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Residential Short Term Rental
New ordinance related to Residential Short Term Rental in effect as of January 2018

The Alpine County Board of Supervisors recently passed a revision to the ordinance regulating the use of residential property for rentals of less the 30 days at a time.  The key provisions are:

  • All residential zoned properties  the use of short term rental are required to register with the Community Development Department.  The new ordinance requires properties in Bear Valley and Kirkwood to register as a new requirement.
  • All residential short term rentals must certify that they meet basic life safety requirements (smoke & carbon monoxide alarm, fire extinguisher) and comply with minimum operating standards. 
  • Short term rental uses can register through December 31, 2018 without a fee.  You may register online or submit a registration form via email, fax, or mail. 

Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

Which uses are subject to the ordinance?

“Residential short-term rental” means use of any dwelling or portion thereof that is offered or used for lodging accommodations for a period of thirty consecutive days or less.

What is residential short term rental?

Residential short term rentals are also described as:
    • Vacation rental 
    • AirBNB, VRBO, HomeAway (or other booking website)

Which uses are exempt from the requirement to register?

  • Rental of one bedroom in an owner occupied residence accommodating no more than three guest.
  • Rental of a residence for no more than 5 days per calendar year.
*Exempt from zoning requirements.  Transient occupancy tax and business license apply.

What are the standards for residential short term rental uses?

Limitation on Structures. A residential short-term rental may be conducted only within a legally established residential unit or portion thereof.

Noise Limitations. No activity at any time shall produce sounds measured in excess of the standards as stated in Section 18.68.090(B) of this code.

Outdoor Fires. Outdoor fires are limited pursuant to Chapter 8.16 regarding outdoor burning and fire control.

Parking. No additional parking in excess of what is required for the residential use of the property shall be required.

Signs  One single, nonilluminated sign of not more than six square feet in area is permitted. In addition, each residential short-term rental shall have an address placard displayed on the building or land in such manner as to be clearly visible from the street or road on which the residential short-term rental is located. The address placard shall comply with the requirements of the California Fire Code.

Life Safety Measures. The following life safety measures are required to be in place within the area to be used for the residential short-term rental:

1. Operating smoke detector(s) and carbon monoxide detector(s) installed in accordance with state law;

2. At least one functioning fire extinguisher in an easily accessed location inside the space;

3. Written information available to the occupant in a conspicuous location inside the space containing twenty-four/seven emergency contact information for a representative of the property owner or rental agent, law enforcement, fire department, and ambulance services.

Compliance with Other Codes, Laws and Regulations The residential short-term rental shall be conducted in compliance with other applicable codes, laws and regulations including, but not limited to, all applicable provisions of the Alpine County Code.

Transient Lodging tax proof of payment  On or before April 1st of each year, payment in full of all transient lodging taxes due for the preceding calendar year shall be confirmed by the Community Development Department. Nonpayment of transient lodging taxes is a violation of County Code 3.16 and the county may take action against the property owner and/or operator of the residential short-term rental pursuant to the applicable sections of the Alpine County Code. 

Public Nuisance The residential short-term rental shall not be operated in a manner that creates a public nuisance. 

How do I register a new residential short term rental use?

Click this link to register online.

                             or

Fill out a registration form and return it to the Community Development Department.

Am I required to notify neighbors of my short term rental use?

Short term rentals located in Kirkwood or Bear Valley are not required to send notification.

For areas outside of Bear Valley and Kirkwood; upon registration the property owner or their agent shall send notification to all property owners within 300 feet of the property used for short term rental.  The notice shall contain:

    • Property owner name or agent's name
    • Telephone number and mailing address
    • Short term rental street address
    • Description of short term rental use
    • Name and phone number for 24/7 emergency contact

What other County requirements are related to residential short term rental use?

Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) registration

All operators of lodging in Alpine County are required to collect a transient occupancy of tax of 10% of the rent to be remitted to the Alpine County Department of Finance.

Business license

A business license is required to transact business (including operating a residential short term rental use).  Contact the Department of Finance.

Short term rental personal property taxes

A residential short term rental is subject to personal property taxes for all home furnishings that are used in a short term rental property – including dishware, sofas, mattresses and bedding.  Contact the Assessor\Recorder's office.

Fictitious business name 

Operating a residential short term rental under a fictitious business name ( i.e. Pine Tree Retreat) requires registration with the County Clerk.