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City Laws, Codes and Regulations

The City of Cerritos is a legal self-governing entity – a municipal corporation – incorporated under the authority of the State of California Constitution. In 1959, City voters approved a City Charter for its own self-governance, making Cerritos a “chartered city.” As a result, the City has greater local authority, flexibility, and control to provide for its strategic goals, objectives, and needs on behalf of residents. The City operates pursuant to its own Charter, laws, codes, and regulations as described below.

City Charter

The Cerritos City Charter serves as the organic law of the municipal corporation. It defines the powers, organizational structure, elective and appointive officers, and other essential functions and procedures of the Cerritos municipal corporation as approved by the City’s voters. In instances where the City Charter is silent, the laws and codes of the State of California are enforced.

Municipal Code

Pursuant to its City Charter, the City is authorized to adopt ordinances, which serve as laws and regulations of the municipal corporation. These laws and regulations apply within the jurisdictional boundaries of the City and regulate various aspects of community life. The City’s current ordinances are organized (codified) in the Cerritos Municipal Code.

General Plan

The City is required by California State law to adopt a General Plan that provides the policy framework for the long-term physical development of our community. Our General Plan expresses our community's development goals and provides specific public policy relative to the public and private uses of land in our community.

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