All available forms use .pdf format. Please click on the above link to download a free copy.


Hours of Operation

Monday - Thursday

7:30 AM to 5:00 PM

Closed Friday. Saturday,

Sundays and Holidays


Walk-In Hours

Monday - Thursday

7:30 AM to 4:00 PM

Closed Friday. Saturday,

Sundays and Holidays



General City FAQ's





General City FAQ's


Q: When is City Hall open? 

A: City Hall is open Monday through Thursday from 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM. Walk-in hours for the public are Monday through Thursday from 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM. City Hall is closed Friday, Saturday, Sunday and on holidays.


Q: How much are business license fees?

A: Please refer to fee schedule.


Q: How much are stickers? 

A: Please refer to fee schedule.


Q: How long are business licenses valid?

A: One year from date business license is issued.


Q: What hours are contractors restricted to work? 

A: Work can begin at 7:00 AM  to 6:00 PM, Monday – Friday and 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM on  Saturday.

NO WORK on Sunday or holidays.


Q: What is number to call to get rid of old paint? 

A: Hazardous Waste 1-800-238-0172


Q: What are utilities used in City? 

A: Southern California Edison - 1-800-684-8123

So Cal Gas 1-800-427-2200

Time Warner 1-888-321-2752


Q: What are trash providers and numbers?

A: Athens (626) 336-3636

Burrtec (626) 932-1558


Q: Who do I call to pickup a dead animal? 

A: Pasadena Humane Society (626) 792-7151


Q: Who do I call for parade events? 

A: Chamber of Commerce, (626) 286-1022


Q: How much is permit for Garage Sales? 

A: Residents get one permit/weekend/year and it is free.


Q: What is the cost to reserve Lacy Park? 

A: The to reserve Lacy Park is $50 for first 50 people and 51st person on is $2/person; Saturday and Sunday is $3/person, 5 years old and over.  San Marino residents are free to enter park.  We do not accept filming for weddings.

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Planning & Building


Q. How do I reach the City Building Inspector?

A. His office hours are 7:30a.m.-9:30a.m., Monday-Thursday. His phone number is (626) 300-0753.


Q. Who do I call to obtain a building inspection?

A. Call (626) 300-0712 to request an inspection.


Q. How do I find out how much I can build on my property?

A. You can calculate your maximum livable area and ground coverage allowances by filling out a Plan Information Sheet Form provided you have your actual lot size and know the zoning of your property (Area District). Call (626) 300-0784 if you need assistance.


Q. How can I apply for a variance?

A. By submitting a filing fee, application, and 8 sets of plans. Variances are rarely granted because the required legal findings are quite rigid. Please seek the advice of a Planner before considering such an application.


Q. What items require Design Review Committee (DRC) approval?

A. All new homes, most one-story additions and all two-story additions. Architectural modifications visible from public view. Front yard wall, gates, and fences. Certain accessory structures visible from public view.


Q. Do I need DRC approval to re-roof my house?

A. DRC approval is needed if you choose a replacement material that is not on the City’s pre-approved roof material list.


Q. I plan to repaint my house and also replace my driveway and walkway. Do I need a permit?

A. No permit is required for painting but make sure the painting contractor has a City of San Marino business license. A paving permit is required only if you are proposing to increase the current amount of front yard paving.


Q. Is it true that San Marino only allows wood windows?

A. No. You may choose a replacement window product from the pre-approved window material list. Windows not on the list are subject to DRC approval on a case-by-case basis.


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City Manager

(To be provided at later date)


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City Clerk


Q: When does the City Council Meet?

A: Regular meetings of the City Council are held on the second Wednesday of every month at 6:00 p.m.  Adjourned Regular meetings of the City Council are held on the last Friday of every month at 8:00 a.m.


Q: Where does the City Council meet?

A: City Council meetings are held in the City Hall Council Chamber (first floor), located at 2200 Huntington Drive, San Marino, CA 91108.


Q: Who is on the City Council?

A: San Marino has a five member City Council which consists of the Mayor, Vice Mayor and three Council Members.


Q: How can I reach a member of the City Council?

A: You may contact the City Clerk at (626) 300-0705 or email at: to leave a message for a Council Member.


Q: How can I obtain City records?

A: Please submit a Public Records Request Form to the City Clerk’s Office [Email as attachment to:; Fax:  (626) 300-0709; Mail to: 2200 Huntington Drive, San Marino, CA 91108].


Q: How do I get copies, or examine public records?

A: The City wants to make sure that all requests are handled in a prompt and appropriate manner and asks the public to complete a Public Records Request Form. The City does not charge for the first five pages to produce copies of public records. For each additional page the City charges $.20 per page. If you would like to review the original documents at the City Clerk’s Office, please contact the City Clerk at (626) 300-0705 or email to arrange a time to view the materials..


