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CITY OF

PACIFIC GROVE       

Short-term Rental Program

STR License Renewal Update: During February and March 2018, a total of 256 STR licenses were renewed and 33 STR licenses were cancelled. To check the status of a STR License, please visit the STR Map or Database.

STR Lottery: The City conducted the STR lottery at 3:00pm, on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 at the Council Chamber. Lottery results are available through the STR Database.

STR License Waitlist: The City is currently not accepting new STR License applications. If you wish to be notified regarding the STR waiting list application window, please let staff know at hnoori@cityofpacificgrove.org.

First-Time Applicants

Owners of Short-Term Rentals (STRs), also known as Vacation Rentals, are required to obtain a Short Term Rental or Home Sharing License per Chapters 7.40 and 23.64.350 of the Pacific Grove Municipal Code. These ordinances apply to all properties (including rooms and guest houses whether or not detached) rented for less than 30 consecutive days. If you (as the owner or tenant) are considering hosting short-term rentals, please read the information below carefully to determine your eligibility and the type of license you should be applying for.

Definition

Property owner resides at the site and rents one room to short term tenants for unlimited number of nights per year.

Cap, Density, and Occupancy Limits

Home Sharing licenses are NOT subject to the cap and density limits.

Occupancy: A maximum of one bedroom may be rented to two adults; a second bedroom may be rented to children as part of the same contract.

Rules/Conditions

  1. The owner lives on site and can go about typical daily activities outside the home.
  2. A maximum of one bedroom may be rented to two adults; a second bedroom may be rented to children as part of the same contract.
  3. Guests shall have exclusive use of the rented bedroom(s) and shared use of a full bathroom and kitchen.
  4. No cooking facilities/appliances in bedrooms or bathrooms.
  5. Accessory structures or detached bedrooms can not be Home Sharing rental.
  6. Established affordable housing units are not eligible for any STR license.
  7. Illegal residential units or unpermitted spaces associated with your property cannot be rented.
  8. On-site parking shall be made available to renters.
  9. Amplified sounds that is audible beyond the property boundaries are prohibited. Other noises that create a nuisance will be enforced in accordance with the City noise regulations.
  10. Auctions, commercial functions, and other similar activities are prohibited.
  11. Displaying of signs that indicate that the property is used or available for transient or short-term rental purposes is prohibited.

Submitting Your Application

All of the items listed below must be submitted with the application:

  • Home Sharing Permit Application Form. (Download Application Packet)
  • Affidavit affirming that smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are installed and that fire extinguisher are in an accessible location.
  • Site Plan which shows all buildings, room labeled for use, and off-street parking.
  • A Building Inspection Report obtained through a certified third-party general contractor or building inspector. The inspector must use the City STR Inspection Checklist. The City of Pacific Grove cannot recommend an inspector for you.
  • Home Sharing Use Permit Application fee of $425
  • Copy of Driver’s License or Identification Card to confirm residency.
  • Tenants must submit a copy of their lease agreement and a statement from the owner agreeing to the Short Term Rental use of their property. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that their lease does not prohibit subletting/short-term renting of the property.
  • New owners must provide documentation to show ownership of property.

Submit your complete Home Sharing permit application packet to the City, in person or by mail to the following address:

City of Pacific Grove
Attn: Housing Division – TUL
300 Forest Avenue
Pacific Grove, CA 93950

It is encouraged that you submit your application in person and ask staff for any questions you may have regarding your application and the licensing process.

Our office hours are 8am – 12pm and 1pm –5pm, Monday through Thursday. Our office is closed on Fridays.

Application Review

After your application has been received, staff will initiate the review process (check your application status here).

Any of the following may be grounds for delay or denial of your application:

  • The property has outstanding Planning, Building, Housing, Fire, Health, Police, or other applicable City code violations.
  • The Building Inspection identifies an unsafe condition.

Any unsafe conditions reported by the Building Inspection Report or recorded with the City must be corrected before a license can be issued. The Code Compliance Officer or other City Inspector may conduct a follow-up inspection to ensure all deficiencies are corrected.

Please allow up to three weeks from the date of application submittal. If you have questions after you submit the application, please contact the Short Term Rental Program staff at (831) 648-3190 or hnoori@cityofpacificgrove.org.

Home Sharing License

Upon successfully meeting all Home Sharing Permit application requirements, the City will issue a Home Sharing License. You will be notified by email and phone when the permit is ready for pick up. You will be required to sign the Owner Responsibility Statement and pay the $260 Home Sharing License fee at the time of picking up your license.

Here are a few things you must know about Home Sharing Permit:

  • The $260 fee is annual and is prorated on a quarterly basis.
  • The permit must be renewed annually on/before March 31st. Failure to renew a license prior to March 31st of each year will result in the suspension or revocation of the license
  • The permit does not convey with the sale or transfer of the property.

