The Marin County Board of Supervisors will hold a special meeting next week to consider altering restrictions on short-term rentals in unincorporated areas of the county, including limits in coastal residential villages that are popular tourist destinations.
Ahead of the Jan. 11 board meeting, a separate online community meeting to discuss the draft ordinance with Supervisor Stephanie Moulton-Peters and the county’s Community Development Agency will be held Wednesday at 6 p.m. Registration is available at bit.ly/3tHMFEr.
The county has been in the process of creating a permanent ordinance governing short-term rentals since the fall of 2022, which was four years after it moved to stop new rentals in the coastal zone.
Some areas under the new proposed ordinance would be released from limits on the number of short-term rentals that can be offered, which are defined as less than 30 days in a residential unit.
The county is trying to direct rentals to certain areas and cap the overall number of rentals in the county to prevent existing residents from being priced out of the rental market. Other forms of accommodation, like motels and bed and breakfasts, would not face the same limitations.
The proposed ordinance would cap the initial number of licenses at 923 for applications received before July 1, 2025. Those “first round” licenses can be renewed. But after that date, the number of new licenses offered would be capped at 217, deemed the “ultimate” cap number by the county. The ultimate cap would be met as the first round licenses are not renewed over time.
There would be specific caps outlined for the county’s townships within the overall limits.
The board placed a moratorium on short-term rentals in West Marin County in 2018, citing a negative impact on affordable housing from the growing popularity of app-based services like Airbnb and Vrbo. The moratorium was extended in 2020 for another two years because of a lack of public outreach attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The county planning commission created a draft ordinance in October and has been engaging in public outreach in the months since. The commission recommended approving the ordinance in November after receiving more than 400 public comments with feedback.
Restrictions would be lifted in the Dillon Beach neighborhood and the Seadrift area in Stinson Beach, allowing an unlimited number of rentals in those locations.
Outside of those areas, the county’s overall number of short-term rentals would be initially limited to 923 and would later be pared down to 217.
The number includes specific caps in townships around the county, with the most licenses proposed to be offered in Stinson Beach outside of the Seadrift area, Inverness and Bolinas.
The new ordinance would regulate what kind of parking, water and sewage requirements are necessary to offer short-term rentals and what kind of properties can be rented. It would also limit rentals to single-family dwellings, allow only one rental per property, and require exterior signage identifying a contact for the property, among other regulations.
A waitlist will be created for applications where the number of operators exceeds the proposed limits.
The Jan. 11 meeting will be held at 5 p.m. online and in person in the board chambers at the Marin County Civic Center at 3501 Civic Center Drive in San Rafael. Public comment will be taken.
If approved, the ordinance will be submitted to the California Coastal Commission, which must approve changes to the county’s Local Coastal Plan.