County of Marin - News Releases - Short-Term Rentals

For Immediate Release
April 13, 2023

Share Thoughts About Short-Term Rental Rules

County to collect feedback as it works on ordinance update

San Rafael, CA – It’s been nearly four years since the County of Marin passed an ordinance to restrict new registrations and licenses for short-term rental properties. It’s time to consider an update, so through May 1, a survey is set up to collect feedback on potential regulations for countywide ordinance.

An aerial view of homes along Stinson Beach.If a new countywide short-term rental ordinance is approved by the end of 2023 as planned, the update would end a moratorium for new short-term rentals in Stinson Beach and other areas of West Marin.

The ordinance, authored by the Marin County Community Development Agency (CDA), was supported by the Board of Supervisors in August 2018. It required property owners to register such rentals used for vacationers of 30 days or less, often arranged through online companies such as Airbnb and VRBO.

CDA is planning on bringing an ordinance update to the Board of Supervisors by the end of 2023. If approved, the update would end a moratorium for new short-term rentals in West Marin, passed one year ago.

“The rentals are an important source of income throughout our county and helps overall affordability,” said CDA Planner Kathleen Kilgariff. “However, some see them as an impediment to expanding existing housing stock, especially affordable units for the local workforce. This survey is a way for us to hear from the public, measure policy effectiveness, and help us improve ordinance language.”

CDA has collected more than 1,400 survey responses in April already, signaling that short-term rentals are a popular topic. Paper copies are available at local libraries as well. Meanwhile, recruitment is open for members of stakeholder focus groups that will work with CDA planners this May on potential regulations; email the staff to be considered for a focus group.

The lack of workforce housing in West Marin has been at crisis level for many years, and residents have voiced passionate feedback to the Board of Supervisors and CDA planners, particularly as demand and needs shifted during the pandemic.

Also, the lack of available workforce housing means few public safety responders live in the West Marin area, contributing to the difficulty of delivering needed services. Lastly, many short-term renters are unfamiliar with emergency evacuation routes and knowledge of natural hazards, sometimes leading to additional challenges for medical personnel answering an urgent call.

Operators with a valid business license and Transient Occupancy Tax certificate may operate short-term rentals in accordance with the County’s standards. The Marin County Department of Finance has webpages for business license registration and for Transient Occupancy Tax certificate information. Lack of compliance my result in enforcement action, including citations or action to cease short-term rental operations.

Learn more about the local short-term rental ordinance on the County’s website.


Sarah Jones
Community Development Agency

3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite 308
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-7001
Email: Sarah Jones
Community Development webpage