Frequently Asked Questions

City Attorney | City Clerk | Finance | Public Works

City Attorney’s Office

1.) What does the City Attorney do?

The City Council appoints the City Attorney as its chief legal counsel.  The City Attorney’s Office serves as “corporate” legal counsel to the City as an entity and advises the City Council and City staff on contractual, regulatory and litigation matters.  These matters typically include open meeting and public records laws; conflicts of interests; land use and environmental laws; claims and litigation; municipal elections; employment and labor relations; municipal utilities; procurement and other internal services; code enforcement; and resolutions, ordinances, and other legal documents.

As the City Attorney’s Office does not provide legal advice to individuals in the City of Antioch, you are directed to the following resources for private legal assistance:

Contra Costa County Bar Referral Service for a referral to a private attorney at
925-827-5700 or

Contra Costa County Superior Court Virtual Self-Help Law Center at

California Courts Online Self-Help Center at

State Bar of California publications at

            “Kids & the Law:  An A-Z Guide for Parents”
            “When You Become 18:  A Survival Guide for Teenagers”
            “Seniors & the Law:  A Guide for Maturing Californians”

2.) Does the City Attorney prosecute criminal activity?

The City Attorney’s Office does not prosecute criminal activity.  For information about criminal matters, please contact the District Attorney’s Office at
925-957-2218 or by mail at P.O. Box 670, Martinez, CA  94553.

City Clerk's Office - Voter Info

When can I put up political signs and what are the requirements?

Title 9 Planning and Zoning
          (A)     Temporary sign defined.  TEMPORARY SIGN shall mean any sign, handbill, or poster which is placed to advertise or announce a specific event, or which pertains to a particular event or occurrence, or which is not designed or intended to be placed permanently.  Examples of temporary signs include, but are not limited to, signs, handbills, or posters relating to garage sales, political candidates or ballot measures, concerts, “swap meets,” and the like.

          (B)     Legislative findings.  The Council finds as follows:

                   (1)      Aside from this section, temporary signs are not regulated by this article and are therefore not subject to design review or approval as to their size, shape, color, design, or placement.  The lack of regulation of temporary signs has in the past led to visual clutter within the community and aesthetic blight.  At times, temporary signs pose traffic safety hazards.

                   (2)      Property and facilities located within the public right-of-way, such as utility poles, benches, hydrants, bridges, sidewalks, and similar structures, are not by tradition or designation a forum for communication by the general public, and the Council wishes to preserve such structures for their intended purposes, which is the safe, efficient, and pleasant movement of vehicular and pedestrian traffic and the operation of utility systems.

                   (3)      The regulations and prohibitions specified in this section are necessary to preserve items located within the public right-of-way for their intended purposes and to prevent the visual clutter, blight, and traffic safety hazards caused by temporary signs therein.

          (C)     Posting prohibited.  No person shall paint, mark, write on, post or otherwise affix, erect, construct, maintain, paste, nail, tack, or otherwise fasten or affix any temporary sign on any sidewalk, crosswalk, curb, street lamp post, pole, bench, hydrant, tree, shrub, bridge, or electric light or power or telephone wire pole, or wire appurtenance thereof, or upon any street sign or traffic sign, or upon any other object located within the public right-of-way which is not maintained for the purpose of communications by temporary signs by the general public.

          (D)     Exceptions.  This section shall not prevent a public officer or employee from posting notices as required by law, such as notices of street abandonment or notices of proposed assessment district proceedings, as required by the Streets and Highways Code of the state or other statutory authority.  This section shall also not prevent the Director of Public Works from issuing an encroachment permit for the erection of banners pertaining to noncommercial and nonpolitical community events, such as parades, fairs, and community celebrations.  This section shall also not pertain to structures located within the right-of-way which by tradition or designation are used for the purpose of communication by the general public.  Such structures shall include kiosks, bulletin boards, benches upon which advertising is authorized, newspaper racks, and billboards as authorized by this Code.

          (E)      Sign distance.  No temporary sign over three feet in height located on private property shall be erected or placed at the intersection of any street or within the segment created by drawing an imaginary line between points 50 feet back from where the curb lines of the intersection quadrant intersect.

          (F)      Removal.

