Committee Makes Final Recommendations For Short-Term Rentals In Santa Cruz

Posted by Lauren Spencer on Tuesday, July 18th, 2017 at 3:29pm.

santa cruz committee cracking down on short term rentals

Santa Cruz has always been a desirable vacation and tourist destination, with second and vacation homes being a familiar part of the community landscape. The community of Santa Cruz real estate market is diverse and varied. Here you'll find a combination of homes for sale, from stunning beachfront bungalows to ocean view estates. It's reasonable to assume that some of these homes are purchased for investment purposes, which is why a short-term rentals committee was established to make recommendations surrounding the short-term rental market in Santa Cruz.

Sharing our homes has been commonplace for as long as there have been spare rooms and comfortable couches. Whether through word of mouth, ads in newspapers, or flyers on community bulletins, renters and homeowners have always managed to rent out, or share rooms in their homes. Traditionally these forms of transactions have been decidedly local and limited in nature. With the advancement of the internet and websites such as, it's suddenly become very easy for people to advertise and rent their homes, and spare bedrooms, to people from far-away places.

As a result, the number of homes listed for short-term rent has grown exponentially over the last 5-years. With this rapid growth, communities such as Santa Cruz are experiencing the many positive and negative consequences of an increased volume of vacationers, in residential communities. It only makes sense that leaders in Santa Cruz want to try to lessen these consequences by adopting sensible and enforceable regulations.

Why The City Wants To Limit Short Term Rentals

  1. Increased tourist traffic from short-term rental properties has the potential to transform residential communities into "communities of transients"
  2. Short-term renters may not always know or follow local community rules
  3. "Party Houses" may severely impact neighbors and drive down nearby home values
  4. Conversions of residential units into short term rentals might affect affordable housing options
  5. short term rentals reduce the demand for local bed & breakfasts, hotels, and motels
  6. Cities lose out on tax revenue as many short-term landlords fail to pay taxes
  7. Local officials want to protect the interests of their local tax-paying citizens

The History of Short Term Rentals in Santa Cruz

Currently, the City of Santa Cruz Municipal Code doesn't have any land use regulations or standards that define, govern, or permit residential short-term vacation rentals. Short-term rentals (short term rentals) are defined as "any unit that is rented for less than thirty days at a time."

In October of 2016 the Santa Cruz City Council adopted an ordinance, imposing a temporary moratorium on the establishment of short term rentals in a housing unit or duplex not occupied by the owner of that housing unit or duplex. Under an accelerated timeline, an 11-member Short-Term Vacation Rental Subcommittee was formed. This subcommittee set to work on the issue of regulating the cities residential vacation-rental industry.

A series of seven meetings were held, open to the public, and well attended. The Short Term Rental Committee concluded their work with a Short Term Rental Final Report and recommendations included here. Following the completion of the Subcommittee's service, the short-term rental moratorium was extended by City Council through to May of 2018.

What Does This Mean For Santa Cruz Home Owners?

This topic is a complicated one. The growth of the short-term rental market has shown dramatic increases over the past decade. The community of Santa Cruz, and other communities throughout the scenic western seaboard have experienced an increasing presence of short-term rentals. Home-buyers, home-sellers, and investors alike are affected by the decisions made by committees such as these. Just remember, that most regulations enacted on a local level are not "one size fits all."

If you're looking to invest in a property or buy a home in Santa Cruz and need help to decipher the recommendations made by the Short Term Rental Committee, Lauren Spencer is here to lead you through the process! Contact Lauren at My Santa Cruz Real Estate to get the answers!

About Lauren Spencer

Award-Winning Santa Cruz REALTOR®

Lauren Spencer is your local real estate expert, specializing in Santa Cruz real estate and surrounding communities—this is where she lives, works, and plays too. Let her know your questions about the community and county and she'll be happy to fill you in on all you want to know! Lauren Spencer has consistently been voted best local REALTOR in Santa Cruz and is always happy to offer her advice and expertise. Call her at: 800.226.4717.

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