A Highlands response to the CVA Letter on STRs


There are some serious problems and omissions in the CVA position that will need to be addressed for it to have my support, for example a 4 bedroom home could legally have 2,912 guests per year. And in fact, they could rent rooms by the hour if they wish.
The CVA position is:
No absentee owners, property management companies, corporations, or LLC’s would be permitted. The owner would be required to be a permanent year-round resident, and the home would be his or her primary residence. The owner would be required to live in and be present on site during the short-term rental period. Owners would be limited to no more than one STR. Parking at STRs must be provided off-street for both visitors and residents, fires must be limited to existing barbecue pits, and STRs must be spaced at least 1000 feet from each other.
Finally, we wish to point out that STR’s must, of course, be counted as Visitor Serving Units (VSU’s), as defined in the Carmel Valley Master Plan (CVMP). When STR’s are added to other VSU’s, the combined total must not exceed the caps for VSU’s of the Carmel Valley Master Plan. The vast majority of such permissible VSU’s have already been allocated. A count by the organization Host Compliance states that as of April 9th there were “143 unique rental units that fit the STR definition” within the Carmel Valley Master Plan area, 120 of which were “entire homes.” Most, if not all, are unpermitted. This number far exceeds what remains of the Carmel Valley Master Plan VSU allowance. Limiting STRs to home stays would help to bring the number of VSU’s under the Carmel Valley Master Plan limits, which must be done. The Carmel Valley Association requests that the Short Term Rental Ordinance being developed by Monterey County, to be consistent the Carmel Valley Master Plan, include this proposal.
Additional Requirements Needed for My Support:
  • The “Home Stay” cannot be the owner’s principal source of income, nor be the only source of income to pay the mortgage.
  • The owner has to provide some proof they are there during the STR. This can be done by video or some other form of proof posted to a social media site. Otherwise the ordinance is completely unenforceable.
  • The County must do a study on required personnel and resources to enforce the ordinance, and then provide those resources.
  • The limits on Visitor Serving Units under the Master Plan needs to be observed for all areas, including Carmel Highlands and Big Sur. In Carmel Highlands generally there are only 28 additional Visitor Serving Units allowed. Big Sur is also near its limit (300 cap).
  • No rentals of less than one day.
  • The total number of STR guests cannot exceed 2 per the number of permitted bedrooms, less one bedroom for the in-residence owner.
  • No advertising of unpermitted rentals, and Host Compliance or equivalent service is required.
  • Leach fields must be maintained to commercial standards.
  • ADA Compliance (I need to think about this given all the restrictions)
  • Camping STR’s on unimproved land shall also be counted as Visitor Serving Units and subject to the same rules.