Home Stays

The CVA position is:
No absentee owners, property management companies, corporations, or LLC’s would be permitted. The owner would be required to be a permanent year-round resident, and the home would be his or her primary residence. The owner would be required to live in and be present on site during the short-term rental period. Owners would be limited to no more than one STR. Parking at STRs must be provided off-street for both visitors and residents, fires must be limited to existing barbecue pits, and STRs must be spaced at least 1000 feet from each other.
Finally, we wish to point out that STR’s must, of course, be counted as Visitor Serving Units (VSU’s), as defined in the Carmel Valley Master Plan (CVMP). When STR’s are added to other VSU’s, the combined total must not exceed the caps for VSU’s of the Carmel Valley Master Plan. The vast majority of such permissible VSU’s have already been allocated. A count by the organization Host Compliance states that as of April 9th there were “143 unique rental units that fit the STR definition” within the Carmel Valley Master Plan area, 120 of which were “entire homes.” Most, if not all, are unpermitted. This number far exceeds what remains of the Carmel Valley Master Plan VSU allowance. Limiting STRs to home stays would help to bring the number of VSU’s under the Carmel Valley Master Plan limits, which must be done. The Carmel Valley Association requests that the Short Term Rental Ordinance being developed by Monterey County, to be consistent the Carmel Valley Master Plan, include this proposal.
Additional Requirements Needed for Our Support:
  • The “Home Stay” cannot be the owner’s principal source of income, nor be the only source of income to pay the mortgage.
  • Effective and verifiable self-policing: Owners shall provide proof they physically resided at the STR during the Home Rental.  Verification to be done by Monterey County.  Monterey County must do a study on required personnel and resources to enforce the ordinance, and then provide those resources.


—  The owner has to provide some proof they are there during the STR. This can be done by video or some other form of proof posted to a social media site.   STR arises from internet driven sites like Air BnB and other social media.  The owners of STR’s should be able to use it to provide verifiable evidence they were in residence during the Home Stay.  Neighbors do not want to be policing STR’s, but have been forced to because the County has been unable or unwilling to enforce existing laws sufficiently to solve this problem.  The STR owners have to come to the table or the neighbors will have to, and will, be deeply involved in enforcement.  The County has insufficient resources to prove someone is a full-time resident, or that they were physically present during the Home Stay.  Is the County going to station someone 24/7 at the hundreds of STR sites?  Of course not.  That leaves the neighbors, or the STR owners themselves.

  • The limits on Visitor Serving Units under the Master Plan needs to be observed for all areas, including Carmel Highlands and Big Sur. In Carmel Highlands generally there are only 28 additional Visitor Serving Units allowed. Big Sur is also near its limit (300 cap).  If a Home Rental STR is the sole business of the owner, it is unequivocally a Visitor Serving Unit and must be counted as such.
  • No rentals of less than one day.
  • The total number of STR guests cannot exceed 2 per the number of permitted bedrooms, less one bedroom for the in-residence owner.  If the owner resides with their family a suitable number fo bedrooms must be set aside for their use.
  • No advertising of unpermitted rentals, and Host Compliance or equivalent service is required.
  • Leach fields must be maintained to commercial standards.
  • ADA Compliance
  • Camping STR’s on unimproved land shall also be counted as Visitor Serving Units and subject to the same rules.

Planning Commission Draft Ordinance – “Home Stays” Simplified Explanation



No more than two (2) times the total number of bedrooms

Home Stay Definition

There are two different kinds:

A.     The STR unit is the STR Operator’s principal residence, and the STR Operator resides at the STR site while it is occupied by short-term renters.

Planning Commission staff makes the following preliminary recommendation (for Big Sur):

• STRs that are defined as homestays, are consistent with the BSLUP and should be allowed.

• STRs that are to be rented 12 times per year or fewer and not more than 2 times per year (referred to herein as “low-frequency STR”) and: Are a primary residence, are consistent with the BSLUP and should be allowed.

B.     The STR unit is not the STR Operator’s principal residence

Planning Commission staff makes the following preliminary recommendation (for Big Sur):

• STRs that would require a Coastal Development Permit (equivalent to the “Use Permit” in the Draft Ordinance), are not consistent with the BSLUP and should not be allowed.

• STRs that are to be rented 12 times per year or fewer and not more than 2 times per year (referred to herein as “low-frequency STR”) and are not a primary residence, are not consistent with the BSLUP and should not be allowed 

• Un-Hosted Short-Term Rental or Un-Hosted STR: A short-term rental whereby the STR Operator does not reside at the STR site while it is occupied by short- term renters are not consistent with the BSLUP and should not be allowed

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