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Vacation Rentals

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

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 District

On May 24, 2016 the Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance rezoning designated parcels within the north county and the Sonoma Valley to apply the Vacation Rental Exclusion (X) Combining District effective June 23, 2016. Hearings for the rezonings were held before the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors. Parcels lists, maps, and meetings materials are available below.

 

In areas that have now been designated with the Vacation Rental Exclusion (X) Combining District, existing legally permitted vacation rentals may continue but those permits will expire upon sale or transfer of the property. Hosted rentals may still be conducted in these areas. No further applications for vacation rentals will be accepted within the Vacation Rental Exclusion (X) Combining District Areas.

Adopted Documents

Map Series of Areas where the Vacation Rental Exclusion (X) Combining District has been adopted(PDF: 2.7 MB)

Vacation Rental Exclusion (X) Combining District Parcel List (PDF: 1.7 MB)

Previous Meetings

May 24, 2016 – Board of Supervisors Hearing

Notice of Public hearing (PDF: 20 kB)

Staff Report Summary (PDF: 158 kB)

Maps of Areas Recommended for Vacation Rental Exclusion (X) Combining District (PDF: 1.40 MB)

Parcel List Recommended for Vacation Rental Exclusion (X) Combining District (PDF: 1.15 MB)

Board Hearing Presentation (PDF: 3.12 MB)

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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