Marin Considers Regulating Short Term Rentals

post by Larry Clinton

According to recent reports in local newspapers, the Board of Supervisors will consider whether regulation of short-term rentals in unincorporated Marin County is necessary—and if so, how it should be done.

The county, which governs Marin’s unincorporated areas, currently has no laws regulating rentals fewer than 30 days. Short term rentals throughout Marin have been promoted on websites such as Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway. Some municipalities, such as Sausalito, do have restrictions on short term rentals. Sausalito allows them in residential zoning districts subject to a $284 Vacation Rental Permit and Transient Occupancy Tax Certificate. The Vacation Rental Permit specifies limitations on rental frequency, rental units per parcel, parking and other factors.

Of our five floating home marinas, only Bayhaven, off Varda Landing Road, is within Sausalito city limits and subject to the city’s regulations. The others are all in unincorporated Marin. Two marinas, Kappas and Waldo Point Harbor, prohibit short term rentals in their leases, but enforcement of these lease clauses has been inconsistent in the past. A recent search on Airbnb brought up 17 listings for rental homes on various docks in our community.

Jeremy Tejirian, planning manager of the Community Development Agency, has announced that the county hired San Luis Obispo-based Lisa Wise Consulting to produce a white paper that explores how these rentals are regulated in cities throughout the state. The report and regulation options will be presented to the supervisors at a meeting beginning at 9:00 AM on July 18 in Room 330 of the Marin Civic Center.