Short-Term (Vacation) Rentals

The city is considering updating the short-rental ordinance in 2023 and need public input.
Please take about 8-10 minutes to complete this survey:

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**City Council approves ordinance amendment and renewal fee adoption; non-hosted rentals capped at 198 citywide**

The Santa Rosa City Council approved a Zoning Code Text Amendment Urgency Ordinance and adopted a Fee Adoption Resolution during its public meeting on August 9, 2022. Effective immediately, the Zoning Code text amendments: (1) set a maximum number of 198 non-hosted STR permits to be issued citywide; and (2) clarify that enforcement penalties apply to both permit holders and operators in good standing. The Fee Adoption Resolution establishes a Short-Term Rental Permit annual renewal fee.


What is a Short-Term Rental? A short-term (sometimes called vacation) rental is defined as a residence where the owner rents out a bedroom(s) or the entire property for guests staying 30 days or fewer. Short-term rentals can be hosted or non-hosted.

What is the difference between a hosted and a non-hosted short-term rental? A hosted short-term rental is defined as a short-term rental where the owner lives and sleeps in the dwelling unit, or lives and sleeps in another legal dwelling unit on the same parcel, throughout the short-term rental period. Hosted short-term rentals are allowed only in the owner’s primary residence. Hosted rentals are permitted throughout the City with no distance requirements between them or another short-term rental of any kind.

A non-hosted short-term rental is defined as a short-term rental where the owner does not live and sleep in the dwelling unit during the short-term rental period. Starting Dec. 4, the City will not allow a newly proposed non-hosted short-term rental within 1,000 feet of another non-hosted short-term rental.

Do I need a permit to operate a short-term rental? The City's Short-Term Rentals Ordinance requires all short-term rental operators within City limits to obtain a Short-Term Rental Permit and follow specific operating standards. The Short-Term Rentals Ordinance is not intended to regulate hotels, motels, home exchanges, or other rental arrangements like community care facilities, supportive and transitional housing, or rentals for periods longer than 30 days. 

Click the relevant section below for more information on how to apply for a Short-Term Rental Permit, how to ensure your permitted short-term rental remains in compliance, or how to report a violation of the Short-Term Rentals Ordinance. 

Current Notices Regarding Short-Term Rentals

Advertising Requirements

Advertising may only be conducted for short-term rentals operating under a valid Short-Term Rental Permit, except for operators in good standing as defined in Section 20-48.030(O) who may continue to advertise and operate a short-term rental while awaiting City approvals so long as in compliance with Section 20-48.040(B)(1)(a&b). All advertisements, flyers, internet listings, or other methods of offering the short-term rental shall include the following:

  1. Maximum short-term renters; 
  2. Maximum daytime guests;    
  3. Number of dedicated off-street and on-street parking spaces available for use by short-term renters;  
  4. Notification that quiet hours must be observed between 9:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.;  
  5. Notification that no outdoor amplified sound is allowed; and  
  6. The Short-Term Rental Permit number for the property except that operators in good standing, pursuant to Section 20-48.060(B)(1)(a&b), shall use the Transient Occupancy Tax account number until the Short-Term Rental Permit is approved.  
For Properties Associated with an HOA, Check your HOA Rules and Restrictions Before Applying

It is an applicant’s responsibility to verify whether short-term rental activity is prohibited by their Homeowners Association's (HOA) Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) prior to submitting a Short-Term Rental Permit application.

The City has no obligation or authority to enforce HOA CC&Rs which are governing documents approved by and specific to an HOA. HOA Boards enforce CC&Rs, and the City enforces ordinances adopted by its governing bodies.

The California Civil Code provides owners general right to enforce their HOA’s CC&Rs against neighboring owners and the HOA itself. CC&Rs are enforceable by the owner of any lot in the development (Civil Code section 1354(a)); a homeowner is authorized to bring an enforcement action against another homeowner or the HOA itself to enforce CC&Rs (Civil Code section 5975).

Next Steps 

Staff continues to collect feedback and suggestions which will help to inform discussions around a more comprehensive suite of amendments that are anticipated for spring/summer 2023. Staff is developing a community engagement strategy for this fall and winter with plans to return to the Economic Development Subcommittee early next year. This plan will allow staff to present to the Economic Development Subcommittee the lessons we have learned from the initial permitting and code enforcement process, and from ongoing community engagement. Staff will draft additional amendments following Economic Development Subcommittee direction.

City staff continues to invite public input during this process. 

Questions?

Check out our FAQ page about short term rentals. For all other questions, email [email protected].

Public Engagement on Short-Term Rentals

View Public Input Compilation from August 2021 Short-Term Rental Survey

  • Community input was collected through an August 2021 survey to help inform the Short-Term Rental Ordinance. The data and response compilation may be viewed and downloaded here.

Watch Past Public Meetings on Short-Term Rentals and the Short-Term Rentals Ordinance