On August 7, The Marin County Board of Supervisors unanimously agreed to adopt an Ordinance regarding short-term rentals in the unincorporated areas of Marin, where most floating homes docks are located. The Ordinance requires those operating short-term rentals to apply for a business license, and to pay transit occupancy tax. It also stipulates that a notification of a short-term rental be delivered to surrounding neighbors or that an identification sign be posted on the exterior of each short-term rental. A complaint hotline will also be established, and a local contact person will be publicly identified to respond to complaints about activities at the short-term rental.
The public meeting attracted about 20 citizens, most of whom offered comments on the legislation. Some homeowners urged that the law should differentiate between absentee landlords renting entire homes versus owner-occupied residences renting only a portion of their homes. A few of the supervisors, including our own Kate Sears, agreed that this was a point worth revisiting “down the line.” Other homeowners objected to the stipulation that written notification of short-term rentals “shall be provided to all properties within a radius of 300 feet of the property,” arguing that a 300-foot radius was larger than necessary. Jeremy Tejirian, County Planning Manager, responded that the “300-foot radius is a common standard” for California planning notifications. Residents of West Marin presented statistics indicating that the local housing stock has declined recently, while hotel occupancy rates have decreased, due to the popularity of short term rentals. There was no response to those comments.
The new Ordinance will no doubt be subject to further tweaking, but it is now a part of the Marin County Code. By contrast, the City of Sausalito has banned all short-term rentals.
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