years to build.
The property owner is responsible for property maintaining this area (see City of Watsonville Municipal Code Title 7 Chapter 2). This responsibility includes maintenance of damaged or displaced concrete, abatement of weeds or debris, and the maintenance of trees and shrubs whether on private or public property. Replace and trimming of street trees and shrubs is further governed by the Parks & Community Services Department.
The owner of property adjoining a sidewalk area is liable for injuries caused by that owner's failure to maintain the sidewalk area in a safe condition (see City of Watsonville Municipal Code on sidewalks, Title 7 chapter 2.)
Visibility - When parkway strip shrubbery interferes with vehicle operator visibility, trimming to a maximum height of thirty inches is required. Thirty (30) inches maximum height, 25 feet minimum sight distance at corners).
Walkway and Gutter Clearance - Trimming of ground cover or shrubs is required when there is an encroachment onto the sidewalk or gutter and must clear seven ft. (7'+) over the sidewalk.
Obstacles in the Parkway Strip - Elimination of tree stumps, large rocks, trash, holes, and some built-up planters is required. When the parkway strip is unimproved or landscaped and there is a drop, the parkway strip must be filled with dirt or other material (no asphalt) to eliminate tripping hazards.
Repair of the sidewalk concrete is required in the following circumstances:
Curb and gutter repair is required in the following circumstances:
Construction of curbs, gutters, and sidewalks in City streets may be performed by a "C8" or "A" licensed and insured contractor. A permit is required for concrete repair, and will be issued to licensed contractors for a fee by Community Development. You can also enter into a contract with Public Works to have the repairs made with a 12-month interest free loan.
With technology, you can now search the internet for local contractors or you can look in the yellow pages of the phone book. The "C8" or "A" licensed contractor selected must secure a concrete construction permit from Community Development.
Yes, all work and materials must be in conformance with the City of Watsonville Standard Specifications for Public Works Construction and Parks and Recreation ISA Standards.
Before placing any concrete you must have the forms, base, tree root removal, and saw cuts inspected. After approval, a City-approved concrete mix must be used. Finish must be a light brook finish with score marks to match the existing sidewalk. After the work is completed, you must call for a final inspection. A permit is required for all concrete work in the public right-of-way. To obtain a permit or arrange an inspection, call (831) 768-3110.
In an effort to beautify our City's neighborhoods, street trees are encouraged in front of each residence. The property owner is responsible for the maintenance of the street tree and for the cost of concrete repair, even though the concrete may have been raised by the street tree. Certain species of trees may raise concrete if preventative maintenance is not performed.
In extreme cases, street trees cannot be saved and must be removed before the sidewalk and/or curb and gutter can be replaced. City standards require replacement of the tree, to be selected from a list of approved street trees. Proper tree selection is critical and is reviewed by the City Arborist. The tree permit process in these cases must be pursued before a concrete permit can be issued. Tree permits are issued by the Public Works Director. Tree work permitting is governed by Chapter 7-11.
To reduce the chance of future concrete displacement, trees can be root-pruned and a root barrier installed. Care must be taken when root pruning to avoid damaging underground utilities.
Also deep-watering the tree, that is, applying a slow trickle of water over a 24-hour period, encourages deeper root growth which reduces the chance of sidewalk damage.
No, applicants should complete the online application using the link on the Human Resources page or on the Jobs page. If an applicant prefers not to complete the online application, you may complete the pdf application and submit it by mail, fax, in person, or as a .pdf attachment sent to Human Resources via email to the email address listed on the application. If you submitted your application using the online application, please do not also submit a pdf application.
Applicants should complete the online application found on the Human Resources and Jobs page. Applicants may also download a pdf application if that is preferred and must be submitted by mail, in person or emailed to the email address on the application. Employment applications are available at the City’s Human Resources counter during regular business hours (Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.). Make sure your application is received by the filing deadline to qualify for consideration. Postmarks are not accepted. If you have submitted your application online, please do not also submit a pdf application.
The job openings are updated as new jobs become available. You are encouraged to check the weekly current openings by checking the City's Human Resources Job's page.
Unfortunately, due to the high volume of applications we receive, we are only able to keep your application on file for the specific position for which you applied. If you advance far enough in the selection process you may be placed on an “Employment List” which may be used if an opening in the same job classification becomes available within one year of recruitment. However, this list may be abolished at any time if the needs of the City so require.
Once the recruitment has closed, the City will evaluate the applications and determine which applicants will move forward to the next step in the hiring process. Those selected to move forward will usually be contacted by phone within three weeks of the recruitment closing date. Those not chosen to move forward will receive a letter in the mail. Due to the high volume of applications we receive, the City is currently unable to send status updates to everyone who applies for a job. You may contact the Human Resources Department at 831-768-3020 to inquire about the status of your application.
