Placer County adopts new short-term rental ordinance

Hannah Jones

A new short-term rental ordinance and the fees required to obtain a permit has been adopted by the Placer County Board of Supervisors, months after residents came forward requesting additional regulations.

“Staff has moved expeditiously to address this situation and I really appreciate the time and dedication it’s taken to get this forward this quickly,” said Supervisor Cindy Gustafson.

The ordinance requires property owners to submit a short-term rental application that includes the name of a local contact person to respond to complaints from neighbors, the number of bedrooms, total number of parking spaces in the rental and the maximum occupancy allowed.

Regulations only apply to short-term rentals in eastern Placer County, or those that sit above 5,000 feet elevation.

The ordinance requires property owners to submit an application that includes the name of a local contact to respond to complaints from neighbors …

To ensure compliance with fire codes, the ordinance requires fire district staff to conduct a life-safety inspection to make sure homes are equipped with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and that barbecues and outdoor fireplaces are in compliance.

The ordinance will exempt short-term rentals within both resorts and residential associations. To qualify for the exemption, property owners must provide a formal written request and live in an association that has regulations for parking, noise and trash.

The total cost of the permit, including the application fee and fire inspection, is $200 for professionally managed properties and $337 for privately managed properties. The permit must be renewed annually. It will go into effect Jan. 1, 2020, with property owners required to obtain a short-term rental permit by March 31.

The ordinance restricts occupancy of short-term rentals to two people per bedroom, with an additional two people allowed to stay in the house. Those new limits on occupancy, which take effect at 10 p.m. daily, do not apply to children age 16 or under.

Property owners must already have a Transient Occupancy Tax certificate to apply. Placer County requires property owners to register and collect Transient Occupancy Tax within 30 days of making the unit available for short-term renters. New TOT regulations adopted last year require those registered to read and acknowledge existing county ordinances on trash, noise and parking.

Across the county 5,140 Transient Occupancy Tax certificates have been issued in Placer County which include motels, hotels, timeshares and bed and breakfasts. Of those, 3,778 certificates have been issued to short-term rentals, and 3,638 of them are in eastern Placer County.

The county began working on the ordinance after residents came forward urging the county to enforce stricter regulations on property owners. County staff held various public meetings and conducted extensive research about short-term rental ordinances in neighboring jurisdictions.

Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at 530-550-2652 or

Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.