Short-Term Residential Rentals

Violations of Temporary Moratorium
Commencing use of a property for a new short-term residential rental after the City Council's April 4, 2016 adoption of Urgency Ordinance No. 913 constitutes a violation of the moratorium.

o report a complaint about a short-term rental that is potentially in violation of the ordinance, 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    



On April 4, 2016, the Del Mar City Council adopted an Urgency Ordinance 913, establishing a temporary moratorium on establishment of new short-term rentals (those with transient use for less than 30 days -- also known as "vacation rentals"). The Ordinance was subsequently extended by the City Council on May 16, 2016 for an additional 180 days.

The City Council established the Ordinance in response to resident concerns that a growing number of short-term rentals being operated in the City may be having a negative impact on community welfare. The concerns raised include: increased noise and trash, loss of on-street parking, loss of housing opportunities, and changes in neighborhood character when a structure is used by visitors in "vacation mode."

The urgency ordinance establishes a forty-five (45) day moratorium -- which may be subsequently extended by the City Council -- to allow time for staff research, public workshops, and the development of potential Municipal Code amendments to address the topic of short-term rentals on a long-term basis.

The urgency ordinance exempts short-term rentals that were in existence prior to the Monday, April 4, 2016 ordinance adoption date. Owners and property managers of short-term rentals should not submit any information to the City at this time; rather, they should have evidence of short-term rental readily operation available, should there be a concern as to whether a property is being used as a short-term rental in violation of the moratorium. The types of information that may be used to document an “existing” short-term rental are included in Urgency Ordinance No. 913, under Section 2 – Applicability (Subsection B). 

Key Points of the Ordinance

  • The ordinance imposes a temporary ban on any new use of residential property for a short-term rental (any property that is rented out for a period of less than 30 days).
  • The ordinance does not limit or stop current short-term rental uses, provided that the operators of such businesses can provide evidence satisfactory to the Planning Director that the property was used as a short-term rental before adoption of the ordinance.
  • The urgency ordinance will provide time for the City staff for performing research, gain public input and, based on the information gathered, draft new zoning regulations concerning short-term rentals.

Summary of the Moratorium

The moratorium is a temporary ban on new short-term rentals; it does not stop or limit current short-term rentals. The moratorium was initially effective for 45 days, and was subsequently extended by the City Council for a period of six months. This moratorium aims to maintain the status quo while City staff develops land use regulations and operational regulations for short-term rentals.

Community Workshops
Workshops or other public meetings may be utilized to facilitate discussion about short-term residential rentals. To be notified about upcoming meetings, interested parties may register here.

Community Workshop 1:     Monday, June 13, 2016 at Powerhouse Community Center (5:30-8:30pm)