ADA Accessible WebsitePhone IconBudget Affordable Hotels MotelGoogle Map Icon Clean Comfortable Rooms Hotels AAA Approved
(831) 659-2261|
Accessibility  Skip
Handicapped Web Accessible Website click


The City of Carmel-by-the-Sea is a General Law City and operates a Council-City Administrator style of government and derives its power from the California Constitution and laws enacted by the State legislature. All legislative power is held by the publicly elected, five member City Council which consists of the Mayor and four Councilmembers. While all Councilmembers enjoy the same powers and privileges, the Mayor has the additional responsibility of presiding over City Council meetings, signing official documents, and officiating at ceremonies and events.

Type of Government

The Constitution of the State of California established two types of cities: Charter and General Law. At first glance they appear similar as they pertain to day-to-day- operations. A Charter City, however, has considerably more authority than a General Law City to tax, to regulate and to adopt its own procedures and organization. A General Law City, on the other hand, may exercise only those powers expressly given to it under State law. All cities begin as General Law cities, and the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea has chosen to remain such.

Form of Government

State law permits two basic forms of government in General Law Cities: the Equal Council System and Council - Manager/City Administrator System. Carmel-by-the-Sea's governmental system is Council/City Administrator. The Mayor and City Council, as the governing body, are elected by the people. The City Council appoints the City Administrator. It also appoints the City's Attorney, Treasurer, and Engineer. The City Administrator appoints all other City employees.

Boards and Commissions

There are five City Boards and Commissions: Community Activities & Cultural, Forest and Beach, Planning Commission, Historic Resources Board, and the Harrison Memorial Library Board of Trustees, which advise and assist the City Council in dealing with specific projects, policies, and issues. Terms for the City's Boards and Commissions expire September 30 of each year. To serve on a Board or Commission, you must reside either within the City limits or within its sphere of influence.

City Hall

Under the leadership of the City Administrator, Administration strives to provide excellent customer service to decision-makers, City departments, employees, businesses and the public. Administration is comprised of the City Administrator, the City Clerk, Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, and Marketing and Economic Development functions.

Community Activities

The Community Activities Department is responsible for the facilitation of special events held within Carmel-by-the-Sea, the rental of the Vista Lobos Community room, and the oversight of the weekly Farmers' Market. In addition to organizing annual City events, department staff work with event organizers to facilitate special event, film, and parking stall permits for other events held within the City including parks, streets, and Carmel Beach.

Community Planning & Building

The Community Planning and Building Department includes the Planning, Building and Code Compliance Divisions and is responsible for preserving community character while fostering a vibrant community and a high quality of life for its residents, businesses and visitors.

Public Safety

Public Works

The Public Works Department is responsible for design, construction, operation and maintenance of improvements to public facilities, public rights-of-way, parks, urban forest, and Carmel Beach.


Translation of Website

Facebook Social Media Carmel Valley Lodge Hotels Motels Wine CountryTwitter Tweet Social Media Hotels in Carmel Valley CaliforniaGoogle Plus Hotels Motels Spa Resorts Wine Country Carmel Valley


Weary Traveler