If an ILL item is damaged or lost, there is usually a fee charged to the patron. This fee is determined by the lending library on a case-by-case basis.
The City works regularly with the help of several volunteer groups to keep the slough and river trails free of litter and debris. In the summer of 2018, Measure D funds will be utilized to regrade or repave the trails in a few key locations.
Although the City does not prohibit boating in the sloughs, it discourages it in order to protect the wetland habitat and its wildlife.
Note: For sections of the wetlands on the west side of the highway, the public must obtain permission from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to enter.
You may make an appointment with a Planner by directly contacting a Planner 24 hours in advance or stopping by during drop-in counter hours. Drop-in counter hours are 1:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Over the counter permit processing is on Wednesdays from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The counter is closed during lunchtime from 12 to 1:30 p.m.
The Zoning Clearance is the procedure the City uses to determine whether a business meets the zoning requirements for a particular location and to approve the establishment of the business use at that location. The Zoning Clearance is a one-time clearance with a one-time fee to establish a business at a specific location.
The Zoning Clearance process gives the Planning Division an opportunity to verify that a proposed land use is allowed in the applicable zoning district and that the use complies with the development standards of the Zoning Ordinance. When a Zoning Clearance is requested, a staff planner reviews the business description and location and determines if the proposed use is principally permitted, subject to a Use Permit, or prohibited. The planner also reviews the proposed use for consistency with previous permits that may have been issued on the property.
Yes, the planner at the public counter can process a Business License application concurrently with your Zoning Clearance payment.
The City requires any food truck to obtain a Traveling Merchant Permit from the Watsonville Police Department to operate within the city limits. For more information on permit requirements, please read this memorandum on the matter.
Contact the Planning Division to find out what the Assessor Parcel Number is for your property. An Assessor Parcel Number is a unique parcel identification number assigned by Santa Cruz County to each parcel of record.
Fencing is not required in residential zoning districts but may be required in non-residential zoning districts. Review Part 14 (Fence Permits) of Chapter 14-12 (Zoning Permits) for Watsonville Municipal Code standards for fencing, including required setback from property lines, maximum height, and types of material allowed. Pursuant to Section 14-12.1400 and Section 14-32.020, and a Fence Permit is required for all fences constructed within the City of Watsonville in accordance with the design standards in Chapter 14-32 (Fences). A building permit is required for all fences greater than seven feet in height (where allowed).
Allowable home-based businesses are required to file a Home Occupation Permit application and a Business License application. A home occupation permit allows for business-related activities deemed to cause minimal impact(s) on neighboring parcels. Review the Chapter 14-12.1100 (Home Occupation Permit) for more information on home occupation permits.
A pre-application review process is recommended prior to the formal application of a development application. For a listing of associated fees, please review the Planning Fee Schedule. The cost of the pre-application is credited toward the formal application for the project.
Individuals may discuss proposals in person with a Planner at the Permit Center. For more information, contact the Planning Division at (831)768-3050 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Plans are available for review at the Community Development Department. Interested individuals are welcome to contact the Planning Division at (831)768-3050 or email@example.com, or stop by to speak to the project planner regarding the proposed project.
You will need a sign permit, in addition to applicable building permits. For more information, please refer to Chapter 8-6 of the Watsonville Municipal Code or contact the Permit Center at (831) 768-3050.
Yes, a banner requires a permit and is only permitted on a temporary basis, limited up to four times a year, not to exceed a total of 30 days in a calendar year. Applications are available here.
The registered owner of the vehicle must be present with a valid driver license or with a valid ID and accompanied with someone with a valid driver license.
Vehicle registration must be valid. If registration is incomplete, a DMV Moving Permit will be required. The Vehicle Release Fee is $186.
Call dispatch at 831-471-1151 or request to speak to an officer at the
Call Assistant Administrative Analyst Angelica Jauregui 831-768-3386 and she will explain the process to you.
Entertainment Permits: 5-9.02 WMC requires anyone having an event with entertainment (as defined in WMC 5-09.01) open to the Public or at a private club, must obtain a permit from the WPD 30 days prior to the event. You can obtain an Entertainment Permit application from Watsonville Police Department Records division. The cost is $150.
Sound Permits: 5-34.01 WMC are required when using any sound amplifying device within the city limits on public or private property. In most cases the permits are valid till 10 p.m., but the sound must not disturb the peace of neighbors or businesses nearby.
You can apply for a permit by obtaining a Sound Permit application from the Watsonville Police Department Records division. The cost is currently $200.
Contact Enforcement Technology at 866-449-7581 or you can look up your citation via the
○ Prohibited sales and use of plastic foam (Styrofoam) products. This includes all food service ware, as well as coolers, containers, ice chests, shipping boxes, pool or beach toys, packing peanuts or other packaging materials, etc.
○ Prohibited use and distribution of straws, unless specifically requested. No straws provided shall be wrapped in plastic.
