Monterey County Vacation Rental Alliance

Supporting Visitors, the Economy & our Neighborhoods

Regulation by Local 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."

More recently on September 13, 2017 the Herald summarized the status of the City of Monterey, Carmel-by-the-Sea, and Pacific Grove. See  Monterey to enforce daily fines on short-term rental operators.
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. The City has contracted with  Host Compliance to scour the internet looking for violations. The city claims to have put over 100 owners on notice. 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. The town has also contracted with  Host Compliance to scour the internet looking for violations.  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 very large fines. See Carmel Pine Cone article.

Pacific Grove Tightens Its Short-Term Rental Ordinance

On Feb. 21, 2018, the Pacific Grove City Council voted to hold a lottery to reduce the density of STRs after the March, 31 2018 renewal deadline. Currently there are some 290 STRs (the citywide cap is 250). Properties in all “over-dense” neighborhoods (over 15%) will be subject to the lottery. Properties losing their licenses will be given a one-year “sunset period” (until April 30, 2019) to cease short-term rentals. Full details are available here:

Meanwhile the ballot initiative is rumored to have 750 signatures toward their goal of 1000. This initiative seeks to ban all short-term rentals except those in the Coastal Zone, with an 18-month “sunset period” for STRs that lose their licenses.


Seaside currently has no regulations affecting STRs but the city council intends to create an ordinance. On November 16, 2017, the Seaside city council heard a second draft of an ordinance. This second draft resolved MCVRA's biggest concern about the first draft that would have not permitted second homes to be rented to visitors. At the hearing, the city council approved and forwarded the second draft to the Seaside planning department to be formally written as an addition to the city’s code. Next, it will return to the city council for another hearing.  For the details click on second 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.