Amid Marin County residents’ ongoing complaints about the influx of tourists choosing to stay at short-term rental properties over hotels, the county Board of Supervisors later this month plans to consider regulations requiring owners to notify others they plan to rent to tourists.
According to the county, residents’ grievances about renting space to tourists include heightened noise, parking problems and trash resulting from visitors staying at short-term rentals in unincorporated areas of the county. Companies that list such accommodations include Airbnb and HomeAway.
The recommendation states that, prior to obtaining or renewing a business license, owners of short-term rental properties would be required to notify neighboring residents, either through on-site signage, letters or door hangers, of their intention to rent to tourists. Residents would have to be provided with owner contact information and additional resources, and inform incoming tenants of Marin County Code provisions related to residents’ concerns.
In announcing the proposed regulations, county officials noted benefits of short-term rentals, especially in coastal areas:
"(They) provide much-needed lodging in an area with few motels or hotels. Many people have told the board that rentals lead to support of restaurants, shops and other businesses in the area that survive on tourist dollars.”
The Board of Supervisors considered a draft ordinance in February that would have required signs to be posted on short-term rental properties. In March, after receiving feedback that more needs to be done, a merit hearing was continued to allow the board and county staff to work on new options, according to the release.
The board plans a July 31 hearing as a first reading of the ordinance, and a hearing for a final decision is scheduled for Aug. 7. The ordinance would end after two years, unless the supervisors extend it.