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Monterey County Vacation Rental Alliance

Supporting Visitors, the Economy & our Neighborhoods

Legal Action vs Monterey County

Monterey County Threatened Every STR

  • MCVRA has pleaded with Monterey County since 2013 for a reasonable short term rental (STR) ordinance.
  • MCVRA has attended countless meetings with County staff, Planning Commissioners, and Supervisors.
  • The County has drafted 5 different versions of ordinances.
  • Every draft has proposed an unacceptable, onerous use permit process for most STRs.
  • And any ordinance, good or bad, still remains far into the future.
  • After dragging its feet for years, the County announced plans to proactively enforce every unpermitted STR under existing County code.
  • On December 8, 2021, the Board of Supervisors approved the implementation of a Pilot Program enforcement policy that will shut down most STRs in Supervisorial District 5. This includes Pebble Beach, Big Sur, Carmel Highlands, Carmel Valley, and the Highway 68 corridor. About 82% of all Monterey County STRs are in District 5. Soon after, the County emphatically stated it is not a "Pilot Program" but merely prioritized enforcement. This policy can affect any area of the County.
  • The prioritized enforcement requires no complaint or nuisance to issue a citation.
  • The County will find you through your advertisements and your transient occupancy tax (TOT) payments.
  • There is an STR permitting system in the inland (non-coastal) area.  The permit costs almost $8,000, will take many months, may be granted with additional restrictions, or may even be denied. Inland STR owners must choose to either shut down or apply for this permit.
  • In the coastal zone, the County claims there is a BnB permit available, but it requires the owner to be present during the guest stay. Thus there is no permit available to coastal second homes (the vast majority) to operate as an STR.  The BnB permit might be available to primary coastal zone homeowners, but the permit cost is over $14,000.

Click Here for Details of Monterey County Short Term Rental Enforcement Policy

This Left Us No Choice - We Had to Take Legal Action

  • MCVRA and a few STR owners formed a legal committee.
  • An attorney was retained.

Coastal Zone

  • In January 2022, a lawsuit was filed challenging the County's actions in the coastal zone based on the fact that this new enforcement policy had not been submitted for review by the Coastal Commission.
  • On June 16, 2022 a settlement was achieved with the County allowing coastal STRs to operate subject to a few requirements. The terms of the settlement continue until the County enacts a new ordinance regulating STRs. 
  •  Click here for that settlement.
  • MCVRA will answer your questions about the settlement and how to operate your STR. MCVRA continues to fight for a reasonable coastal ordinance. We invite you to contribute and join MCVRA.

Non-Coastal Areas

  • Our attorney reviewed the County's policies in the non-coastal areas. Unfortunately at the moment, we do not have a winning legal basis for a lawsuit.
  • MCVRA advises owners that want to continue renting on a short term basis to apply for a permit. Like it or hate it, this is our only choice. 
  • MCVRA is closely watching how the County handles the inland (non-coastal) permitting process.
  • MCVRA will answer your questions about applying for a permit and operating your STR. MCVRA continues to fight for a reasonable non-coastal ordinance. We invite you to contribute and join MCVRA.

We Need Your Financial Help to Succeed

We need support. We have requested an amount of just 1% of your annual rental revenue but you can donate any amount. With just a single booking, you can recover the cost. Consider your financial loss if the County shuts you down. Your all-volunteer MCVRA Board of Directors receives not a penny. Donate by credit card or PayPal. You can also send a check. Who would not contribute a tiny percent to save 100% of their income?

Donate by credit card or PayPal account - The button gives you the choice to make it a monthly donation.

Donate by check payable to "MCVRA" or "Monterey County Vacation Rental Alliance." Mail it to the address shown at the bottom of this page. Include your name.

Now Tell Us A Little About Yourself

Regulations and restrictions vary considerably depending upon the location of your short term rental. We need this to properly inform you. Click here.