Short-Term (Vacation) Rentals

Draft Urgency Ordinance Available for Review 

A draft of the City of Santa Rosa’s Short-Term (Vacation) Rental Urgency Ordinance is now available for public input. This Ordinance would provide regulatory framework for short-term rentals and is being prepared for an Oct. 12 City Council public hearing, when it will be considered for adoption. Creation of this Ordinance was directed by the City’s Economic Development Subcommittee following numerous public safety-related concerns and impacts to surrounding neighborhoods and the greater community.   

Please note: At the direction of the Subcommittee, a more comprehensive ordinance, meant to address the complex issues associated with short-term rentals, is being prepared for City Council consideration in 2022. Public input opportunities will also be provided for the comprehensive ordinance. 

Steps to review and comment on this draft urgency ordinance 

  1. Go here to view and/or download the document for review. 
  2. Compile your comments and note the relevant pages and sections those comments are intended for. 
  3. Send an email with the subject line “STR Draft Ordinance Comments” and your feedback to
    • In the body of the email, please include your name and address followed by your comments and the pages/sections that your comment or comments are intended for. Any comments pertaining to the ordinance overall can be placed at the end of your email. 

The deadline to submit comments is Oct. 8, 2021, to provide staff time to review all comments before the Oct. 12 City Council meeting. After Oct. 8, feedback can be submitted using the regular public input process for public meetings.

Survey Report

From August 18 through 30, the City of Santa Rosa requested feedback from the community to help in the development of a short-term rental urgency ordinance. After compiling the data and all responses, those results can be found in the report "Short-Term/Vacation Rental Urgency Ordinance: Community Input Survey Data Compilation" that can be viewed here or in the window below.

What is a short term rental (STR)?

A short-term (vacation) rental is defined as a residence where the owner has opted to rent out a room or the entire property for guests staying 30 days or fewer. The City is moving forward with the development of a short-term rental ordinance to ensure these types of rentals are compatible with the neighborhoods where they are located.

Short Term Rental Ordinance Effort

Online apps and services, such as AirBNB and VRBO, have made it much easy for anyone to operate a short-term rental in Santa Rosa. The low barrier to initiating operation of a short-term rental, particularly in residential neighborhoods, has led the City to examine how to better regulate short-term rentals to ensure their compatibility with the neighborhoods where they are located.

To address the most pressing public safety and welfare concerns related to short-term rentals, the City is moving forward with the development of an urgency ordinance which will be presented to City Council for consideration and potential adoption on October 12, 2021. The proposed short-term rental urgency ordinance will include a permit requirement and policies relating to occupancy limits, parking requirements, noise, and life-safety. 

The urgency ordinance will be followed by a more comprehensive short-term rental policy and program which will be drafted in the coming months and is expected to go before the Planning Commission and City Council in early 2022. 

Staff will continue to receive comments and suggestions throughout the process and will be considering other public engagement opportunities as well.

Related Public Meetings


September 29 - STR-Industry Focused Virtual Public Meeting - A virtual, industry-focused public meeting to discuss the proposed Short-Term Rental Urgency Ordinance with short-term rental owners and others who benefit from the short-term rental industry. While all members of the public are welcome to attend, the meeting is targeted for those who operate and own short-term rental properties within the Santa Rosa city limits.

October 12  - City Council Meeting - Public hearing for the proposed short-term rental Ordinance – Check back for agenda item details.

Watch the Replay

September 12 - Economic Development Subcommitee - Item. 3.2

August 10 - Economic Development Subcommittee - Item 3.2 (Agenda Item Documents)
(Item 3.2 starts at 28:45)

What regulations already apply to short-term rentals?

As the City develops this ordinance, it should be noted that:

  • STR rental tenants must follow all local regulations including the City’s Noise, Smoking, and Parking Ordinances. Unlawful activity and code violations may be reported to the City’s Police Department (707-528-5222 for non-emergency calls) or to Code Enforcement as needed.
  • Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) are already prohibited from being used as short-term rentals pursuant to the City’s ADU Ordinance
  • Short-term rental operators must register and pay the City’s Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) and Tourism Business Improvement Area (BIA) assessment. READ MORE ABOUT TOT & BIA


If you have additional questions, please email