STRs – Carmel Valley Letter

The issues and concerns are similar. I suggest that each of you interested in this issue for Big Sur write to the county so concerns are recorded. The Carmel Valley letter does not address the issue of shared private roads and/or easements, which is filled with potential litigation.

CVA Letter to County Supervisors and Planners Regarding Short Term Rentals

Date: April 20, 2018

To: Supervisors, Planning Commissioners, Monterey County RMA Staff
From: Carmel Valley Association
RE: Short Term Rental Ordinance

The following is a supplement to our previous correspondence to you regarding Short Term Rentals:

The Carmel Valley Association strongly recommends that within the Carmel Valley Master Plan area, short-term rentals (STRs) be limited to “home stays.”  “Home stays” are defined as short-term rentals that are owner-occupied and managed. 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.

This requirement would minimize the impact of STRs on the housing supply, discourage the conversion of long-term rentals to tourist use, and help address the shortage of affordable, decent, safe, long-term housing for people of all income levels in Carmel Valley.

Residentially zoned areas traditionally permit non-intrusive business activity. Examples of such permitted activities are home offices, bookkeeping services, and music instruction. Such services are conducted by owners or residents who live on the property and generally have a minimal impact on neighborhoods. Allowing non-owner-occupied STRs, which are, in essence, hotels in residential areas, would be inconsistent with residential zonings and would risk significant disruption of quiet neighborhoods.

Many California cities have dealt with this problem.  San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Bishop, West Hollywood, and Santa Monica, among others, have passed ordinances limiting STRs to home-stays. The opinion of the 6tth District Court of Appeal in a case involving the City of Carmel is especially applicable to STRs where the resident owner is not present:

“Such rentals undoubtedly affect the essential character of a neighborhood and the stability of community. Short-term tenants have little interest in public agencies or in the welfare of the citizenry. They do not participate in local government, coach little league, or join the hospital guild. They do not lead a scout troop, volunteer at the library, or keep an eye on an elderly neighbor. Literally, they are here today and gone tomorrow — without engaging in the sort of activities that weld and strengthen a community.”(Ewing v. City of Carmel-by-the-Sea, 234 Cal. App. 3d 1579.)

In addition to our recommendation that STR’s be limited to home stays, for the peace and safety of residentially zoned neighborhoods, we urge that parking at STR’s must be provided off-street for both visitors and residents, fires must be limited to existing barbeque 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.

We appreciate your consideration of our proposals.


Pris Walton
President, Carmel Valley Association

It is very important that residents of Carmel Valley express their thoughts to the Planning Commissioners.  The draft ordinance and correspondence relating to this discussion can be found by going to the County Website.

Here is the County’s Current Policy (July 2015)

Map of Carmel Valley STRS as of February 2018