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Vacation Rentals

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Vacation Rentals – Ordinance, Applications, Complaints
Vacation Rental Exclusion (X) Combining Zone

General Information

Vacation Rentals are the rental of a private residence for periods of 30 days or less. Vacation Rentals do not include Bed and Breakfast Inns permitted in accordance with the Sonoma County Code, or occasional home exchanges that are not otherwise subject to Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT). Vacation Rentals must meet Performance Standards to ensure compatibility with surrounding residential uses.

 

Vacation Rentals may be conducted in homes in single-family residential zoning districts (AR, RR, and R1) but are not allowed in the higher-density residential districts (R2 and R3). Vacation rentals are also allowed in agricultural and resource zones including LEA, DA, and RRD except for lands within an Agricultural Preserve that is subject to a Land Conservation Act (Williamson Act) Contract. Vacation Rentals may not take place in Second Dwelling Units nor in Farm Family, Agricultural Employee, or Farmworker housing units, nor in non-habitable structures.

 

A Zoning Permit or Use Permit is required for all Vacation Rentals. Vacation Rentals with up to five (5) guest rooms require a Zoning Permit, while larger Vacation Rentals require a Use Permit. Vacation Rentals with five (5) or fewer guest rooms do not require a Building Permit for change of occupancy, but still require a Zoning Permit from PRMD and compliance with all Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) registration and payment requirements.

Vacation Rentals Ordinance (PDF: 73 kB) – Effective April 14, 2016
Note: The vacation rental ordinance has not been adopted for the Sonoma coast (e.g. Sea Ranch, Bodega Bay) and is not applicable to rentals in those communities.

Sonoma County Transient Occupancy Tax page and Forms

Find a Vacation Rental Permit by Address

Vacation Rental Application Package

Note: Vacation Rental applications must be submitted in person, they are not accepted by mail.

Vacation Rental Application Documents (bottom of page) – For applications submitted on or after April 14, 2016.

Hosted Rental Application Documents – For applications submitted on or after April 14, 2016.

Frequently Asked Questions

Vacation Rental FAQs

Property Manager Links

Reporting Form for Property Managers (PDF Form: 242 kB) – Please open separately in a PDF reader software (such as Adobe Reader), or view by using Internet Explorer or Google Chrome web browsers. Fillable PDF forms are not compatible with FireFox web browser.

Complaints

Vacation Rental Complaint Handout (PDF: 27 kB)

Submit a Complaint About a Vacation Rental (PDF Form: 150 kB) – Please open separately in a PDF reader software (such as Adobe Reader), or view by using Internet Explorer or Google Chrome web browsers. Fillable PDF forms are not compatible with FireFox web browser.

Affidavit of Cessation of Vacation Rental Use (PDF: 29 kB)

Updated Vacation Rental Ordinance

On November 4, 2014, the Board of Supervisors directed staff to make revisions to the Vacation Rental Ordinance after an extensive public outreach campaign. Revisions have been made to address issues related to the potential loss of permanent housing stock, property manager requirements and responsibilities, and monitoring and enforcement of vacation rental rules. A Revised Vacation Rental Ordinance (PDF: 73 kB) was adopted by the Board of Supervisors on March 15, 2016, with an effective date of April 14, 2016. Materials from the series of meetings are available below.

Vacation Rental Exclusion (X) Combining Zone

On March 15, 2016 The Board of Supervisors also adopted a Resolution of Intention (PDF: 475 kB) directing staff to initiate rezoning procedures to apply the X Vacation Rental Exclusion Zone to certain areas identified by the Board. Hearings will be held before both the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors, and interested parties are invited to comment. In areas where the X Combining Zone is adopted, existing legal vacation rentals could continue to operate but would expire upon sale or transfer of the property, and no new applications would be accepted within these areas.

 

Send a comment about the Vacation Rental Exclusion (X) Combining Zone

Meetings

Next Meeting

Board of Supervisors Public Hearing
Tuesday, May 24, 2016

2:30 PM

Board of Supervisors Chambers Location is accessible
575 Administration Drive, Room 100A, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Driving Directions
Public Transit Directions

Meeting Documents

Notice of Public hearing (PDF: 20 kB)

Staff Report Summary (PDF: 158 kB)

Maps of Areas Recommended for (X) Combining Zone (PDF: 1.40 MB)

Parcels Recommended for (X) Combining Zone (PDF: 1.15 MB)

Board Hearing Presentation (PDF: 3.12 MB)

Previous Meetings

April 21, 2016 – Planning Commission Public Hearing

Planning Commission Staff Report (PDF: 2.72 MB)

Vacation Rentals Ordinance Update Meetings

Archived Materials from Previous Meetings

March 15, 2016 – Board of Supervisors Meeting

Board of Supervisors’ Staff Report (PDF: 214 kB)

Board of Supervisors’ Resolution of Intention (PDF: 475 kB)

January 26, 2016 – Board of Supervisors Public Hearing

Board Summary Staff Report (PDF: 436 kB)

Attachment A to Board Summary Staff Report (PDF: 73 kB)

Draft Ordinance with Exhibits (PDF: 501 kB)

Summary Table of Planning Commission Recommendations

Planning Commission Resolution (PDF: 22 kB)

November 19, 2015 – Planning Commission Public Hearing

Staff Report Package to the Planning Commission (PDF: 352 kB)

September 3, 2015 – Planning Commission Workshop Materials

Vacation Rentals Staff Report with Attachments (PDF: 288 kB)
Vacation Rentals Discussion Papers (PDF: 562 kB)
EPS Report on the Impact of Vacation Rentals on Housing in Sonoma County (PDF: 802 kB)

May 18, 2015 – Planning Commission Workshop Materials

Powerpoint Presentation (PDF: 1.73 MB)
Vacation Rentals Fact Sheet (PDF: 79 kB)
Policy Options Tables (PDF: 56 kB)

 

Some of these documents are saved in Portable Document Format (PDF). We recommend you download Adobe® Reader®, a free software that allows you view and print PDF files.

For accessibility assistance with these documents, please contact the Sonoma County Permit and Resource Management Department (PRMD) at (707) 565-1900.
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Although every effort is made to provide complete and accurate information on this website, users are advised to contact appropriate PRMD staff before making project decisions. This may involve contacting more than one section within PRMD (e.g. Building, Plan Check, Zoning, Well & Septic, etc.), since each section implements specific codes or ordinances which may affect your project.
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