SAN RAFAEL, Calif. – Major changes could be coming for the short-term rental market in the North Bay as the Marin County supervisors on Thursday will meet to discuss limiting the number of short-term rentals that operate in the county.
County supervisors will consider overhauling how short-term rentals, sometimes called STRs, which are homes rented for fewer than 30 days at a time — are regulated in the unincorporated lands, including the coastal hamlets around Stinson Beach, Point Reyes and Tomales Bay.
So how could this change? They could impose a hard cap or limit on the number of STRs. They also want to set specific limits for specific cities, though other neighborhoods like Dillon Beach and Seadrift would be exempt.
Many who own short-term rentals voiced their concern over this possible change, including one man who says renting her Stinson Beach home has allowed her to keep her home.
“I’m a homeowner, a working-class person, a volunteer firefighter about to go on Social Security next month,” a man named Dennis said. “My partner is a school bus driver for the Shoreline School District and we use our home occasionally, rent it out as a temporary rental to help supplement our rental, so we could afford to stay in Dillon Beach.”
When listening to public comment from November, about 85 percent of people who spoke said they owned homes on Dillon Beach. No one in favor of the limit spoke publicly at the meeting. Though they say this could be the answer or at least an answer to the housing crisis, freeing up homes for those long-term or permanent residents.
Studies have found that when more and more homes are full-time short-term rentals, it’s one less housing option for residents. In fact, a recent study by USC and UCLA found that a 10% increase in Airbnb listings leads to nearly half a percent rent increase and about 25 percent increase in house prices.