                   (1)      Temporary signs not prohibited by this section shall be removed within 14 calendar days after the event to which they relate occurs.

                   (2)      Any temporary sign posted or otherwise affixed in violation of this section may be removed by officers of the Police, Building Inspection, or Public Works Departments or by the Code Enforcement Officer.  Signs removed by city employees shall be taken to the Maintenance Service Center.  The employee removing the sign shall immediately attempt to notify the owner of the sign, if such can be ascertained.  In cases where a sign contains the name of a printing firm or political candidate, the Department shall also immediately attempt to notify such firm or candidate of the fact of removal, the location of the sign, and the procedure for retrieving the sign.

          (G)     Retrieval of signs.  Any person desiring to retrieve a sign removed by the city may do so upon the payment of an administrative fine as specified by resolution.  In lieu of paying such administrative fine, such person may retrieve a sign upon signing a promise to appear upon a citation issued to him or her for the violation of this section.  If a person wishes to contest the fact that a sign was placed in violation of this section prior to paying the fine or signing the citation, he or she shall have the right to an administrative hearing before the Director of Public Works.  If the Director of Public Works finds that the sign was lawfully posted, he shall return the sign without an administrative penalty or the issuance of a citation.

          (H)     Destruction of signs.  Any temporary sign removed by the city may be considered abandoned if it is not retrieved within 15 calendar days after the date of such removal and may be disposed of by the city without liability to any person.
(Ord. 918-C-S, passed 5-28-96)

Who is eligible to register to Vote?
The California Election Codes states every person who legally resides in the State of California and will be at least 18 years of age at the time of the next election, not in prison or on parole for the conviction of a felony, is eligible to register to vote under Section 2 of Article II of the California Constitution.

Who should complete a Voters Registration Form?
Anyone who meets the above eligibility criteria and:

  • Is not now registered in the County;
  • Has changed his/her place of residence since last registering;
  • Wishes to change his/her political party; or
  • Has changed his/her name since last registering.

How do I register to Vote?
Registration forms are available at the following Antioch locations: City Hall Offices, corner of Third and H Streets; Legislative Offices, 420 Third Street, or; Contra Costa County Library, 501 W. 18th Street.  Registration forms are also available at the Contra Costa County Election Office, 524 Main Street, Martinez, and you can, of course, you can register online at
How do I obtain proof I am a Registered Voter?
The City Clerk's Office issues transcripts certifying voter registration.  You will be required to provide proof of the following information.  You will be required to provide proof of the following information, along with a current photo ID: Full name, address, place and date of birth.  There is a $5 fee for service.

Finance Department - Business License

Who Needs a Business License?

Anyone conducting business within the City of Antioch needs a current business license. A new business license is also required if the business changes location, ownership or name.

What to Do

Before you apply for a business license or enter into any lease agreements there are several matters you must first check.

Zoning and Planning

The City's zoning ordinance regulates land uses. Some businesses are not allowed in certain zones or require Zoning Administrator or Planning Commission approval. Parking requirements for the business will also need to be considered. If you plan to operate a business in your home, a home occupation use permit is required before obtaining a business license. Contact the Planning Department on the second floor of the City Hall for more information.

Building Permits

Any remodeling or construction planned for the business may require a building permit. Before doing any construction check with the Building Department.
(Brochure2.doc in word updated 9/02)

Sign Permits

If you plan to put up or change a sign, first contact the Planning Department. Some buildings or commercial centers may have an approved sign program. If a sign program has not been approved, a sign permit may be required. Most often sign applications can be reviewed by planning staff, but some will require Design Review Board approval.

Public Health

All food service businesses, including restaurants, snack bars, delis, and grocery stores must be licensed by the Contra Costa County Environmental Health Services. If you plan to serve or sell alcoholic beverages, an alcoholic beverage license is required through the State Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Businesses, such as photographic processing, chrome plating or service stations, which generate small hazardous waste or require underground storage of hazardous materials, require a permit from the Contra Costa County Occupational Health Services.

Fictitious Business Names

Any name used other than your personal proper name (i.e.; Jim Smith, D.D.S.) must be filed with the County Clerk's office.

Retail Sales Permit

Sales or use tax may apply to your business activities. You can obtain more information on this by contacting the State Board of Equalization.

