Short Term Rentals


The proposed regulations for short term rentals (rentals less than 30 consecutive days) are scheduled for a Planning Commission recommendation hearing on Tuesday, September 12, 2017.  Following is a draft of the proposed code amendments and a summary matrix:

The proposed draft implements City Council direction as provided in June and July 2017.  The amendments will create new zoning code definitions and regulations that clarify permitted accessory uses of a dwelling unit in residential zones; clarify permitted uses in residential-commercial zones (RC), and Central Commercial (CC), North Commercial (NC), Professional Commercial (PC), and Visitor Commercial (VC) zones; and require registry for specified short term commercial activity in residential zones.

Comments on the draft code amendments should be submitted to Amanda Lee, Senior Planner at

Next steps: City Council consideration is expected in October 2017. Any action by City Council to adopt an Ordinance will be followed by Coastal Commission review and consideration before the regulations become effective.

To be notified about upcoming public hearings, interested parties may register here.

EXISTING CODE - Does not allow short term rentals in residential zones, except the RC Zone

On April 17, 2017, the City Council conducted an Interpretation hearing to determine whether short term rentals are an allowed use in residential zones.  The City Council approved by Resolution an interpretation (Interpretation I-17-001) of the existing Del Mar Municipal Code Chapter 30 and determined that short term rentals are not a permitted use in residential zones, except for the Residential Commercial (RC) Zone. (Passed by a vote of 4-1 with Mayor Sinnott opposed.) Resolution for I17-001

FORBEARANCE PERIOD- Applies to short term rental operations prior to April 4, 2016

 While the City processes new regulations (ZA 17-001/LCPA 17-002): 

  • The City Council has directed that staff not begin enforcement against any existing, non-conforming short term rental until after it adopts new regulations. 
  • In order to continue operations, the owner must provide evidence, to the satisfaction of the Planning Director, that the property was used as a short term rental before initial Council approval of the short term rental moratorium on April 4, 2017.
  • For additional information regarding the type of evidence required to establish that the property was used as a short term rental prior to April 4, 2016, see Section 2(B) in  Urgency Ordinance No. 925  
The City Council most recently discussed the concept of a “forbearance” period at their July 17, 2017 meeting and indicated their expectation that such operations be phased out by early 2018.  The exact end date for the forbearance period will be decided by the City Council as part of their consideration of an Ordinance to adopt new regulations for short term rentals.

Violations of Existing Code

To report a complaint about a short-term rental that is potentially in violation, please complete the Code Enforcement Complaint Form. Once a violation complaint is received, staff will perform an investigation and report back to the complainant on the status of the investigation.

Hotline 858 755 9342     submit complaint