Q: How do I get a copy of the agenda?

A: The City Council agenda is available prior to each meeting on the City’s website at:


Q: How can I get more information on the Council agendas and minutes?

A: You may contact the City Clerk at (626) 300-0705 or email at:


Q: What do I need to do to speak at a Council Meeting?

A: You may speak at any City Council meeting by completing speaker request form found at the Council Chamber entrance and submitting to the City Clerk.  The Mayor will call on you to speak during the public comments period.


Q: How do I get on the City Council?

A: The election of Council Members is held in November of odd numbered years.  Members serve four year terms.  You may contact the City Clerk at (626) 300-0705 or email at: for more information.


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Parks & Public Works


Q. Who do I call to report a street light outage?

A. Contact Chuck Richey, Public Works Manager (626) 300-0793


How long does it normally take to repair a street light?

A. City owned street lights are repaired on Fridays unless it is a safety issue.  Edison owned street lights are repaired depending on their schedule and availability of bulbs.


Q. Who do I call if a traffic signal is malfunctioning?

A. Monday-Friday


Contact Chuck Richey, Public Works Manager

(626) 300-0793

*After Hours

Call Police Dept.

(626) 300-0720


Q. Who do I call to report a damaged sidewalk or a pothole?

A. Contact Chuck Richey, Public Works Manager (626) 300-0793


Q. How long does it normally take to repair a damaged sidewalk?

A. Sidewalk repairs are put on a list with a disposition within thirty (30) days of request, depending on the condition of the sidewalk.


Q. How long does it normally take to repair a pothole?

A. Potholes are repaired within thirty-six (36) hours of request on weekdays.


Q. Who do I call to report a sewer stoppage?

A. Monday-Friday


Contact Chuck Richey, Public Works Manager

(626) 300-0793

* After Hours

  Call Police Dept.



Q. How long does it normally take to respond to a sewer outage?

A. Sewer outages are responded to immediately and repaired within six (6) hours of request.


Q. Who do I call to report a water leak?

A. If you have water emergency including a water main break, meter leak or to start or stop service, please call Cal-American Water at (888) 422-5269.




Q. When is a tree pruning permit required?



  1. A tree pruning permit is required when a homeowner wants to prune a City parkway tree located in front of their property.  All work must be performed by a State of California licensed tree contractor.(C61/D49 Specialty Tree Pruning license with documented Workers Comp insurance and liability coverage naming the City of San Marino as an additional insured)


Q. What is an established tree?


A.  In the front yard and side yard adjacent to a street, any woody plant that is at least fifteen feet (15') in height and whose trunk is at least thirty six inches (36") or more in circumference when measured at a point four and one-half feet (4 1/2') above natural grade level and in the rear yard and side yard not adjacent to a street, any woody plant that is at least fifteen feet (15') in height and whose trunk is at least forty nine inches (49") in circumference when measured at a point four and one-half feet (4 1/2') above the natural grade level.


Q. When is a tree pruning permit not required?



1.    A tree pruning permit is not required when a homeowner wants to prune a tree located on private property.  State of California requires any pruning of trees 15’ in height or greater be performed by an individual that possesses, at a minimum, a valid California State Contractors license (C27 or C61/D49).  

2.   A property owner is not required to obtain a permit for removing any foliage or branches from any established tree where the work is actually and solely performed by the property owner.  Any work performed must follow these industry standards:

  • American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A300 Pruning Standards, ANSI Z133.1 Safety Standards

  • International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Tree Pruning Guidelines

  • ISA Best Management Practices: Tree Pruning


3.    A tree pruning permit is not required when a property owner wants to prune trees and shrubs that are not designated as “established” that are located on their property.

4.   No pruning permit is required to prune an established tree damaged by a storm, fire or other natural disaster and determined to be dangerous by the City Manager, any police officer, any firefighter, the Parks Director, the Planning and Building Director, or his/her designee. No person shall prune a damaged tree until such finding is made or unless such removal is otherwise exempt from the requirement to obtain a tree pruning permit.


Q.  When is a permit required to remove a tree from a homeowner’s property?



1.       A tree removal permit is required when a homeowner wants to remove an established tree from their property.

2.       A tree removal permit is required when a homeowner wants to remove an established tree that is dead.


Q. When is a permit not required to remove a tree from a homeowner’s property?



1.    No permit is required for the removal of an established tree damaged by a storm, fire or other natural disaster and determined to be dangerous by the City Manager, any police officer, any firefighter, the Parks Manager, the Planning and Building Director or his/her designee. No person shall remove a damaged tree until such determination has been made.