Once you have obtained your permit, it must be prominently displayed in plain view within the unit. You may also begin advertising (online or otherwise) your Short Term Rental site under the condition that you list the City license number at the top of all listings' descriptions and email your links to hnoori@cityofpacificgrove.org.

Tax Obligations

The Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) rate is 10% and taxes are payable on a monthly basis. Payments are due by the 15th day of the month following the close of each reporting period. For example, taxes collected for the first time started in January; those taxes collected are due no later than February 15th.

You must report your taxes to the City whether or not you had any renters. Complete and mail the TOT affidavit along with your payment to the Finance Department located at 300 Forest Avenue, Pacific Grove, CA 93950.

Change of Contact Information

If the owner and/or street address of the Home Sharing site have changed, you MUST submit a new application.

If other application information (such as phone number, email, mailing address, etc) has changed, owners/residents MUST immediately supply the information to the City, without having to submit a new application. The information can be submitted to the City using the STR Contact Update Form. Alternatively, you can call (831) 648-3190 to update your information.

Once we have received your updated contact information, we will change your license accordingly. The fee for amending and reprinting your license is $5.

Renewing Your Home Sharing License

All Home Sharing Licenses must be renewed on or before March 31st. It is the responsibility of owners to renew a license before the deadline. To renew your license, all of the following items must be submitted one month prior to the expiration of your license. We highly encourage early submissions as it will guarantee that you get your renewed Transient Use License on time so there is no interruption whatsoever.

  • Home Sharing Renewal Form.
  • $250 License Renewal Fee (Checks payable to the City of Pacific Grove).
  • Copy of Driver’s License or Identification Card to confirm residency.
  • Affidavit affirming that smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are installed and that fire extinguisher are in an accessible location.
  • A Building Inspection Report obtained through a certified third-party general contractor or building inspector. The inspector must use the City STR Inspection Checklist. The City of Pacific Grove cannot recommend an inspector for you.
  • Tenants must submit a copy of their renewed lease agreement and a statement from the owner agreeing to the Short Term Rental use of their property. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that subletting or use of your unit as a short-term residential rental is not prohibited

Owner Responsibilities

  1. Owners must maintain a guest log book that includes the names, phone number, home addresses of guests, guest’s license plate numbers if traveling by car, and dates of stay.
  2. Owner must provide renters the following information:
    • Restrictions on the occupancy limits
    • Restrictions on noise, music and amplified sound
    • Parking restrictions
    • Trash collection schedule
    • Information on relevant burn bans
    • Information on relevant water restrictions
    • Information on Sensitive Habitats

Complaints/Enforcement

You can file a complaint regarding a suspected illegal short-term rental or one causing nuisance using any of the following methods:

  • Call 9-1-1, if it is an emergency (such as fire, medical emergency, suspicious activity, etc)
  • For non-emergency concerns, use our online complaint form (highly encouraged). Staff will follow up with you within 24 hours.
  • You can also call our STR Hotline phone number. This is an effective method especially for those wishing to speak with a person to report the matter.
  • You can also call our office directly at (831) 648-3190, or email us at hnoori@cityofpacificgrove.org.

Please provide information regarding the address of the property, a description of the nature of the activity, and any other relevant information. Complaints may be filed anonymously, however, you may wish to provide your contact information so that our code enforcement staff can contact you to discuss your complaint in detail.

The City is currently not accepting new STR License applications because there are no STR licenses available. The City may begin accepting STR license applications for eligible properties for the waiting list in April 2018. If you wish to be notified regarding the STR waiting list application window, please let staff know at hnoori@cityofpacificgrove.org.

Definition

A Short-term Rental License (STR) allows rental of an entire dwelling unit.

Cap, Density, and Occupancy Limits

  1. License Caps: STR Licenses are limited to 250 City-wide.
  2. Density: STR licenses are subject to a one-per-parcel and 55' zone of exlcusion limits.The zone of exlusion is the distance of fifty-five (55) lineal feet from an existing STR parcel boundary.
  3. Occupancy: Overnight occupants (aged 18 or older) are limited to two persons per bedroom, plus one additional person per site. The maximum number of day time (non-overnight) occupants is limited to 1.5 times the number of overnight occupants.