○ Required $0.10 customer charge for single-use cups to encourage the use of reusable cups and bottles. Customers with EBT and WIC cards are exempt from the charge.
○ Charges for single-use cups shall be clearly identified pre-sale for the customer on any ordering platforms and identified separately on any post-sale receipt.
○ The $0.10 customer disposable cup charge goes directly back to the business
○ All disposable food-service ware (take-out and dine-in) is required to be compostable and clearly labeled with the BPI compostable logo (as defined by ASTM standards).
○ Self-bussing food service vendors must provide three color-coded bins clearly labeled for food scraps + compostables (green), recyclables (blue), and garbage (black).
Beginning January 1, 2021, all disposable foodware products must be certified compostable as defined by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) or as defined by the City of Watsonville’s Organics (food scraps) processing contract for disposal. When you buy a product labeled "compostable," look for the BPI compostable logo, this has been certified ASTM. To learn more and/or to find certified compostable food-service ware products that meet ordinance requirements visit this site https://bpiworld.org/ or click here.
As of August 8, 2019, it is prohibited the sale and use of all plastic foam (Styrofoam) foodware. After January 1, 2021, disposable plastic food-service ware products are prohibited for take-out and dine-in. This includes, but not limited to: all food containers, clamshells, bowls, plates, trays, cartons, cups, lids, straws, stirrers, forks, spoons, knives, and other items designed for one (1) time use for prepared foods, including, without limitation, service ware for eat-in and take-out foods and/or leftovers from partially consumed meals prepared by food providers.
Check with your preferred local vendor to see if they carry these products. If not, encourage your vendor to carry them. Below is a list of nearby vendors that sell certified compostable foodware and other products that meet ordinance requirements. Remember to ask for the BPI Compostable logo. To find other certified compostable food-service ware products that meet ordinance requirements visit this site https://bpiworld.org/ or click here.
Yes, this ordinance applies to all food service providers, meaning any business, vendor, organization, entity, group or individual, including retail food establishments, located in the City of Watsonville that offers food or beverages to the public.
Compostable food service ware may go into the food scraps or garbage bin (never in the recycling bin). If your business or event does not have food scrap collection, please contact Customer Service at 768-3133 to get this program set up.
All compostable foodservice ware should be disposed of in the food scrap (organics) bin and never in the recycling bin. The City then collects and transports it to the Monterey Regional Waste Management where it will be processed for industrial composting. This is why it is critical that all compostable items meet the ASTM-BPI standard. Look for the BPI logo. If your business does not have food scrap collection, then compostable foodware may be thrown in the garbage.
The $0.10 customer disposable cup charge goes directly back to the business.
This charge is to help change consumer behavior towards bringing reusable cups since single-use cups create unnecessary waste and pollute our environment. This charge is also to support the businesses in moving over to the more sustainable option of compostable cups (and food service ware in general).
No. All of the customer cup charges go directly back to the business.
Yes! It is encouraged that customers choose re-usable options for many single-use items, including cups. This is a critical part of meeting the new challenges in the world of recycling and garbage. Fewer and fewer products are recyclable. Reducing single-use products also helps keep litter off the streets and from entering our storm drains which lead to our waterways. Additionally, it helps prevent carbon emissions which contribute to climate change. Every single-use product must be manufactured, shipped, and then disposed of which takes energy to produce and then to transport. By choosing reusable cups, bags, water bottles, and more supports efforts to reduce the impacts of climate change.
Yes, all customers demonstrating, at the point of sale, a payment card or voucher issued by the California Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), or an Electronic Benefit Transfer Card (EBT) are exempt from the single-use cup charge.
Foodservice providers will accept reusable cups for either hot or cold beverages. However, food providers may refuse any customer-provided reusable cup that is cracked, chipped, corroded, appears to be unsanitary or appears inappropriate in size, material, or condition for the intended beverage. In this case, a foodservice provider may require the use of a reusable cup for a beverage consumed on the premises, or a disposable cup that conforms to the compostable disposable cup standards. Foodservice providers are also encouraged, but not required, to accept reusable containers for take-out or leftovers.
The City of Watsonville will be working with the businesses during the transition. If a business does not show progress towards the ordinance after the enforcement period begins, the City of Watsonville may enforce the provisions of this chapter under Municipal Code Chapter 1-2.
We recognize that every business has different space constraints and limitations. The City of Watsonville offers assistance in getting your three-bin waste stream system set up so that you can successfully meet the requirements. Please contact Customer Service at 768-3131 to schedule a site visit.
For more information, please contact Public Works Customer Service at 768-3133.
This service is available for residents of the City of Watsonville only. Address verification will be required. Wastes generated outside Watsonville city limits are not accepted.The Waste and Recycling Drop-Off is open:9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.Monday - Saturday
Call Customer Service at 768-3133 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can view your water rates in the