Tax Identification Numbers

If you are self-employed, you have to make your Social Security contributions through the self-employment tax.  If you are planning to have employees, you will need an employee tax ID number from the Federal and State governments. Contact IRS and EDD.

Worker’s Compensation Insurance

All employers are required to carry Worker’s Compensation Insurance.  It covers your employees for work-related injuries.

Completing the Business License

Business License applications can be obtained through the Finance Department on the first floor of City Hall.  It can also be downloaded from our website. Once you are ready to apply, complete the form and take it to the Planning and Building Departments for review and approval. When this is complete, return the application to the Finance Department with a check for the appropriate fees.

Receiving the Business License

The Finance Department will process your application in approximately four weeks. Once the application is processed, the business license will be mailed to your business location.

To help promote your business, the Chamber of Commerce, located at 324 G St, is available to assist you.

(This explanation does not constitute final or complete interpretation of all legal requirements which may apply to your particular business.)  

Planning Department
Third and "H" Streets
City Hall, Second Floor
(925) 779‑7035

Building Department
Third and "H" Streets
City Hall, Second Floor
(925) 779‑7065

Finance Department
Business Licenses
Third and "H" Streets
City Hall, First Floor
(925) 779‑7059

Antioch Chamber of Commerce
Antioch Chamber SBIC
101 H Street Suite 4
Antioch, CA 94509  

County Offices
Environmental Health Services
County Health Department
2120 Diamond Blvd #200
Concord, CA 94520
(925) 646‑5225

Contra Costa Fire District
2010 Geary Road
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
(925) 757‑1303

County Clerk/Clerk Recorder
Fictitious Business Name

State offices
State Board of Equalization (SBE) seller’s permit
1515 Clay St #303
Oakland, CA 94612
(800) 400‑7115

Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) alcohol license
1515 Clay St #2208
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 622-4970

Employment Development Dept (EDD) state tax ID#
(916) 654-8706

Franchise Tax Board (FTB) state income tax

Community Care Licensing – day care license
State of CA, Dept of Social Services
1515 Clay St #1102
Oakland, CA  94612
(510) 622-2602 or (925) 778-5437

Secretary of State
Articles of Incorporation or
filing Non-profit Status
(916) 657-5448

Department of Industrial Relations
Division of Worker’s Compensation
175 Lennon Ln
Walnut Creek, CA  94598
(925) 977-8343

Federal Offices
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) federal tax ID#

Social Security Administration

Miscellaneous Offices
Small Business Administration (SBA)
455 Market St, 6th floor
San Francisco, CA  94105
(415) 744-6820
822 Main Street
Martinez, CA  94553
(925) 646-2365

Permit Assistance Center
(800) 468-1786

Public Works Department - Utility Billing

How do I establish service for water?

Begin the process by contacting the Customer Service Department at (925) 779-7060. To open an account, or to inquire on an account, or inquire about our new online service.  We can also provide help on reading your meter or determining if you have a water leak. Water service for new accounts can generally be started on the same day. Requests made after 3:00 p.m. may be effected on the following day. There is no weekend or holiday service.
Is a deposit required to establish water service?
The City does require deposits on most accounts, both residential and commercial. These deposits are refundable upon termination of the account, less outstanding charges, or after 18 months of maintaining the account in good standing at which point the deposit will be credited to the account. Allow up to three weeks for deposit refunds.
When are the bills for water/sewer mailed and when are they due?

Water bills and monthly sewer maintenance charges are billed every month. Bills are mailed by cycle and are due upon receipt & delinquent after 15 days from the created date.
How do I make a water payment?
Payments for water service may be made at City Hall at the First Floor Customer Service Counter, at a conveniently located drive-up drop box located in the City Hall parking lot, or using our new online payment service. Payments may be mailed to the City of Antioch, P.O. Box 5008, Antioch, CA 94531-5008.
Can I have my payment automatically deducted from my checking account?

The City is currently working to offer this option for automatic payments via credit card or checking account. At this time it is not an available option.
How are water rates and monthly maintenance charges determined?
Water rates and monthly maintenance charges are set annually by council action and are available in the City of Antioch Master Fee, which may be purchased for $6 or may be found at the Antioch Public Library.
How do I establish service for garbage?
Contact Allied Waste Services at (925) 685-4711 or online at