Supervisors Green-Light Vacation Rental Enforcement ‘Pilot’ Program

A Monterey County Weekly report highlights the supervisors' vote to make vacation rentals stick to the rules.

PUBLISHED FEB 16, 2022 10:44 P.M.
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Starting in April, Monterey County will get tough on short-term rentals that break the rules.

Starting in April, Monterey County will get tough on short-term rentals that break the rules.   Kaspars Grinvalds

Monterey County homeowners without a permit who rent out their houses to Airbnb vacationers, or those who allow guests to stage wild parties that drive neighbors crazy, need to get their act together by April. That’s when a new enforcement program for the county’s short-term rental industry is likely to take effect, according to a Monterey County Weekly report by Pam Marino.

Marino reported on a Dec. 8 Board of Supervisors meeting that saw the supes cast a 5-0 vote to green-light the “pilot” enforcement program aimed at bringing hundreds of largely non-permitted short-term rentals under control. Most of the rogue rental units fall into District 5, which is represented by Mary Adams. Her district encompasses the tourist-heavy regions of Carmel Valley, Pebble Beach and Big Sur. 

It was Adams who requested the enforcement program after she received a series of complaints from constituents—as well as a 2021 grand jury report sharply critical of county government over its “passive approach” to enforcing its own rules. The industry has seen exponential growth over the past decade since online apps such as Airbnb, VRBO and others made listing and booking a quick and easy process.

The grand jury called for supervisors to create a whole new ordinance. Housing and Community Development Director Erik Lundquist told Marino that his agency has its “foot on the gas” as it works to formulate that ordinance, but due in part to the California Environmental Quality Act approval process, it may be another year before it would be completed.

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