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For Immediate Release

Board of Supervisors to consider vacation rental regulation changes at April 24 meeting

SANTA ROSA, CA | April 20, 2023

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors will consider two changes to vacation rental regulation at its April 24 special meeting. One proposal would create a business license program that would standardize operating requirements for vacation rentals to protect neighbors from nuisances, while the other will place caps and exclusion zones on certain neighborhoods to prevent over-saturation of vacation rentals in heavily impacted areas.

The proposed business license program addresses health, safety and quality-of-life issues that can be created by vacation rentals. If approved, the program will:

  • Set maximum occupancy not to exceed 12 guests regardless of number of bedrooms
  • Establish stricter parking requirements
  • Require providing and posting written evacuation instructions and that guests must leave the property when an evacuation warning is issued
  • Subject a property to periodic inspection for maintaining defensible space 
  • Notify neighbors whenever a license is issued or renewed
  • Require response times for complaints of 30 minutes in the evening and one hour during the day. 

When combined with the complaint hotline that Permit Sonoma launched last year, the license program provides more enforcement than before. Previously a zoning permit for a vacation rental could only be revoked through a public hearing. The latest proposal would allow for progressive and proportional enforcement through fines, temporary suspension of the license or revocation.

With a Vacation Rentals Moratorium due to expire on May 9, the Board of Supervisors will consider expedited rezoning to place caps and exclusion zones on neighborhoods with high concentrations of vacation rentals. The effort prioritized communities with high concentration of vacation rentals that were mapped and evaluated as part of a 2020 urgency moratorium. For more information, including an interactive map showing where zoning changes will be proposed, go to either the Vacation Rental Update page or the Board of Supervisors meeting agenda.

The neighborhood caps, and whether other communities not mapped in 2020 should have caps, will be reexamined starting in late summer 2023.

Community outreach meetings in Guerneville, Monte Rio and Forestville, including their surrounding communities, are planned for July and August. At these meetings, Permit Sonoma will gather feedback at the neighborhood level and tailor restrictions to individual neighborhoods. Feedback from those meetings will help Permit Sonoma determine if restrictions should be changed further.

Media Contacts:
Bradley Dunn, Permit Sonoma Policy Manager
(707) 321-0502
2550 Ventura Ave.
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Stuart Tiffen, Communications Specialist
(707) 565-1860
575 Administration Drive, Suite 104A