Legislation

The Office of the City Clerk maintains important legislative documents concerning the City of Palo Alto. This includes the City Charter, the Municipal Code, Ordinances, and Resolutions.

The Municipal Code and the City Charter

Our Municipal Code is a collection of passed legislation by the Palo Alto City Council and is subject to change. The passed legislation is referred to as an Ordinance or measure and have the effect of law, unless declared invalid/unconstitutional. The City Charter defines the powers, functions, and procedures of Palo Alto. It is an important legal document that provides the framework of our City.

While every attempt is made to keep this online version current, it should be used for reference only. The most recent Ordinances amending the Palo Alto Municipal Code may be found in the City Clerk's Office. The online version of the Municipal Code is updated several times per year, which also includes the City Charter.

Municipal Code                 City Charter

Ordinances

Ordinances are laws passed by the Palo Alto City Council and generally govern matters not already specified by state/federal laws. The majority of Ordinances deal with maintaining the general welfare of the City. Examples include, but are not limited to: building, zoning, public health, and business regulations.

Individual Ordinances are sorted by year, and each are embedded as links within the page. If you wish to search for a specific topic, press Ctrl+F (PC) or Command+F (Mac) to search a keyword within the list.

Resolutions

Resolutions are non-binding motions that express the Palo Alto City Council's consensus on matters of public policy, social issues, and legal rights. They also are used for internal and administrative purposes, such as scheduling the City Council Summer/Winter closures and calling General Municipal Elections. Resolutions are not laws like Ordinances, but they showcase the resolve and support of the Council.

Individual Resolutions are sorted by year, and each are embedded as links within the page. If you wish to search for a specific topic, press Ctrl+F (PC) or Command+F (Mac) to search a keyword within the list.