2.   A permit to remove a tree is not required when a tree or shrub does not meet the criteria of an “established tree”.


Q. When may the tree pruning or tree removal work that has been identified on the tree removal/tree pruning permit be started?



  1. The work that is being proposed on the tree removal/tree pruning permit may start when the homeowner information has been filled out, the tree contractor/maintenance gardener has been identified on the permit, the proposed work is stated on the permit, a designated City staff member has visited the property and approved the work to be done, and the homeowner has signed the permit for any conditions that are included regarding the work to be done.


Q. What type of pruning is the tree contractor or homeowner able to perform on trees in the City of San Marino?



  1. When pruning is to be performed, the tree contractor/maintenance gardener is to follow the City guidelines.  This includes following the International Society of Arboriculture guidelines to prune trees, pruning no more than 10% of foliage and branches on Oak trees, and pruning no more than 15%-20% of foliage and branches on the balance of all other trees in one pruning cycle.  Below is a reference to specific industry guidelines that must be followed when pruning established trees.

    1. American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A300 Pruning Standards, ANSI Z133.1 Safety Standards

    2. International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Tree Pruning Guidelines

    3. ISA Best Management Practices: Tree Pruning


Q. What is meant by the terms “severe pruning” and “topping”?



1.   Severe pruning of a tree is defined as the removal of foliage or branches from an established tree in a manner that harms the shape, health or natural growth of the tree. 

2.   Topping is defined as reducing the height of a tree by cutting limbs back to a desired height without utilizing a proper lateral branch.

3.   Topping is not an acceptable pruning practice.


Q. What is the proper way to make a pruning cut on a tree?



  1. Branches should be removed at their place of origin or to a lateral branch that is at least 1/3 the size of the limb from which it is being removed.


Q. Where can a tree contractor/maintenance gardener or homeowner find out more information on general tree care or City of San Marino Tree Ordinance questions?



1.   The Planning & Building Department at City Hall has informational brochures on questions such as: How to prune trees, How to plant trees, Why trees should not be topped, and Why you should hire an arborist to care for your trees.

2.   The Planning & Building Department at City Hall has informational brochures on the City of San Marino Tree Preservation Ordinance.

3.   The Planning and Building Dept has a staff member who is a Certified Arborist/Municipal Specialist and can answer tree care and City Ordinance questions.

       Ron Serven, Park Manager (626) 300-0711 or at


Q. What may happen if the tree contractor/maintenance gardener or homeowner performs work on trees in San Marino violates the City of San Marino’s Tree Preservation Ordinance?



1.  Violators will be subject to the payment of fines, and the submittal of a Tree Restoration Plan. Additionally, violators may be subjected to attend an administrative hearing whereby the penalties could possibly result in a higher fine.    


Q. There is a tree located on the neighbor’s property that overhangs my property, can I prune the tree?



1.  California law provides that a person does not have an absolute right to cut tree branches or tree roots which encroach into his or her property from a neighbor’s tree.  The person must act reasonably if he or she chooses to cut the encroaching branches or roots.  He or she must take the health of the tree into account.  The person may be liable to the neighbor should he or she damage the neighbor’s tree by cutting encroaching branches or roots.     

2.  The property owner is encouraged to notify the owner of the tree that tree pruning is

      scheduled to be performed on the identified tree.

3.   A California State Licensed Contractor can prune the tree(s) in question.

4.   The tree must be pruned to City standards-15-20% of branches and leaves

       removed maximum, no topping.


Q. Who do I call to get my parkway tree pruned? How do I get a tree planted in the City parkway?


A. Contact John Santillan, Park Foreman @


Q. Will the City prune the shrubs in the parkway? Will the City prune back the shrubs/trees that extend from a

property into an alley, sidewalk or street?


A. The City maintains the trees in the easement only.  Shrubs, grass etc… are the

homeowner’s responsibility to maintain including trees that overhang alleys, sidewalks, and streets.


Q. Can I plant a tree in the City easement?


A. The trees planted in the City easement must conform to the Master Street Tree Plan or must be approved by an authorized City official.


Q. What are the requirements for landscaping adjacent to streets and parkways in residential zoned areas? ( For the purposes of this section, “parkway” shall mean the area between a sidewalk and curb and, where there is no sidewalk, the area between the curb and the edge of the City’s street easement. (Ord. 099-1135, 12-8-1999)


A. Keep shrubs adjacent to a street or sidewalk and branches of trees not planted and maintained by the City trimmed to (6”) back from the street or sidewalk up to a height of nine and one-half feet (9 ˝’) above the top of the curb or seven feet (7’) above the sidewalk.

