STR public workshop, 7/11 at 10:30 am

Notice of Public Workshop Monterey County Planning Commission
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Planning Commission of the County of Monterey, State of California will conduct a public workshop as described below.
• Conduct a public workshop to receive a report on Advisory Committee outreach and preliminary consistency of the draft short-term rental ordinance with local area plans; and
• CEQA review to be conducted based on final draft ordinances.
The workshop will be held on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 at the hour of 10:30 a.m., in the Monterey County Board of Supervisors Chambers, County Government Center, 168 West Alisal Street, Salinas, California, at which time and place any and all interested persons may appear and be heard thereon.
We welcome your comments on this matter. The Agency accepts comments via e-mail or facsimile but requests that you follow these instructions to ensure that the Agency has received your comments.
To submit your comments by e-mail, please send a complete document including all attachments to: An e-mailed document should contain the name of the person or entity submitting the comments and contact information such as phone number, mailing address and/or e-mail address and include any and all attachments referenced in the e-mail. To ensure a complete and accurate record, we request that you also provide a follow-up hard copy to the name and address listed below. If you do not wish to send a follow- up hard copy, then please send a second e-mail requesting confirmation of receipt of comments with enough information to confirm that the entire document was received. If you do not receive e-mail confirmation of receipt of comments, then please submit a hard copy of your comments to ensure inclusion in the record or contact the Agency to ensure the Agency has received your comments.
Facsimile (fax) copies will be accepted with a cover page describing the extent (e.g. number of pages) being transmitted. A faxed document must contain a signature and all attachments referenced therein. Faxed documents should be sent to the contact noted below at (831) 757-9516. To ensure a complete and accurate record, we request that you also provide a follow-up hard copy to the name and address listed below. If you do not wish to send a follow-up hard copy, then please contact the Agency to confirm that the entire document was received.
You may submit your comments in hard copy to the name and address below.
Kate Battiato, Management Analyst III
Monterey County Resource Management Agency
1441 Schilling Place, 2nd Floor South, Salinas CA, 93901 (831) 759-6560,

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


From the Highland STRs group:

The PC staff is having a meeting in Big Sur next week [Tuesday at 9:30 at the Lodge] where they will be recommending/announcing they will be restricting STR’s to “Home Stays”  in a Host’s permanent residence, and only while they are actually living/staying there.  We discussed this in our last meeting, and now the shape of it is better known.  We will need (at some point) to decide whether Carmel Highlands wants to end up with a identical situation.

It is a compromise from the PC’s previous position, and it does accomplish some of what we have been fighting for.  The key things missing are enforcement and ADA. It is not clear where traffic, leach field, water, advertising and other issues end up from our point of view, but it is clearly better than before.  There is also a technical issue on the number of people a Host can rent to because the draft ordinance limit of two times the number of bedrooms doesn’t leave a room for the owner.
On enforcement: responsibility for enforcement shifts entirely to the neighbors from a practical point of view.  The County is substituting an ordinance it won’t enforce, to one it can’t enforce.  On the other hand, fines are way up, and we might have the same legal options we have now (requires legal verification).  And paying a firm for enforcement is cheaper than litigation against the County and Coastal Commission.
I know there are some in our group who have favored this approach, at least in concept. It is also similar to the approach being supported by Carmel Valley.
Please read it carefully when you have a chance, think about it, and let’s communicate our thoughts to each other. (Or in Big Sur’s Case, at the meeting on Tuesday)
There is a bit more info on the website – specifically from Mary Adams office.

Planning Commission Draft Ordinance – “Home Stays” Simplified Explanation



No more than two (2) times the total number of bedrooms

Home Stay Definition

There are two different kinds:

A.     The STR unit is the STR Operator’s principal residence, and the STR Operator resides at the STR site while it is occupied by short-term renters.

Planning Commission staff makes the following preliminary recommendation (for Big Sur):

• STRs that are defined as homestays, are consistent with the BSLUP and should be allowed.

• STRs that are to be rented 12 times per year or fewer and not more than 2 times per year (referred to herein as “low-frequency STR”) and: Are a primary residence, are consistent with the BSLUP and should be allowed.

B.     The STR unit is not the STR Operator’s principal residence

Planning Commission staff makes the following preliminary recommendation (for Big Sur):

• STRs that would require a Coastal Development Permit (equivalent to the “Use Permit” in the Draft Ordinance), are not consistent with the BSLUP and should not be allowed.

• STRs that are to be rented 12 times per year or fewer and not more than 2 times per year (referred to herein as “low-frequency STR”) and are not a primary residence, are not consistent with the BSLUP and should not be allowed 

• Un-Hosted Short-Term Rental or Un-Hosted STR: A short-term rental whereby the STR Operator does not reside at the STR site while it is occupied by short- term renters are not consistent with the BSLUP and should not be allowed 

STRs, part 3, 1/5/18

Probably THE most comprehensive website on Short Term Rentals in Monterey County can be found here:

Preserve Monterey Neighborhoods

This is their mission statement:

“This is a working group to consider litigation, voter initiative, and activism options to stop STR in Monterey County.

We are looking for constructive suggestions and a healthy debate to develop a consensus and action plan that can win. The purpose of this website is to be a resource for information that may be helpful.

In the Coastal Zone of Monterey, every City and area has at least one group opposing STR except for Seaside and Marina. In the one city where STR is currently legal (Pacific Grove), opposition is growing and organizing. There is a page for each that has their public statements and/or Comments to the Planning Commission.”

I urge you to explore this website for a wealth of available information about this issue before the January 10th workshop with the Planning Commission. I will offer bits & pieces of it as I can.


STRs in Big Sur Land Use Plan area withdrawn from Planning Commission meeting

This is a long letter, but I feel important enough to post in full. Because of the way they are formatted, I must post as images. It is just over 3 pages.



STR & Special Events Meetings

We have scheduled two community meetings scheduled to discuss Home Stay Rentals (Short Term Rentals) and Special Events. Please reserve these dates on your calendars:

Wednesday May 28, 2014 6:30 PM Big Sur Grange

Thursday May 29, 2014 6:30 PM Carmel Highlands Fire Community Room

Toward the end of this week, we will provide the comments that we have received to date on the Discussion Draft Ordinance with our responses.

If you have any questions please contact me

John Ford
Planning Services Manager
Resource Management Agency — Planning
(831) 755-5158