Rules/Conditions

  1. Only the whole dwelling unit may be rented. (For renting a bedroom in your house, see Home Sharing).
  2. Established affordable housing units are not eligible for A STR license.
  3. Illegal residential units or unpermitted spaces associated with your property may not be rented.
  4. On-site parking, if available, shall be made available to renters.
  5. A Site Manager (i.e. property manager) is required unless the owner chooses to manage their own property. If an owner decides to manage their own property, the owner must reside no farther than 30 minutes by vehicle from the STR.
  6. Amplified sounds that are audible beyond the property boundaries are prohibited. Other noises that create a nuisance will be enforced in accordance with the City noise regulations.
  7. Auctions, commercial functions, and other similar activities are prohibited.
  8. Displaying of signs that indicate that the property is used or available for transient or short-term rental purposes is prohibited.

Existing License Holders

Over the past few months, the City held numerous public hearings to revise STR regulations. On December 20, 2017, the City Council adopted the revised STR ordinance and the Administrative Procedures manual which took effect on January 20, 2018. The new ordinance repealed and replaced Chapter 7.40 of the Pacific Grove Municipal Code in its entirety for ease of staff interpretation and understanding by the public. Some of the ordinance changes are listed below:

Effective January 20, 2018:

  • Type A and B STR licenses are consolidated into one license type named Short-term Rental (STR) license. All current STR licenses are now subject to the same regulations and fees.
  • There is no limit on the number of rental nights with any STR license.
  • The new City-wide cap limit is 250.
  • New STR licenses are subject to the 55' Zone of Exlusion. The zone of exlusion is the distance of fifty-five (55) lineal feet from a parcel boundary.
  • New STR license requirements include posting of a City-issued placard in a prominent location at the front entrance of the STR unit.
  • Neighborhood noticing is no longer required to renew STR licenses.

The application window to renew a STR license has been closed effective 5 p.m., Friday, March 30, 2018. No STR license renewal applications are accepted at this time. A summary of STR license renewals will be posted on this page in the first week of April 2018.

STR License renewal for 2018-19 begins on Febuary 5, 2018 and ends at 5 p.m. on March 30, 2018. Early submissions are highly encouraged. The City is not responsible for late receipt of any mailed application. Each STR license renewal packet must include all of the following items: (Download Application Packet)

1. STR License Renewal Form (Type or print; all sections must be filled out completely). Please note the following:

  • A STR owner is (while the licensed STR unit is rented) farther than 30 minutes away by car from the STR unit must appoint a Site Manager;
  • A STR owner must provide contact information for the placard which will be posted on the exterior of the STR Unit in a location visible at the front entrance. Any contact number(s) provided for the placard must be reachable 24/7.
  • If different than owner and/or site manager, the STR must provide name, phone, and email of the person(s) managing bookings and responsible for collection and remittance of Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT)

2. Signed affidavit affirming appropriate smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are installed and fire extinguisher(s) are in accessible locations.

3. Building Inspection Report obtained through a certified third-party general contractor or building inspector. A Building Inspection Report is not required if one was submitted in March 2017.

4. Signed Owner Responsibility Form

5. List of hyperlinks for each online listing for the STR unit. All online listings must include the City-issued STR license number in the main title or property description areas of online listings. Online listing ID numbers and/or URLs must be submitted prior to your application submittal via email to hnoori@cityofpacificgrove.org or https://goo.gl/kzCrny.

6. Proof of TOT payment to demonstrate that the licensed STR unit has been rented for a minimum of:

  • 3 nights during the preceding 90 days – this applies to those STR license holders who obtained their license during the preceding 1-3 months;
  • 12 nights during the preceding 180 days – this applies to those STR license holders who obtained their license during the preceding 4-6 month; and
  • 24 nights in the year prior to the STR License renewal application – this applies to those STR license holders who have held a STR license for a whole year.

Acceptable proof of payment documentation include copies of filed TOT returns, deposited checks, and/or HDL receipts confirming that your TOT return was filed and processed. 

7) Check for the amount of $1,195 payable to the City of Pacific Grove. Credit card payments are subject to a 4% credit card processing fee.

Submit a complete STR license renewal application packet to the City, in person or by mail to the following address:

City of Pacific Grove
Short-Term Rental Program
300 Forest Avenue
Pacific Grove, CA 93950

Upon full satisfaction of all STR license renewal application requirements, a STR license may be renewed. The City will notify the owner (except if unless the owner requested mail delivery) by email and phone when the license is ready for pick up at the Community and Economic Development Department. If an owner requested mail delivery of a STR license, the City will issue a courtesy notice to the owner at the time the license has been mailed. 

Further, the City will provide laminated placards to STR owners concurrent with mailing of the STR license or when an owner picks up the license. Upon receipt of the renewed STR license, owners are required to replace the old license with the renewed license and prominently display the new license in plain view within the unit.  The owner is also required to post the placard at the front entrance of the STR unit.

