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
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
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.
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 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)
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)
May 18, 2015 – Planning Commission Workshop Materials
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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