Website Terms of Use


The City of Palo Alto’s website is designed to engage the community with content-rich, easily-navigated information; to provide e-government services, serve as a launch pad for community engagement, and showcase the City’s services, vision and values. The City’s site is a nonpublic forum created by the City for purposes of providing information to the public regarding City official actions, laws, and services. The City does not allow any outside entity to use, publish, or edit the site.

Notice to City

Communications made through the City of Palo Alto's website shall in no way be deemed to constitute legal or official notice to the City of Palo Alto, its agencies, officers, employees, representatives, or agents with respect to any existing, pending, or future claim or cause of action against the City of Palo Alto or any of its agencies, officers, employees, representatives, or agents where notice is required by federal, state, or local law. No communication to the City of Palo Alto made through this site shall be deemed to constitute legal or official notice for any purpose.

Materials and information on the City of Palo Alto's site are provided as a public service and intended to afford general guidelines on matters of public interest. Accordingly, the information in this site is not intended to serve as legal, accounting, or tax advice. Except for external website materials, the materials and information on this site were generated, compiled, or assembled at public expense and are freely available for non-commercial, non-profit use, provided the user keeps intact all associated copyright, trademark, and other proprietary notices.


Changes are made periodically to many city documents, including municipal codes, charter sections, regulations, guidelines, and schedules, and these changes may or may not be reflected in the materials of information present on the City of Palo Alto’s website. In the event of a difference between the information on this site and official information available at city offices, the official information should prevail. Additionally, because the site is frequently under development, materials and information may be deleted, modified, or moved to a different part of the site without advance notice.


All site design, text, graphics, interfaces, and selection and arrangements thereof are copyright 2019 City of Palo Alto, California. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, except as otherwise noted. Permission is granted to download information from this site, so long as such information is not used for commercial purposes.

Notices of Public Hearing

When the City places notices of items on this site, schedule for upcoming public meeting or hearing, it does so only to facilitate public access to such information, as a supplement to the legally required methods of posting notices.

Email to City Officers and Employees

Persons submitting email comments or questions to the City or to City officials or employees should be aware that the City cannot guarantee, nor does it represent that such communications will remain private or confidential. Similar to mailed or delivered comments, comments received via email may become subject to public disclosure under the California Public Records Act and/or part of the discovery procedure in a civil lawsuit. Personal contact information supplied by a member of the public as part of such comments, such as mailing/home address or email address, may be subject to disclosure pursuant to the Public Records Act. 

Acceptable Use Policy

Using the City of Palo Alto web site indicates your agreement with our web site Rules which contain important Conditions and Restrictions. Individuals, organizations and businesses are free to use the City of Palo Alto web site for any lawful, worthy and ethical purpose, except as limited by these Rules. The web site must not be used to solicit customers or sell products or services. 

Users with "robots," "spiders," or other automated programs may visit the City of Palo Alto web site, but are prohibited from resending or redirecting information without the prior written permission of the City of Palo Alto. 

We ask all web site users to use appropriate names and language in the name spaces, address spaces and other spaces (if any) provided on the web site. Users are forbidden from using false e-mail addresses. 

This web site contains material protected by law, including but not limited to copyrights and trademarks. All rights in such material are reserved to the City of Palo Alto and materials may not be reused in any way or copied in whole or part without prior written permission from the City of Palo Alto.  

No representations or warranties are made regarding the materials in or Operations of this web site. In particular, the City of Palo Alto makes no warranties concerning the integrity or fitness or a particular purpose of any information, either express or implied, and disclaims any warranties of non-infringement. The City of Palo Alto shall not be liable for any damages of any kind that may result from the use of this web site. Materials in and operations of this web site are provided as-is and there is no warranty made that they will be free from errors or interruptions. Any liability of the City of Palo Alto to users for any damages or losses of any kind shall not exceed the amount paid by the user, if any, for use of this web site. 

These rules represent the entire agreement between users and the City of Palo Alto and may not be modified except by a signed written agreement. This agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of California. If any provision of these rules shall be declared by a court to be invalid, illegal, or unenforceable, such provision shall be deemed severable from this agreement and the other provisions shall remain in full force and effect. 


The City of Palo Alto is committed to ensuring accessible content for users with all types of disabilities. To learn more about the City’s website ADA elements, details about the City’s ADA transition plan progress, or to report and ADA issue, go here: Accessibility Statement


The City of Palo Alto manages this web site. This web site provides public services through the use of information technology. The City of Palo Alto is dedicated to protecting your privacy online. The following privacy statement outlines how individual information will be handled by the City of Palo Alto while using this site. 

Information Collected and Stored Automatically - For site management functions, information is collected for analysis and statistical purposes. This information is not reported or used in any manner that would reveal personally identifiable information, and will not be released to any outside parties unless legally required to do so in connection with law enforcement investigations or other legal proceedings. The City of Palo Alto uses analytical tools to create summary statistics, which are used for purposes such as assessing what information is of most interest, determining technical design specifications, and identifying system performance or problem areas. The City of Palo Alto does not collect personally identifiable information, and makes no attempt to link them with the individuals who browse the web site. When you visit the City of Palo Alto web site and browse or download information, we automatically collect and store the following information about your visit: 

  • The Internet Protocol Address and domain name used but not the email address. The Internet Protocol address is a numerical identifier assigned either to your Internet service provider or directly to your computer. We use the Internet Protocol Address to direct Internet traffic to you;
  • The type of browser and operating system you used;
  • The date and time you visited this site;
  • The Web pages or services you accessed at this site; and
  • The Web site you visited prior to coming to this Web site. 

