For Immediate ReleaseJuly 13, 2018
First reading of ordinance July 31 and public hearing tentatively set for August 7
San Rafael, CA – In a county known for its coastline and national parks, short-term rental properties, offered through companies such as Airbnb and VRBO, have become popular places for visitors to stay. However, not all residents are happy about the booming popularity of short-term rentals in Marin. After taking a few months to examine options with staff, the Marin County Board of Supervisors is considering requiring that neighbors be notified of short-term rentals at its July 31 meeting.
The new recommendation is that notification of a short-term rental be provided to surrounding properties before the short-term rental property owner obtains or renews a business license. The notification may be provided either by an on-site sign or by letters or door hangers to surrounding properties. The signage would identify a local contact, a complaint hotline, and other information. In addition, the owners of short-term rentals would be required to inform tenants of how to meet existing requirements of the Marin County Code related to noise, parking, vehicular access, and trash.
The July 31 hearing is a first reading of the ordinance and the Board is scheduled to hold a hearing on August 7 to make a final decision. The ordinance would sunset after two years unless it is extended by the Board.
Short-term rentals in Marin, especially in coastal areas, provide much-needed lodging in an area with few motels or hotels. Many people 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 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.
Residents may subscribe to emailed updates on the issue.
Jeremy TejirianPlanning ManagerCommunity Development Agency
3501 Civic Center DriveSuite 308San Rafael, CA 94903(415) 473-3798Email: Jeremy TejirianLong-Range Planning webpage