A. Keep all shrubs located within three feet (3’) of the curb trimmed to a height not to exceed thirty inches (30”) above curb height or such lower height as the traffic engineer determines is necessary for traffic or pedestrian safety.

A. Install and, with the exception of trees planted by the City, maintain landscaping in the parkway in a neat, orderly and attractive condition.




Q. Where is Lacy Park located?

A. Lacy Park is located at 1485 Virginia Road, San Marino, CA 91108.


Q. How do I get directions to Lacy Park?

A. Click here for a map to Lacy Park


Q. What is the phone number for the Park office?

A. The phone number to the Park office is (626) 300-0790


Q. When is the Park open to the public?

A. Lacy Park is open weekdays from 6:30am until sunset, and on weekends from 8:00am until 8:00pm during daylight savings time and 8:00am to 6:00pm during standard time.


Q. Is there an entrance fee to use the Park?

A. The City charges $4.00 for non-residents to enter Lacy Park on weekends. There is no entrance fee for residents on weekends.


Q. Can I reserve Lacy Park for a private party?

A. Yes, for groups of more than fifteen (15) persons, a Park area can be reserved by submitting a Lacy Park Group Activity Permit application with a $145 reservation fee for residents and a $290 reservation fee for non-residents. Reservations are on a first come, first serve basis and must be approved by the Director. For more information on making a Park reservation, please contact (626) 300-0700.


Q. Are there picnic tables available in the Park?

A. Yes, there are 23 concrete tables located in Area 6 of Lacy Park.  The City also has 28 aluminum tables which can be set up in designated areas in the Park.  If you are requesting tables for your area, please specify the number of tables on your Lacy Park Group Activity Permit.


Q. How do I sign my child up for a recreation class?

A. Please all the Recreation Office at (626) 403-2200 for information about class registration.


Q. Can I ride my bike in Lacy Park?

A. The inner loop is for riding bikes (no fast riding) Bikes are not permitted on the outer loop (walking path only).


Q. Can I walk my dog in Lacy Park?

A. Yes but the dog(s) must be kept on a leash at all times and we do ask that you clean up after your dog(s).  Dog waste stations with clean-up bags are available at the east and west ends of Lacy Park.


Q. How do I find out information on the tennis courts in Lacy Park and who can use them?

A. You may contact the San Marino Tennis Foundation at (626) 793-1622 for information on the tennis courts. 


Q. Can I get married in the Park?

A. No, the City does not allow weddings at Lacy Park.


Q. Can I have wedding pictures taken in the Park?

A. No, the City does not allow wedding pictures to be taken in Lacy Park.


Q. Can I have a photographer take professional pictures of my family in Lacy Park?

A.  A filming permit must first be obtained from City Hall.


Q. I have bees in the tree located in the City parkway, will the City remove them?

A. Yes. Call the Parks Department at (626) 304-9648 for routine bee removal or 911 if the bees present an immediate threat.


Q. I have bees on my property (other than the parkway tree), will the City remove them?

A. No.  If the bees are on private property or in a privately owned structure, the property owner should contact a commercial pest control operator to control bees unless there is an immediate threat, in which case the Fire Department can be contacted by dialing 911.



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Registration - (626) 403-2200

Q: Can I register for a class if the class has already started, and do you prorate?

A: You can register for a class late if the class is still open, with the instructor’s permission.  The department does not prorate classes.

Q: When can I register if I am a non-resident, and what is the fee?

A: Non-resident registration begins at our office the Tuesday after the first day of registration.  (Residents begin with a Saturday registration date, and also have Monday as a priority registration day).  The fee for non-residents is $5 per class, per participant.


Special Events - (626) 403-2200

Q: How do I purchase tickets before an event?

A: The recreation office will generally sell tickets prior to an event – check the current Recreation and Library Guide or call our office for ticket sales information. 

Q: How do I pay for rides/food at the event?

A: Tickets are sold for rides at the event. Food sold at the event can be purchased with cash paid directly to the vendor.


Preschool Programming - (626) 403-2210

Q: What is the supervision ratio of children to staff in your programs?

A: In the "Too Cool Two's" program (diapers welcomed!) there is a 16 children to 2 staff ratio; the "Terrific Three's" an 18 to 2 ratio, and in the "Fantastic Four's and Five's" a 20 to 2 ratio.

Q: How does the registration process work?

A: Preschool class registration begins in March. The registration dates will be announced in the winter and spring Recreation and Library Guides. September tuition is due and payable at time of registration. This tuition payment secures the student’s spot for the following school year. Registration continues throughout the summer and fall sessions, until the classes are full. Once the classes are full, waiting lists are established. If you are interested in visiting our preschool classes, please come to our Open House held every March or call to schedule a tour. Call the office for details.