If, during your visit to the City of Palo Alto Web Site, you participate in a survey, fill out a Web form, or send an email, the following additional information will be collected: 

  • The email address and contents of the email; and 
  • Information volunteered to complete a Web form or in response to a survey. 

If you send us an email with a question or comment that contains personally identifiable information, or fill out a form that emails us this information, we will only use the personally identifiable information to respond to your request and analyze trends. This may be to respond to you, to address issues you identify, or to further improve our Web site. We may redirect your message to another department, division or program within the City that is in a better position to answer your question. Survey information is used only for the purpose designated. 

Personal Information and Choice - Personal information is information about a natural person that is readily identifiable to that specific individual. Personal information includes such things as an individual's name, address, and phone number. A domain name or Internet Protocol address is not considered personal information. 

We collect no personal information about you unless you voluntarily participate in an activity that asks for information (i.e. sending an email, filling out a Web form, or participating in a survey). If you choose not to participate in these activities, your choice will in no way affect your ability to use any other feature of this web site. 

If personal information is requested on the Web site or volunteered by the user, State law and the federal Privacy Act of 1974 may protect it. However, this information is a public record once you provide it, and may be subject to public inspection and copying if not protected by Federal or State law. 

Users are cautioned that the collection of personal information requested from or volunteered by children on-line or by email will be treated the same as information given by an adult, and may be subject to public access. 

Public Disclosure - In the State of California, laws exist to ensure that government is open and that the public has a right to access appropriate records and information possessed by municipalities. At the same time, there are exceptions to the public's right to access public records that serve various needs including the privacy of individuals. Exceptions are provided by both State and Federal laws. 
All information collected at this site becomes public records that may be subject to inspection and copying by the public, unless an exemption in law exists. 

Cookies - This web site uses "cookies" to customize your browsing experience with the City of Palo Alto web site. A cookie contains unique information a web site can use to track such things as the Internet Protocol address for the computer you used to access this site, the identification of the browser software and operating system you used, the date and time you accessed the site, and the Internet address of the website from which you linked to this site. Cookies created on your computer by using this web site do not contain personally identifying information and do not compromise your privacy or security. You can refuse the cookie or delete the cookie file from your computer by using any of the widely available methods. If you choose not to accept a cookie on your computer, it will not prevent or prohibit you from gaining access to or using this site. 

Security, Intrusion Detection Language - The Department of Information Technology, as developer and manager of the City of Palo Alto web site, has taken several steps to safeguard the integrity of its telecommunications and computing infrastructure, including but not limited to authentication, monitoring, auditing and encryption. Security measures have been integrated into the design, implementation and day-to-day practices of the entire website operating environment as part of its continuing commitment to risk management. This information should not be construed in any way as giving business, legal, or other advice, or warranting as fail proof, the security of information provided via the City's web site. 

Unauthorized attempts to deny service, upload information, change information, or to attempt to access a non-public site from this service are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under Title 18 of the U.S. Code to include the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 and the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act. 
Limitations - This web site has links to other websites. These include links to web sites operated by other government agencies, other cities, nonprofit organizations and private businesses. When you link to another site, you are no longer on The City of Palo Alto Web Site and this Privacy Notice is not applicable. When you link to another Web site, you are subject to the privacy policy of that new site. 

Other Digital Communications

This policy applies to other digital communications mediums in which the City sends or posts information including, social media websites, email, and digital transactions. 

Use of Social Media - Communications made through the City of Palo Alto's social media accounts are not the official City record and shall in no way be deemed to constitute legal or official notice to the City of Palo Alto. No communication to the City of Palo Alto made through social media accounts shall be deemed to constitute legal or official notice for any purpose.  

The City strives to provide a safe, inclusive and welcoming space for our digital community to share input, be informed and engage with the City of Palo Alto. Sometimes it is necessary to remove comments or posts shared by the community on the City’s social media accounts that violate the terms of service. The City has an overriding interest in maintaining a positive environment that encourages participation in the civic process while protecting users from discrimination or harassment. If the City social media account managers find a post to be deemed inappropriate, the City will remove content promptly. The following are examples of unacceptable content. This list is not intended to be an exhaustive list: 

  • Profane language or content
  • Content that promotes, fosters, or perpetuates discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, age, religion, gender, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, national origin, physical or mental disability, citizenship or immigration status, or sexual orientation
  • Sexual content or links to sexual content
  • Solicitations of commerce
  • Conduct or encouragement of illegal activity 
  • Information that may compromise the safety or security of the public or public systems
  • Content that violates a legal ownership interest of any other party

Social media users where content is removed, will be notified through the social media platform in writing of the removal. If a user continues to violate the terms of service, the City has the right to remove or block the user from the City’s account.  


Neither the City of Palo Alto, nor any agency, officer, or employee warrants the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of any information published by this system, nor endorses any content, viewpoints, products, or services linked from this system, and shall not be held liable for any losses caused by reliance on the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of such information. Portions of such information may be incorrect or not current. Any person or entity that relies on any information obtained from this system does so at his or her own risk.

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