Short Term Rental Background Information


On August 7, 2018, the Marin County Board of Supervisors adopted the County’s first Short Term Rental (STR) ordinance (Ordinance No. 3695) with a limited, two-year term. The ordinance required neighbor notification of STRs, required renters be provided with “Good Neighbor” house rules, and established a STR Hotline for complaints (which is currently operated by Host Compliance, the County’s third party STR monitor). Additionally, the Ordinance requires STR operators register for a Business License and TOT Certificate, providing accountability and payment of taxes and fees commensurate with the commercial use.


With the pending expiration of the Ordinance No. 3695, on July 28, 2020, the Board of Supervisors approved Ordinance No. 3739 which maintained all of the “Good Neighbor” policies and notification standards from the original ordinance and made one minor change requiring that the Local Contact Person information must be provided at the time of application for a TOT certificate and when reporting TOT, rather than at the time a business license is issued or renewed.

At the time the Ordinance No. 3739 was approved, both staff and the Board acknowledged that a number of public commenters expressed concerns about the impacts of STRs on communities and requested reevaluation of the County’s STR Ordinance to expand its scope and purpose.


Community discussions connected with the Housing Element have indicated that STR uses may be affecting the supply and affordability of housing, particularly in West Marin communities which have become increasingly attractive to homebuyers and where there are relatively small numbers of homes. Overall, it appears that in the context of labor shortages, increased costs, and demand, STRs are increasingly impacting the health and safety of local communities, especially in the West Marin Area.

For these reasons, on May 24, 2022, the Board of Supervisors adopted a moratorium to prohibit the addition of new STRs in West Marin in order for the County to consider, develop, and adopt appropriate zoning regulations of STRs in the West Marin Area (Ordinance No. 3768) for an initial term of 45 days with a potential extension of up to two years.

On June 21, 2022, the Board chose to extend the moratorium for the allowed two years (Ordinance 3769). The moratorium will expire May 23, 2024, or when new STR regulations are developed and approved by both the Board of Supervisors and certified by the California Coastal Commission, which ever occurs first.

During the moratorium, no new Business License and Transient Occupancy Tax certificates will be issued in the West Marin area. Property owners with existing registered STRs would be permitted to renew their registrations.

Operators within the West Marin area, with a valid business license and Transient Occupancy Tax Certificate, and those in the unincorporated communities outside West Marin, may continue to operate STRs in accordance with the County’s standards.