Youth Recreation Programming - (626) 403-2200 

Q: Is transportation available from my child’s school to recreation classes?

A: Yes we offer transportation to some of our classes. Transportation is provided by either the bus that transports day care children from school to day care at the Recreation Department or by our shuttle. The children enrolled in recreation classes are supervised by the day care staff. Please see the Recreation and Library Guide posted on the Recreation Department page for transportation details or call our office.

Q: Can my child attend the first day of class without registering, to see if he/she likes it?

A: Yes, they may observe the first day, then register if openings are available.


Day Care Services - (626) 403-2200

Q: What ages does the Recreation Department serve, and are they transported to your site?

A: We offer after school day care to Kindergartners through 5th graders.  The children are bused from their school (San Marino Elementary schools) to the Recreation Department, under the supervision of the day care staff.

Q: Does your program cover minimum days?

A: Yes, day care as well as the transportation is available on minimum days.  Check your current Recreation and Library Guide, also posted on the Recreation Department page, for registering for minimum days.


Adult/Senior Recreation Classes - (626) 403-2200

Q: What dance and exercise classes do you offer?

A: The department offers a variety of dance and exercise classes. Classes are generally offered both in the morning and afternoon times. Check our current Recreation and Library Guide posted on the Recreation Department page for class descriptions and times.

Q: Do you offer senior trips and outings?

A: We offer a variety of day trips from September through June occurring approximately once a month.  Check your Recreation and Library Guide, also posted on the Recreation Department page, for schedules.


Click here for a copy of the Senior Resource Guide (PDF)


Team/Sports Programming - 403-2204

Q: Do you have ongoing and/or seasonal sports?

A: We offer a variety of sports throughout the year, for most ages.  Check our current Recreation Guide posted on the Recreation Department page for sports listing.

Q: Where do the sports classes meet at Lacy Park?

A: For the first class, participants meet their coach at the flagpole.  After that, an established playing area is made.


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Crowell Public Library - (626) 300-0777


Q: When is the library open?

A: Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.


Q: How do I get a library card?

A: Library cards are free and available with proper ID. Generally a government issued identification card with name, photo and current address is acceptable. Minors can obtain cards; a parent/guardian is required as a co-signer.


Q: How many books are we allowed to check out?

A: You can have a total of 50 items checked out, subject to certain limitations. In general, you can check out three items per subject or per author. There are other restrictions on DVDs, books on CDs and Read-Alongs. These are posted on our website as well as at the check-out desk. 


Q: Can I access the Internet at the public library?

A:The Library has 36 computers for accessing the Internet: 16 on the adult side and 20 filtered computers for children and young adults. Use of the computers is free. There is a 15 cent charge for black and white prints; color prints cost $1.00. The Library also offers wireless Web access. To use the Internet, it is necessary to have a library card and a PIN.


Q: What is my PIN?

A: Your default PIN is the last four digits of your telephone number. By accessing “Your Account” from our homepage, you can change the PIN.


Q: May I renew items that I have checked out, over the phone?

A: Yes, just call the Circulation Desk at 626-300-0777 during regular business hours. You can also renew your material online at Select "Your Library Account".


Q: May I reserve books on line?

A: Yes, go to, select Search for Books in Library, and Place Hold when you find the book you want. You may also reserve items by calling the Reference Librarian during regular business hours at 626-300-0777. There is a 50-cent fee for each reserve placed.


Q: When is the Book Shoppe Open?

A: Our Book Shoppe is run by the Friends of the Crowell Public Library, a volunteer support group for the library. The Book Shoppe is open Mondays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays from 12:15 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 4 pm. Remember: 100% of Shoppe sales are returned to the library for materials and programs.


Q: How do I reserve a room?

A: The Study Rooms in the Lifelong Learning Center are first come/first served. The Barth Community Room (seating 80 people) and the Thornton Conference Room (seating 20 people) are available for hourly rentals. Rates and more information are available on the website (; select Library Meeting Room Information) or by contacting the Recreation Department at 626-403-2211.


Q: Do you accept book donations?

A: Yes! Most donations go directly to our Friends Book Shoppe, where they are sold for a very reasonable cost. All profits are returned to the library to help fund programs and materials.


Q: Is there another way I can make a donation?

A: We accept cash donations through the Friends, Foundation or directly to the library. We also maintain a wish list for a variety of items for those wishing to donate a particular item. Contact the City Librarian (626-300-0775) for additional information.


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Police Department


Q: Where is the San Marino Police Department located?

