Contra Costa County

Contra Costa County May Approve Short-Term Rental Ordinance


The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday could pass a short-term rental ordinance regulating Airbnb-type rentals - in Contra Costa's case, its first such ordinance governing such rentals.

The proposed ordinance would regulate the renting of residential dwelling units for periods of 30 consecutive days or less. A "responsible party," at least 18 years old and living within a 30-mile radius of the rental property, would have to be identified. That person must be 18 years old or older, reside within a 30-mile radius of the short-term rental, and be available by telephone for the duration of any rental period to respond to neighbors' complaints or law enforcement concerns about activity at the short-term rental.

Owners of short-term rental units would have to get permits from the county's Department of Conservation and Development. Staff recommends that talks continue with Airbnb and other rental platforms on a voluntary collection agreement to collect transient occupancy taxes, and work with the county's tax collector's office to establish a TOT collection process.

In addition to creating a mechanism to collect those transient occupancy taxes, this ordinance is designed to help county officials provide at least a measure of control over what happens at these rental units, and avoid the kind of disaster that rocked Orinda, when on Halloween night five people were shot and killed at a party. The house was known as a party house and was an Airbnb-listed rental property with owners who didn't live in the area.

Contra Costa County has not had a short-term rental ordinance, and such rentals are not permitted or allowed within the unincorporated areas of Contra Costa County.

Tuesday's supervisors' meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. on the ground floor of the county administration building, 651 Pine St. in downtown Martinez.

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