County of Marin - News Releases - Short-Term Rental Properties

For Immediate Release
March 06, 2018

County Resets Options on Short-Term Rental Rules

Staff to bring back proposal later in spring instead of March 13

San Rafael, CA – The County of Marin is going to take more time to examine options to modify rules on short-term rental properties after receiving feedback from the public and the Marin County Board of Supervisors.

An aerial view of Stinson BeachMost of the short-term rental properties in unincorporated Marin County are in the Pacific coastal communities.

On February 13, the Board conducted a first reading of a draft ordinance that would’ve required posted signage to identify a property as a short-term rental in unincorporated areas of Marin County. Although the Board tentatively scheduled a merit hearing on the matter for March 13, it plans to continue the item to a date to be determined later as County staff reevaluates other alternatives. The item will remain on the agenda for 1:30 p.m. March 13, but staff will only announce that it is being continued to a time later in the spring.

Originally, staff proposed a one-year pilot program that required signs must be posted within eyesight of a street along with information about the payment of taxes, business licenses, and contact information for the owner or property manager. The changes only affect short-term rental properties in the unincorporated areas such as 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. Short-term rentals in Marin, especially in coastal areas, provide much-needed lodging in an area with few motels or hotels. Many have told the Board that rentals lead to support of restaurants, shops and other businesses in the area that survive on tourist dollars. However, others have expressed to the Supervisors that vacationers create problems with traffic, parking, and noise for the year-around neighbors.

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 County staff to find out whether a property is being used for short-term rentals. In 2017, staff hired a consultant to research short-term rentals and how they are regulated outside of Marin. In July 2017, staff shared the results of those findings and encouraged public feedback, which helped formulate the draft ordinance.

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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