Short Term Rental Regulations in the City of Laguna Beach

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    short term rental regulations Laguna Beach

    The City Council of Laguna Beach has approved a new Short Term Lodging (STL) Ordinance. This ordinance has been certified by the California Coastal Commission and adopted by the City. The following is a complete guideline for Laguna Beach’s short term rental regulations so that anyone can be a responsible host when using platforms like Airbnb, VRBO, and other similar services. This rundown should give you a good start in understanding your local laws. 

    Short Term Lodging Ordinance

    In Laguna Beach, a short term or vacation rental is the rental of a residence for no more than thirty calendar days in a row. The following is a summary of regulations in Chapter 25.23 of the Municipal Code.

    • The City no longer permits short term lodging in residential areas (R1, R-2, and R-3).
    • Existing STL units in residential districts permitted to operate are legally non-conforming and may continue to operate. The usage is associated with the land rather than the owner.
    • The City has permitted STL in the LB/P, C-N, C-1, and CH-M zoning districts. It has also allowed in Downtown Specific Plan’s CBD-1, CBD-2, CBD Central Bluffs, CBD Office, and CBD Visitor Commercial Districts, with the approval of an Administrative Use Permit. Hosts will require approval of a Conditional Use Permit for the SLV zoning district. The most significant change for commercial communities is that the City has now permitted STL in Downtown. 
    • In commercial and mixed-use zones, no more than 20% of total units may be converted to STLs, with a maximum of 300 total units city-wide, including STLs approved before October 2020. 
    • Within the approved commercial and mixed-use districts, 165 home-share units are permitted in single-family, duplex, and triplex dwelling units. The City forgoes the use permit fee for home-share units.
    • Hosts may convert only one unit of a property with five or fewer units into a short term accommodation. Therefore, they may convert only 20% of the total number of units on properties with more than five units into short term lodgings. 
    • After approval, all new STL permits have a three-year validity period. In order to continue operating, hosts must renew the license every three years. 

    Registration Requirements 

    Short term vacation rentals (for 29 nights or less) must obtain a Business License from the City. STR operators will also require an Administrative Use Permit or Conditional Use Permit (AUP/CUP). Furthermore, hosts must display these two numbers on their online advertisements.

    • To apply for a City Business License, click here
    • To learn more about Administrative Use Permits and Conditional Use Permits requirements for your listing, click here
    • Application Form for an Administrative Use Permit (AUP)
    • Application Form for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP)

    If hosts already have both numbers, they should finish the procedure by adding the information to their listing. Hosts will not need these numbers if they are hosting a hotel or motel or exclusively hosting long term stays (30 nights or longer). In that case, they should file an exemption for an Airbnb listing. 

    Note that a valid business license has the format XXXXXX (Ex: 123456). And a valid Administrative Use Permit or Conditional Use Permit has the format YYYY-XXXX (Ex: 2021-1234).

    Short term rentals must also meet the following requirements:

    • The maximum overnight occupancy of a short term accommodation unit(s) is two individuals per bedroom. The City has permitted additional daytime guests between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. There can be no more than two guests per bedroom and a maximum of 20 guests for five bedrooms or more. 
    • The owner, agent, or local contact person must be available to respond within 60 minutes. 

    Other Short Term Rental Regulations

    As a responsible host, you must comprehend and abide by other vacation rental rules and regulations that bind you. These include leases, community rules, HOA rules, or other guidelines set up by tenant associations. Feel free to reach out to your landlord, housing authority, or community council to find out more. To get more information about other regulations, you can also visit Laguna Beach’s official website or contact us.