A: The San Marino Police Department is located on the corner of San Marino Avenue and Huntington Drive at 2200 Huntington Drive, San Marino, CA 91108. The SMPD lobby can be accessed from the San Marino Avenue side of the civic center complex.


Q: What telephone number do I call for routine police services?

A: 626-300-0720


Q: What telephone number do I call for EMERGENCY police response?

A: 911


Q: What are the Police Department business hours?

A: Our lobby is open for police business 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For business with our Records Bureau and/or information on obtaining a police report, please click SMPD FAQ and select “How to request a Police Report.”


Q: Has the Police Department adopted Core Values and Performance Expectations?

A: Yes. There are four Core Values: INTEGRITY, HARD WORK, SUPPORT (Teamwork) and PRIDE IN SERVICE.


Q: I am a resident of San Marino and I am having a party at my house. Can I hire San Marino Police Officers to work at the event to provide security?

A: Yes. Contact City Hall at 626-300-0700 to obtain general information, including costs.


Q: How do I obtain information about your department career openings as a police officer?

A: You can call Sergeant Aaron Blondé at 626-300-0720. Sergeant Blondé is in charge of personnel hiring for the department.


Q: What are the requirements to become a San Marino Police Officer?

A: In addition to other qualifications, applicants must be 21 years of age or older, U.S. Citizens, in good physical and mental condition, a high school graduate and maintain a valid California Class “C” driver license. The use of tobacco products of any kind is disqualifying. Applicants must read and review the official City of San Marino Employment Opportunity posting for additional job requirements.


Q: I am currently working with another police department and I am interested in the lateral police officer position. Does your Department waive any portion of the testing process for lateral applicants?

A: Yes. The Department will waive the written test and the physical agility test. After submitting your City of San Marino application, you will be contacted by phone or mail to schedule your oral interview assessment. Additionally, the San Marino Police Department can accelerate the hiring process for highly qualified applicants.


Q: Does the Police Department handle calls regarding barking dogs and other animal issues?

A: Yes. The Police Department will respond to animal noise complaints and other concerns with any animal problem. The City of San Marino contracts with the Pasadena Humane Society to handle matters of animal pick-up and to assist the Police Department when requested.


Q: Where do I go to get a dog license for my pet?

A: Licenses are issued by the Pasadena Humane Society. Their contact information is 626-795-3083, 361 South Raymond Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91105. You may also drop off your paperwork at San Marino City Hall, Second Floor and, in turn, a staff member will forward your dog license paperwork to the Pasadena Humane Society.


Q: What are the requirements for having a burglar alarm on my prope

A: Alarm users shall not operate or cause to be operated an Alarm System on a property without a valid Alarm Permit issued annually by the Chief of Police. A separate permit is required for each Alarm Site. The annual fee for the Alarm Permit or renewal shall be provided in the Master Fee Schedule adopted by City Council resolution. The annual fee will be waived for renewal of Alarm Permits issued for residential Alarm Sites at which no false alarms have been reported for the prior year. Upon receipt of a completed application form and the permit fee, the Chief of Police shall issue an Alarm Permit to the applicant.


Q: What is a nuisance burglar alarm?

A: A nuisance burglar alarm is any alarm system that generates more than three (3) false alarms in any twelve (12) month period.


Q: Is there a penalty for nuisance burglar alarms?

A: Yes. Owners of a nuisance alarm shall pay a civil penalty of one hundred dollars ($100.00) on the fourth or fifth offense; five hundred dollars ($500.00) for the sixth and subsequent offenses.


Q: Are there any restrictions on mechanical-powered devices (motor-powered tools/equipment)?

A: Yes. Mechanical powered devices (motor powered equipment) may only be operated between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday; and 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays. Mechanical powered devices may not be operated on Sundays or Holidays.


Q: Does the City have an ordinance prohibiting the overnight parking of vehicles on City streets?

A: Yes. Vehicles are not permitted to park on city streets between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. excluding Huntington Drive and San Gabriel Boulevard.


Q: Can I obtain an overnight parking permit to park my car on the street?

A: Yes. Free overnight permits can be obtained on the San Marino Police Department web page.


Q: How do I contest a parking citation I received?

A: Click on the Parking Citation link for information regarding parking citations.


Q: How do I obtain a City bicycle license?

A: Bicycle licenses may be obtained through the Business License Clerk located at City Hall, Second Floor.


Q: Is it a violation of City Ordinance to solicit door-to-door?

A: Yes. Commercial (other than political and religious), door-to-door solicitation is a violation of City Ordinance. This includes the distribution of handbills or any other information passed or placed on property.


Q: Does the City have a Commission to monitor and advise the City Council regarding traffic matters?

