Short-Term Rentals (STRs)

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Short-Term Rentals are defined as any unit that is rented for less than 30 days at a time.   STRs in residences are currently not regulated by the Planning Department in the City of Santa Cruz, but operators of STRs are required to pay Transit Occupancy Tax (TOT).  For more information on TOT, click here.

The City Council has expressed concerns over the potential loss of long-term rental housing and the potential impacts to neighborhoods as a result of using housing for STRs.  On October 25, 2016, the City Council adopted an urgency interim ordinance, effective immediately, imposing a temporary (45-day) moratorium on the establishment of STRs in a housing unit or duplex not occupied by the owner of that housing unit or duplex.  On November 22, 2016, the moratorium was extended until May 2017 to allow time to develop draft rules for consideration by the City Council. On May 18, 2017 the City Council extended the moratorium again until May 31, 2018 to allow time to develop a short term rental ordinance.

 During the moratorium the following conditions apply to TOT registration: 

  • If an existing active TOT-registered STR is owner occupied, the unit may be sold and a new owner may register as an owner-occupied STR.
  • If an existing active TOT-registered STR is non-owner occupied, it may be sold and the new owner may register as a non-owner occupied STR.  The theory being that this is not creating a new STR and is not displacing long-term rental housing.

This webpage will be updated as new information becomes available.

City Council

To see agenda report, video, and action summary minutes please click here.

  • October 25, 2016 (initial moratorium hearing)
  • November 22, 2016 (extension of moratorium)

STR Subcommittee Final Recommendations

STR Subcommittee Meeting Dates

Click here for subcommittee member application information.

  • David Green Baskin
  • Karen Burgess
  • David Foster
  • Timerie Gordon
  • Khristina Horn
  • Caroline Kao
  • Carol Polhamus
  • Andrew Racz
  • Janiece Rodriguez
  • Brion Sprinsock
  • Laura Waltz



Information Binders Provided to Subcommittee Members

STRs in Santa Cruz

Short-Term Rental Survey Results

Market Data Studies

Other Jurisdictions

News Articles


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Scott Harriman

(831) 420-5037


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