On June 19, 2018, the Board adopted amendments to the Non-Coastal Zoning Ordinance establishing Temporary Rental Unit (TRUs) regulations for the non-coastal areas of unincorporated Ventura County (click here to see a full copy).On June 12, 2018, the Board adopted amendments to the Coastal Zoning Ordinance, which established regulations for Temporary Rental Units (TRUs) within the coastal zone (click here to see a full copy). On October 10, 2018, the California Coastal Commission certified the Coastal Zoning Ordinance amendments as adopted by the Board of Supervisors with an effective date of November 1, 2018. While the two amendments share many of the same requirements and standards, there are some significant differences between the two. Each are described in detail below.
Non-Coastal Zoning Ordinance (NCZO)
With the adoption of the Non-Coastal Zoning Ordinance amendments, the County established clear definitions for two types of TRUs: Short-term Rentals (STRs) and Homeshares. Both are defined as dwellings that are rented for a period less than 30 days. However, a homeshare must be the owner’s primary residence and the owner must be present in the dwelling while it is being rented. Owners of STRs need not be present when renting out the dwelling.
The adopted ordinance amendments established a TRU Regulation Overlay Zone. The boundaries of that zone are the same as the boundaries of the Ojai Valley Municipal Advisory Council (click here to see a map). All STRs and Homeshares operated in the non-coastal unincorporated areas outside of the Overlay Zone are exempt from the requirements of the ordinance.
To provide a simplified illustration of the Planning permitting process for TRUs within the Non-Coastal Zone of unincorporated Ventura County, click here to see a permitting flowchart for Short-Term Rentals, and click here for a flowchart for Homeshares.
Coastal Zoning Ordinance (CZO)
With the adoption of the Coastal Zoning Ordinance amendments, the County established clear definitions for both Short-term Rentals (STRs) and Homeshares. Both are defined as dwellings that are rented for a period less than 30 days. However, a homeshare must be the owner’s primary residence and the owner must be present in the dwelling while it is being rented. Owners of STRs need not be present when renting out the dwelling.
The Coastal Zoning Ordinance applies only to properties within the Coastal Zone of unincorporated Ventura County. The Coastal Zone boundaries were established by the California Coastal Commission after adoption of the Coastal Act in 1976. (click here to see a map).
In July 2015, the Board of Supervisors directed County staff to study the issue of residential dwelling units used as short-term vacation rentals. In December 2015, County staff returned with a report outlining the status and issues associated with STRs in unincorporated Ventura County. The Board received the report and public testimony from a significant number of residents. The Board then directed that staff return with a more detailed report and present it as part of a public workshop on this issue.
To guide staff in its preparation of the report, the Board articulated three objectives for the regulation of short-term rentals, in the following priority order:
- The quality of life of the neighborhood, and the reasonable expectation of neighbors to enjoy their homes, must be maintained;
- The supply of housing for purchase and/or long-term rental should not be significantly reduced; and
- Short-term rental units should enhance the local economy.
County staff prepared and presented the report to the Board of Supervisors at their meeting on August 2, 2016. A copy of the report can be found here. The public was invited to review and comment on the report and the STR issue in general and the Board received numerous written comments. A copy of the Board agenda item and the comments received can be found here.
At their August 2, 2016 meeting, the Board of Supervisors directed County staff to develop and bring back to the Board recommendations related to a clearer definition of "short term vacation rental" as well as an assessment of potential options for permitting 'homeshares", permitting of STRs with waivers, Homeowner Association involvement in the permitting process, and recognizing the unique nature of different communities and neighborhoods. County staff prepared its analysis of these issues and provided options and recommendations in a report that was presented to the Board of Supervisors on November 15, 2016. Click here to view the report.
At its December 13, 2016 meeting, the Board of Supervisors concluded a two-day hearing regarding STRs and the options available for regulating them in the unincorporated areas of Ventura County. At the close of the hearing, the Board directed staff to begin work on developing Zoning Ordinance Amendments that would establish permitting requirements and standards for STRs. To guide staff in this effort, the Board provided the following direction regarding the content of the amendments:
- Look at defining the “Ojai Valley” more broadly than the traffic impact area
- Permit “homeshare” rentals only with ministerial permits (no waivers)
- Develop a program to amortize existing registered STRs
- Carve out an exception to allow STRs on historic properties
Remainder of County
- Permit STRs and Homeshares with ministerial permits (no waivers)
In addition to the above, the Board directed that for all areas within unincorporated Ventura County, the amendments include strict standards and regulations to address nuisance issues (e.g., noise, parking, events) and they include a robust and effective enforcement and penalty program.
County staff then completed the preparation of proposed amendments to the Non-Coastal and Coastal Zoning Ordinances consistent with the Board's direction. To better reflect the differing nature of "Short-Term Rentals" and "Homeshares" as previously defined, the Ordinance amendments are referred to as "Temporary Rental Unit" (TRU) regulations. These amendments were adopted by the Board of Supervisors and described in detail above.