A: Yes. The San Marino Traffic Advisory Commission meets regularly on the third Monday of each month in the City Council chambers. You may view the Traffic Advisory Commission meeting agenda by clicking on the "Council and Commission Agendas" link.


Q: How do I report a dangerous or hazardous situation that I have noticed in San Marino?

A: We encourage the reporting of any potential problem by calling the police dispatcher at 626-300-0720. If it is a life-threatening situation, plase dial 911.


Q: I have a question that I would like to ask a San Marino Police Officer. How do I go about doing this?

A: You may call 626-300-0720 and ask for the Watch Commander.


Q: How do I report traffic violations occurring in my neighborhood?

A: You may report traffic violations to the Watch Commander at 626-300-0720. The Watch Commander will prepare an extra patrol request that will be disseminated to patrol officers at report briefings.


Q: I’m going on vacation. Does the Police Department have a program to keep an eye on my house?

A: Yes. For a fee of five dollars ($5.00) per day, a police employee will check the exterior of your house for security on a daily basis. The employee will also remove newspapers and mail that might indicate to a burglar that you are away.


Q: Does the Police Department maintain a residential key file for homes in San Marino?

A: Yes. This voluntary program allows San Marino residents to drop off a house key at the Police Department where it will be retained on file. With special instruction from the homeowner, the key can be used to enter your home in the event of lost keys or a medical emergency.


Q: Can I get my fingerprints taken at the Police Department?

A: Yes. The San Marino Police Department provides Live Scan fingerprinting from 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. This service is provided on a walk-in basis; however, you may also make an appointment at 626-300-0720.


Q: Does the Police Department offer information regarding registered sex offenders and Megan’s Law?

A: Information regarding sex offenders and Megan’s Law can be viewed at the website of the Office of Attorney General – State of California. The URL is


Q: What is the San Marino Police Department's CLEAR Program? 

A: The San Marino Police Department has announced a new email program that will assist the Police Department in communicating more regularly with the community. This new email program, known as the CLEAR Program - Communicating Law Enforcement Alerts to Residents, seeks to release timely information, increase the partnership between the community and the police, and assist detectives in solving criminal cases. A representative of the police department will send periodic emails to participants. The emails may include press releases, crime bulletins, certain wanted posters, recent crime trends, and crime prevention techniques. The emails will be exclusively informational in nature and participants will never receive advertisements or solicitations. The list of email addresses are confidential and will not be distributed for commercial purposes (the Police Department is not exempt from federal and state laws relating to public records disclosure). Participation in the program is voluntary and persons are free to have their email address removed from the distribution list at any time. Additionally, all emails would only contain a single email address to prevent the unauthorized use of the list or unwanted email. The CLEAR program is open to all persons who reside, work or own a business in the City of San Marino. To sign-up for the program, send an email to, visit the police department lobby to fill out a card, click on the link on the City’s website or call the Investigation & Support Services Division at 626-300-0720.


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Fire Department


Q: How can I become a Firefighter?

A: Click here for the information on becoming a firefighter.


Q: Why are Dalmatians considered firehouse dogs?       

A: Dalmatians have shared the barns and the hunt courses with horses for centuries, so when fire-apparatus was horse-drawn, nearly every firehouse had its resident Dalmatian to help direct the horses, keep the horses company, and guard the firehouse.

The horses are gone from fire stations today, but the Dalmatians aren’t! Firehouse dogs nearly always were called “Sparky,” so Sparky was the obvious name for NFPA’s fire prevention symbol.


Q: We hardly ever have fires any more. What do you Firefighters actually do?

A: Good question. Actually, fires are only one of the emergencies we respond to, and not the most common anymore. Firefighting is about ten percent of what a fire department deals with these days. Seventy percent of our emergency responses are, in fact, calls for medical aid, including trauma on the street and illness at home. Other calls for emergency response involve Hazardous Materials Releases, Technical Rescue (high places, deep places, tight places, water rescues, etc.) and what we euphemistically refer to as “Public Assist” requests (locked out, locked in, water problems you name it).

The San Marino Fire Department responds to about 1500 requests for emergency assistance each year. As you can see we are 

We also spend quite a bit of time maintaining our equipment, doing routine public safety inspections (one major reason we hardly ever have fires anymore), training for all types of emergency response and, of course, the paperwork associated with these activities. We also use our knowledge and energy to provide emergency training programs to the general public. Most popular of these is our NEAT and BEAT programs, (Neighborhood Emergency Action Team, and Business Emergency Action Teams). Check them out here.


Q: Why do we get all these people (three firefighters complete with their big red truck, two ambulance attendants, etc.) at a simple medical call?

