Sierra County Short Term Rental Ordinance

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On October 4th 2022, the Sierra County Board of Supervisors passed a countywide short term rental ordinance. This ordinance applies to the unincorporated areas of Sierra County and excludes Loyalton.

The permitting process will take effect on January 1st, 2023. They will also establish standards of operation and other regulations to allow the use of a residence as a short-term rental (Airbnb, VRBO, etc.)

The countywide law will require property owners to have owned the proposed rental home for two years prior to applying for a short-term rental permit. Planning Director Tim Beals said that the current ordinance would be a living document for a few years as they make any necessary changes.

The purpose of this is to free up available housing for locals and new hires, and to establish more permanent residents throughout the county.

Short-Term Rental Ordinance

As of January 1st, 2023, it will be unlawful for any person to advertise, offer, maintain, operate, or use a property as a short-term rental in unincorporated Sierra County without possession of a lawfully issued administrative use permit.

Permitted zones will include: Residential One Family District (R1); Commercial Residential (CR), Community Commercial (CC), and Neighborhood Commercial (CN) Districts; Agricultural District (A-1); and General Forest (GF) District.

The ordinance exempts hospitality properties such as hotel/motels, lodges, resorts, permitted bed and breakfast operations, timeshares, fractional ownership lodging facilities, camps, cabins and mobile homes.

Permit Term and Renewal

Short-term rental administrative use permits shall be limited to three (3) year terms. Property owners may seek a renewal of an administrative use permit for additional terms of three (3) years but shall be required to file a new application and provide an application fee for each renewal.

The renewed administrative use permit may include new or amended conditions of approval. Permits will carry a term of 3 years, expiring on December 31st of that 3rd year.

Restrictions and Penalties

For those operating Airbnb illegally, the ordinance addresses the cheating on Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) with a clause to have permits suspended and precluded from reapplying for 1-2 years. Permits will also not be transferrable and would hold a two-year hold once sold. Permit terms will also be given on a performance basis.

Special events that can lead to increased traffic, parking issues, noise, or cause an impact on the sewer system will also not be allowed.

The board of supervisors passed the amended ordinance during their October 4th 2022 meeting. For more information, click here.

In addition to short term rental ordinances in Sierra County, Truckee and Placer County have also implemented similar restrictions. As more and more people are choosing to live full time in the Sierra Nevada area, these ordinances are important in assuring housing availability.

Plumas County also collects a transient occupancy tax for short term rentals. Click here for more information.

Contact me today to learn more about the regulations in the Lake Tahoe and North Sierra/Plumas areas.