STRs and the MoCo BOS meeting

I stayed neutral on this issue for years, but after watching what it has done to our community — done away with former housing for teachers at our school (one of the illegal STRs) and now watching our USFS LEO struggle to find ANY housing for a single guy with no pets, and the unavailability of housing to support our basic community services, I changed my position a few years back. I am speaking out today by posting a recent weekly newsletter from the Carmel Valley Association, that faces the same issues Big Sur does, and a notice about the Board of Supervisors Meeting next week and how to join in.

Carmel Valley Association Weekly Bulletin
Short-Term Rentals in Carmel Valley
A well-funded group of short-term rental owners and managers recently has taken out ads attempting to discredit Supervisor Mary Adams’ effort to address the impacts of unpermitted vacation rentals in the 5th District. The ads are misleading, histrionic and filled with erroneous information about a proposed action to enforce existing regulations on transient use of residential properties.
The number of vacation rentals (formerly known as short-term Rentals STRS) has increased dramatically during the inexplicably seven long years taken to develop a vacation rental ordinance with effective enforcement.
According to county staff, there are more than 600 identified vacation rentals in Monterey County, of which only 24 properties have required permits. The overwhelming majority of these unpermitted vacation rentals are in the 5th District, including Carmel Valley.
At its last meeting, at the urging of 5th District Supervisor Mary Adams, the Board of Supervisors unanimously took the first step to deal with this urgent problem. The Board directed county staff to take action to enforce the existing regulations on short term rentals in the 5th District. The response by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors is to be commended.
This enforcement action is to determine how resources will be allocated to enforce existing regulations. Additionally, enforcement will serve to provide information on how vacation rentals can be effectively regulated and the best enforcement practices for potential inclusion in the final vacation rental ordinance. Immediate enforcement is also needed because, according to county staff, it may take more than another year to develop an effective vacation rental ordinance.
If there is no control exerted now, the negative impacts of vacation rentals will continue to grow:
Hotel, resort, and motel businesses will suffer.The number of long term rentals available for people who live and work here will decrease, and rents will continue to rise.The quality of life for residents will further decline as residential neighborhoods become de facto commercial zones.
CVA believes that the enforcement of current regulations is critically important to maintaining the residential character of our neighborhoods. Not surprisingly, a group representing the owners and managers of vacation rentals is trying to stop enforcement.
Our opponents are well-funded by vacation rental owners, guests, managers, and national and international investors. They are soliciting more funds to defeat any attempt to enforce existing regulations.
That’s why we need you to take action to fight back now. Please write a letter to the Board of Supervisors. Their addresses are:, Luis, John M., Chris, Wendy Root, Mary Adams
Also, plan to voice your support for the enforcement of the existing regulations for short-term rentals at the next Board of Supervisors meeting on December 8, 2021. We’ll be sending out a ZOOM link later this week or early next. You could make the difference!
Thank you for helping to protect our residential neighborhoods and to preserve the rural character of Carmel Valley.

Attached you will find the Final Agenda for the Monterey County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, December 7, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. and Wednesday, December 8, 2021 at 10:00 a.m.. The agenda(s) and agenda packet(s) can be found online by visiting the following link: Due to the size limitations the agenda packet could not be attached to this e-mail, but can be found by visiting the following link.  Once there, you can navigate to the agenda packet by:

  1. Locating the correct legislative meeting body followed by date.
  2. On the same row, you will find a list of available options be sure to select “Agenda Packet”
  3. If the option is not presented, the packet may be located by selecting “Searchable Meeting Details.”
  4. You will be taken to a separate page and the packet may be found under the header entitled, “attachments”

you may participate through ZOOM. For ZOOM participation please join by computer audio at: to participate by phone call any of these numbers below:+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)+1 253 215 8782 US+1 301 715 8592 USEnter this Meeting ID number: 224397747 when prompted. Please note there is no ParticipantCode, you will just hit # again after the recording prompts you.

There are a substantial number of issues that will be addressed at both meetings that may be of interest to you. 

Item 7 – December 8, 2021 Agenda (physical page 7) PDF page 8

Consider a comprehensive analysis in response to revised Board Referral 2016.02, regarding enforcement of existing County regulations relating to transient use of residential properties, also known as short term rentals or vacation rentals, and provide direction to staff regarding unauthorized vacation rentals and potential funding sources to cover costs.