A: When a medical emergency is reported to the Public Safety Answering Point (911), dispatchers can not determine with certainty the exact nature or severity of the crisis. Additionally, medical emergencies tend to escalate during the time it takes to arrive on-scene. We send sufficient resources to handle the “worst case” situation and, in choosing what resources to commit, dispatchers must always act in the best interests of the patient. An old fire service maxim applies: “Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.”

Pre-hospital care has, in our lifetime, grown from a matter of providing simple “Load-and-Go” services (with a fairly poor history of success), into a complex, highly technical field that involves electronic cardiac monitoring and defibrillation, intravenous fluid therapy and sophisticated intervention techniques, some of which were not available even in emergency rooms twenty years ago. This level of care, known as “Advanced Life Support” (ALS), has significantly improved a patient’s chances for survival and full recovery, but the procedures require more and better-trained personnel to implement them.

The standard response to a medical-aid emergency in the City of San Marino includes the engine company arriving with three trained responders including (80% of the time) one or more paramedics, and the paramedic ambulance with two firefighter paramedics.  The City’s fire station is strategically located to allow arrival at any address in the City within four minutes, and therefore an engine company will usually be the first help on-scene. 

When an incident turns out to be minor in nature, the first-arriving unit can always cancel other resources via radio. Another, similar question is often asked during routine duties.


Q: Why do you have to bring all three people and the big red truck here, just for a simple inspection?

A: Two reasons: First, these inspections are conducted by on-duty engine companies, and the Captain must maintain his crew in a response-ready condition. The firefighters must remain together or very close-by and they must bring their fire engine along in order to respond immediately, should an emergency be reported in the city.

Second, an important part of the value of our Public Safety Inspection program is the familiarization of your local firefighters with the buildings and businesses within the city. While they check for hazards and consult with business owners on how best to eliminate or minimize the likelihood of a fire, firefighters are also familiarizing themselves with access points, high-value locations to give priority to in their firefighting efforts (typically the office area or files), potential hazards to themselves or to citizens, and possible resources to aid them in their firefighting efforts (skylights to assist in venting hot gases and smoke from the business, for example).


Q: Why did you chop that big hole in my roof!?! The fire was in the kitchen, not the attic!

A: Good question, and the answer lies in the next thing our people did, right after the roof-venting hole was made. Other firefighters immediately entered the building and applied their water stream directly to the seat (heart) of the fire. This extinguishing strategy, called a “Direct Interior Attack,” is the key to stopping a structure fire in its tracks, and preventing any further damage. To facilitate such an attack, the interior atmosphere must be lowered from the typical 1500°F of a structure fire, to a temperature which will permit firefighters to enter and to operate. The heat goes out through the hole in the roof.

Another, less common purpose for roof venting is to eliminate a “Backdraft” condition. Backdraft conditions result when a free-burning fire consumes all the available oxygen in a closed structure. Super-heated combustible gases remain, requiring only the introduction of oxygen (air) to explode. Simply opening the front door to effect entry can trigger a backdraft explosion, and has killed many firefighters.


Q: What is the Fire Triangle?

A: In order to have a fire, there must be three elements:

  • Fuel—something which will burn

  • Heat—enough to make the fuel burn

  • Air—more specifically, oxygen

Usually these three elements are expressed as a triangle, called The Fire Triangle.

All three elements must be present at the same time to have a fire. Fire will burn until one or more of the elements is removed.


Q: Do they actually pay you guys? Heck, I’d pay them to do what you do!

A: Yes! The City of San Marino employs only full-time, professional Firefighters and, while you’re right about enjoying what we do, it’s probably not entirely for the reasons you may think.

Driving “Code 3” (red lights and siren), for example, quickly goes from thrilling, to chilling. Nearly half of all firefighters who die on the job are killed in traffic collisions while responding to emergencies.

However, we do derive a deep personal satisfaction from making a “Good Stop” on a structure fire, or from saving someone from a heart attack. This is not even the most emotionally satisfying part of the job. Few people will ever get to know personal satisfaction of having a person who we last saw enroute to an emergency room in critical condition stop by the fire station to thank us for our part in saving their life. Something like that can keep a person grinning for weeks.

Virtually every study of “emotional rewards” of various professions, if the study includes firefighting, reports our job as Number One. Few firefighters are surprised at this. However, this is a demanding job, actually more a lifestyle with strange hours, unique challenges and a “bottom line” that is, literally, Life and Death. On the downside, recent studies have shown that firefighters are prime candidates for Critical Incident Stress Syndrome, the psychological damage and behavioral changes associated with exposure to strong emotional situations where the sufferer feels powerless to intervene, or cannot integrate the sometimes horrible reality of an incident into his conscious mind.


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