Monterey is one of over a hundred charter cities in the State of California. A Charter City is governed on the basis of a charter, similar to a constitution, that establishes the powers and authorities of the city as opposed to a General Law City that enjoys only those powers specifically granted to it by the State. Changes to a Charter must be approved by a vote of the citizens of Monterey.
The Monterey Municipal Code (M.C.C.) is a compilation of the City Charter and all ordinances adopted by the Council. Currently there are 39 chapters in the code in addition to the Charter. Some M.C.C. chapters are referred to as ordinances. When used this way the term ordinance does not mean a single legislative action, but a compilation of all legislative actions on a particular topic. For example, M.C.C Chapters 33 and 38 are adopted and cited as the Zoning Ordinance and the Subdivision Ordinance.