7 thoughts on “STRs and the MoCo BOS meeting

  1. I find it amazing that these owners of Short Term Rentals, many of them who don’t live in the communities they negatively impact, have been operating illegally without permits for years are now are so upset that the County wants to enforce the law and it’s county codes with a pilot program. A majority of these people new STR’s were not permitted when they purchased these properties and know better. Their personal bank accounts come before anything else. Selfish!!!

  2. The housing shortage in Big Sur would be solved if the Navy Base Facility were converted into housing for full time employee’s of the Big Sur Community. But getting to a place of agreement within our communities isn’t easy. It would take local cooperation with land baron Jim who owns all the property surrounding the base, the State Park, my loved cousin Kirk and a crowded room of others including dear friends Miles and Kodiak on board. I understand their frustration and admire their fistration, a willingness to battle for what they consider precious, their Homeland. KEEP Big Sur quiet and uncrowded for as long as possible. Push against the tide of change, keep it an isle of septi glass on a sea of jade. Big Sur will remain Big Sur, regardless of my 6 am drives south and 9am returns before the roads congest. This day and the last, regardless of everyone’s opinions for and against STR’s, can’t we find a fair and just ordinance that aligns us? These two sides are not mutually exclusive. I too grew up here and loved operating my STR when I was able. And I know then can create conflicts when guests wonder off property onto other people’s land without permission. They do add more travelers to a community that depends on tourism. They do enable elders and children alike to keep their homes and pay their taxes in an ever increasingly expensive existence. And so on and so on. Some homeowners are just better STR operators than others; meaning they consider their neighbors privacy and respectful noise levels with earnest, thought out preventive actions. And for that, a county that grants licenses to pay T.O.T. taxes but denies permits to operate is shameful. Getting this debacle sorted sure would make sitting at the holiday dinner table a lot more yummy by a factor of ten.
    Thyme Lewis

  3. Thyme, I’m so happy you no longer do Short Term Rentals on your property and instead long term rent to wonderful people who work, live and contribute to our amazing community. You are a perfect example of why STR’s should be banned from unincorporated Monterey County. Keep hotel activity in commercially zoned areas and residential zones for just that, residents!

  4. I am happy too that I am in a position to provide housing and grateful to have wonderful tenants. Not everyone is able to pivot as I have. Furthermore, I do not consider myself a great example. Rather the exact opposite. Housing rental market prices have risen so dramatically, most locals can’t afford to rent a home. Instead, they must bundle together as roomates. My property is a prime example of that. I do not wish to have a beautiful home sit empty most of the time because I want to use it one weekend each month. Which is exactly what will happen with people who have second homes here. They will sit empty. We at MCVRA did a survey asking which homeowner members would switch to long term rental if they couldn’t do STR’s anymore. The number was 5.6%. That’s a tiny number of homes of which I am in that portion. Moreover, most homeowners will not rent long term because these homeowners want to use their second homes. That means 94.4% of these homes will sit empty. No T.O.T. to collect to help our county. No additional jobs for locals who work these STR’s. And so on. That’s the brunt of why these homes will not be made available and what you’re stating doesn’t hold water. Going further, Homestays and Bed and Breakfast operated by homeowners should be allowed in addition to responsible STR homeowners as I’d been. The amount of nonsensical arguments presented from anti str people is beyond measure. Residents should be able to do what they want with their homes.

  5. Also, just imagine if people could just buy 2nd, 3rd, 4th homes and just do anything they want with these properties. Just have complete disregard for how they are zoned for use, not follow regulations, laws and County Codes. Oh wait, that’s what has happened all over Monterey County, negativity impacting their neighbors and community. If the only way you can afford a 2nd home is to do commercial activities you should not have bought it in the first place. And, there is plenty of property taxes being paid in this County. They’ll be fine without the TOT taxes because these STR guests would be paying it at their legal hotel stay. They would also need to hire more employees because their business would increase, so the argument that STR’s creates jobs is bogus. It actually takes them away from local legitimate businesses.

  6. I would question that 5.6% number as biased if collected from the MCVRA membership. One STR down here when they were “caught” and could no longer STR their place, sold it. The current owners use it constantly for themselves and their large circle of friends and family, but no STRing. Rick Stollmeyer, who has tons of $$ from a software he developed, is the current owner.

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