Municipal Codes: A Beginner's Guide (Library of Congress)
A charter is the legal document that sets forth the organization and framework for a local government. Similar to the federal or a state constitution, the charter describes the powers, duties, and responsibilities of the various governmental branches and departments in a particular municipality or county.
Ordinances & Codes
Ordinances are the general laws enacted by local governments. Like state statutes and regulations, ordinances have binding authority on all individuals and entities within the local jurisdiction in which they are enacted. They are also published in subject compilations called codes.
At the city level, the codes are typically referred to as municipal codes. Some local jurisdictions publish a regular code as well as an administrative code that focuses on the powers and duties of the various legal institutions within the jurisdiction.