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Monterey County Vacation Rental Alliance

Supporting Visitors, the Economy & our Neighborhoods

Legal Action vs Monterey County


STRs are Imminently Threatened

  • MCVRA has pleaded with Monterey County since 2013 for a reasonable short term rental (STR) ordinance.
  • MCVRA has attended countless meetings with County staff, Planning Commissioners, and Supervisors.
  • The County has drafted 5 different versions of ordinances.
  • Every draft has proposed an unacceptable, onerous use permit process for most STRs.
  • And any ordinance, good or bad, still remains far into the future.
  • After dragging its feet for years, the County now plans to proactively enforce the “interpretation” that every unpermitted STR is illegal under existing County code.
  • On December 8, 2021, the Board of Supervisors approved the implementation of a Pilot Program enforcement policy that will shut down most STRs in Supervisor District 5. This includes Pebble Beach, Big Sur, Carmel Highlands, Carmel Valley, and the Highway 68 corridor. About 82% of all Monterey County STRs are in District 5.
  • No complaint or nuisance will be required to issue a citation.
  • The County will find you through your advertisements and your transient occupancy tax (TOT) payments.
  • There is an STR permitting system in the inland (non-coastal) area.  The permit costs over $7,000, will take many months, may be granted with additional restrictions, or may even be denied. Inland STR owners must choose to either shut down or apply for this permit.
  • In the coastal zone, the County claims there is a BnB permit available but it requires the owner to be present during the guest stay. Thus there is no permit available to coastal second homes (the vast majority) to operate as an STR.  The BnB permit might be available to primary coastal zone homeowners but the permit cost is over $14,000.
This Left Us No Choice - We Had to Take Legal Action
  • WE MUST STOP THE PILOT PROGRAM.
  • The County has deliberately stopped calling this a Pilot Program. Rather, they explain that this is merely prioritized, proactive enforcement of existing County code. This enforcement policy will spread to all areas of the County.

  • MCVRA and a few STR owners formed a legal committee.
  • An attorney has been retained.
  • A lawsuit has been filed challenging the County's actions in the coastal zone. This new enforcement policy has not been submitted for review by the Coastal Commission.
  • MCVRA and our attorney are closely watching the County's inland (non-coastal) permitting process.
  • The Pilot Program will affect any reasonable STR ordinance in the future. STR opponents will love the Pilot Program and will fight even harder against any future draft ordinance that would permit STRs.

Click Here for Details of Monterey County Short Term Rental Enforcement Policy


We Need Your Financial Help to Succeed


Good attorneys never come cheap. We need your contribution. Please donate an amount of 1% of your annual rental income or 10% of the TOT you have paid over the last year, whichever is easier. So if you paid $5,000 in TOT, please make a donation of $500. This is only 1% of your rental income. Who would not contribute 1% to save 100% of their income? With just a single booking, you will recover the cost. Consider your financial loss if overly restrictive regulations were passed. Your all-volunteer MCVRA Board of Directors receives not a penny.

D​onate by credit card or PayPal. This button will give you the choice to make it a monthly donation.

Donate by check payable to "MCVRA" or "Monterey County Vacation Rental Alliance." Mail it to the address shown at the bottom of this page and note that it is for the Legal Fund and remember to include your name.

Now Tell Us A Little About Yourself


Regulations and restrictions vary considerably depending upon the location of your short term rental. We need this to properly inform you. Click here.