Monterey County Vacation Rental Alliance

Supporting Visitors, the Economy & our Neighborhoods

Regulation by Cities in Monterey County


If your STR is in an incorporated city, Monterey County regulations do not apply. Cities enact their own regulation which varies considerably from town to town.

On July 8, 2017, the Monterey Herald summarized the status of short-term rentals in Monterey peninsula cities. Click on "Different cities, different approaches to short-term rental issue on Monterey Peninsula."
City of Monterey 
The City simply bans any rental for less than 30 days. An STR operated in Monterey is illegal! The City has now adopted an ordinance that prohibits ADVERTISING short-term rentals in the City’s residential zoned districts. See:
The town also simply bans any rental for less than 30 days. An STR operated in this town is illegal! 

Carmel-by-the-Sea is cracking down on short-term rentals. See the Monterey County Weekly article dated December 15, 2106. Ignoring Carmel's ban can result in very large fines! One owner settled with the town for $25,000 after facing an even larger amount. See  Carmel settles short-term rental lawsuit while announcing amnesty period for other scofflaws.

Pacific Grove
In Pacific Grove, an owner can obtain an STR permit and can then rent for short-term periods. An STR operated in Pacific Grove without a permit is subject to large fines. 

Pacific Grove Short-Term Rental Ordinance Survives But With Amendments

Late in 2015, the Pacific Grove ordinance came under fire from residents opposed to short-term rentals in their neighborhood citing parking problems, disturbances, and other issues.  MCVRA president, Jan Leasure, worked very closely with the Pacific Grove City Council and its Planning Department to address these issues and to make changes to the ordinance.   The ordinance was saved but it was close!  The City Council voted by the thin margin of 4-3 to continue permitting short-term rentals but with greater restrictions. 

On March 24, 2016, the City Council approved significant changes to the short- term rental ordinance. The new ordinance establishes two different types of Short Term licenses and imposes limits on the number of licenses and rules for density and occupancy. The City also introduced a Home Sharing Ordinance which allows owners and long-term tenants to rent a max of one bedroom on short-term basis. For more detail, CLICK HERE.

The City of Seaside currently has no regulations affecting STRs but the City held an STR study session on Septmber 21, 2017. The City Staff did an excellent job of giving the City Council an overview of the issue. It did not take a "side," which was refreshing. There were good public comments on both sides. A big shout out to Kate Mulligan, a Seaside STR owner who stole the show with her rousing description of how wonderful it is to have visitors from all over the world, now that her kids are off to college! 

There were good questions and comments from the Council. Some council members are clearly advocates of this issue. Others are cautiously optimistic about how a good ordinance can work, and one council member is clearly opposed to STRs, citing their impact on affordable housing.  It is estimated that there are 135 STRs that currently exist in Seaside (which represent 1% of the housing stock).

The Council directed Staff to come back to them with the next step, which may be a draft ordinance. 


The Marina Planning Commission considered short-term rentals at their July 27, 2017 meeting. Here is the link to the staff report and two draft ordinances.

The biggest difference between the two drafts is one has a requirement that the owner be present on site (homesharing).

The meeting showed how government can work well. It was the best example we have seen of how government is supposed to work. The Planning Commission held what they called a "study session," on STRs, which entailed a staff report, public comment, and Planning Commission discussion/questions with the public being invited to come to the podium whenever they wanted to comment on something that was being discussed. The public comment was respected equally with the Commissioners' comments. The Commissioners had all read the information the staff had given them on the subject, and they asked intelligent questions and made relevant comments.

This is not an action item at this time, but staff is asking for direction from the community and the Commission. We are working with them to get them on the right track!

Take the time to read the ordinances they are proposing and comment on them either to or directly to the City of Marina at

This city has no regulations affecting STRs.