County of Marin - News Releases - Short-Term Rentals

For Immediate Release
February 08, 2018

New Short-Term Rental Rules Go to Supervisors

Hearing set for March 13; quality of life for longer-term residents is key factor

San Rafael, CA – The Marin County Board of Supervisors will consider a new County of Marin ordinance on short-term rental properties to require that signage be posted to identify a property as a short-term rental.

An aerial photo of homes along Stinson Beach very close to the water.Marin County has many short-term rental properties registered with Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway, especially in coastal communities.
The Marin County Community Development Agency (CDA) will propose the ordinance at 2:30 p.m. February 13 and ask the Supervisors to schedule a public hearing on the matter on March 13.

If approved in March, the ordinance would require the posting of a small sign within eyesight of the street and information about the payment of taxes, business licenses, and contact information for the owner or property manager. The proposed changes would be enacted for a one-year pilot period and only affect short-term rental properties in the unincorporated parts of Marin County, which includes popular vacation destinations in coastal West Marin.

In a county known for its high rental costs and expensive home prices, short-term rentals may have both positive and negative effects on housing opportunities for people of modest means. A negative side-effect may be an influx of vacationers creating problems with traffic, parking, and noise for the year-around neighbors. However, short-term rentals in Marin, especially in coastal areas where there are so many vacationers, provide much-needed lodging. In areas with few motels or hotels, short-term rentals may lead to an economic boost to restaurants, shops and other businesses in the area that survive on tourist dollars.

In the past, companies such as Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway have been reluctant to provide addresses of rental properties to public agencies, making it hard for CDA to find out whether a property is being used for short-term rentals. Last year, CDA hired a consultant to research short-term rentals and how they are regulated outside of Marin. In July 2017, CDA shared the results of those findings and encouraged public feedback, which helped formulate the draft ordinance.

Residents may subscribe to emailed updates on the issue.


Jeremy Tejirian
Planning Manager
Community Development Agency

3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite 308
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-3798
Email: Jeremy Tejirian
Long-Range Planning webpage