Making It in the Bay

Marin County to Consider Moratorium on Short-Term Rentals in West Marin

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The Marin County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will consider a 45-day moratorium on short-term rentals in West Marin, where such offerings make up about 10% of residences.

Existing vacation rentals will be grandfathered in, meaning they will not fall under the moratorium, and property owners have until 5 p.m. Tuesday to register their short-term rental.

"We’re hearing from our fire departments that they’re having trouble staffing the volunteer fire departments," said Sarah Jones, assistant director for the Marin County Community Development Agency. "We are hearing from the schools about declining enrollment. We’re hearing from some of the affordable housing organizations that they’re really having trouble securing the housing supply and that people are having more and more trouble competing for available housing because it's more lucrative to use even modest units as short-term rentals."

The moratorium could be extended for up to two years, but for now, the temporary ban gives the board time to consider new short-term rental regulations for all of Marin County.

The intent isn’t to outright ban short-term rentals but to find a better balance.

In 2018, Marin County started requiring short-term property owners to get a business license. The county was going to revisit those regulations in 2020 but held off because of the uncertainty over the pandemic.

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