Within 15 days of receipt of the renewed STR license by owner, the owner must provide the following information to the City:

1. A photo confirmation of the STR license being prominently displayed in plain view within the STR unit.

2. A photo confirmation of the placard being in a prominent location at the front entrance of the STR unit.

Grounds for nonrenewal of a STR License:

1. Incomplete application.

2. Failure to demonstrate the STR license number is displayed in all the online listings or failure to provide hyperlinks of each online listing to the City.

3. Failure to remit payment to the City at the time the STR license renewal application is submitted. 

4. The STR unit fails the Building Inspection, or the Building Inspection Report identifies an unsafe condition.

5. Failure to demonstrate that the licensed STR unit has been rented at least once during the preceding 90 days, 4 times during the preceding 180 days, or  at a minimum of 8 times in the year prior to the STR renewal application.

6. Evidence of two or more verified violations as described in Section 7.40.080(d) during the preceding 12 months.

7. Failure to demonstrate all TOT owed to the City has been paid prior to the date of the STR renewal application.

The Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) rate is 10% and is payable to the City on a monthly basis. Payments are due by the 15th day of the month following the close of each reporting period. For example, taxes collected for the first time started in January; those taxes collected are due no later than February 15th.

TOT returns can be filed online at https://pacificgrove.hdlgov.com/ or by mail. To file TOT returns by mail, complete and mail the TOT return form along with your payment to the following address:

City of Pacific Grove TOT Processing Center
8839 N Cedar Ave #212
Fresno, CA 93720

Additional Instructions:

For those of you who are hosting short-term rentals through Airbnb (exclusively or otherwise), you may already know that Airbnb is collecting and remitting TOT for all bookings/reservations that were confirmed on or after December 1, 2017. Please note that Airbnb will not collect or remit your TOT for bookings that you have confirmed prior to December 1, 2017. Therefore, it is your responsibility to pay TOT on all reservations that were confirmed prior to December 1, 2017 and honored in December, or that will be honored in the coming months.

Please also note that the City does not have TOT collection and remittance agreements with any other hosting platform (including VRBO, HomeAway, TripAdvisor, Flipkey, vacationrentals.com, etc.). Therefore, it is your responsibility to pay TOT on all income earned through the aforementioned hosting platforms.

Finally, please be advised that you are required to file your TOT return monthly, regardless of whether you use Airbnb exclusively, or are hosting short-term rentals on multiple hosting platforms. Here are instructions for filing TOT for the upcoming reporting periods, in view of these changes:

1. Determine Total Gross Rent for December: this is the total amount charged your occupants during the period, regardless of whether it was charged by you, or by Airbnb.
 
2. Determine Airbnb Gross Rent for December: this is the total amount charged by Airbnb for occupants who booked after December 1, 2017, and rented your property during the December period. You can determine this amount by finding in your Airbnb reports the amount of TOT charged your renters in December, and dividing that amount by 0.1.
 
3. Go to the City's TOT portal.
 
4. Proceed to file through the website, as normal. When prompted, provide the Total Gross Rent and Airbnb Gross Rent numbers. The website will exempt the TOT amount Airbnb paid on your behalf, so that you do not double pay the tax amount. 
 
For questions regarding TOT or filing process, please contact the City's TOT processing center at (831) 920-3890, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

If the owner and/or street address of the STR have changed, you MUST submit a new application.

If other application information (such as phone number, email, mailing address, etc) has changed, owners/agents MUST immediately supply the information to the City, without having to submit a new application. The information can be submitted to the City using the STR Contact Update Form. Alternatively, you can call (831) 648-3190 to update your information.

If your property manager has changed, you MUST appoint a new property manager as soon as possible. You must submit a written request and a statement with signature from your agent to the City.

Once we have received your updated contact information, we will change your license accordingly. The fee for amending and reprinting your license is $5.

You can file a complaint regarding a suspected illegal short-term rental or one causing nuisance using any of the following methods:

  • Call 9-1-1, if it is an emergency (such as fire, medical emergency, suspicious activity, etc)
  • For non-emergency concerns, use our online complaint form (highly encouraged). Staff will follow up with you within 24 hours.
  • You can also call our office directly at (831) 648-3190 or (831) 648-3116, or email us at hnoori@cityofpacificgrove.org.

Please provide information regarding the address of the property, a description of the nature of the activity, and any other relevant information. Complaints may be filed anonymously, however, you may wish to provide your contact information so that our code enforcement staff can contact you to discuss your complaint in detail.

 

Over the past few months, the City has held numerous public hearings to revise STR regulations. At the December 20, 2017 meeting, the City Council adopted the revised STR ordinance and the Administrative Procedures manual. The new ordinance repealed and replaced Chapter 7.40 of the Pacific Grove Municipal Code in its entirety for ease of staff interpretation and understanding by the public. Below is a list of all public hearings on this matter:

City Council meeting minutes and video recordings are available at the City Council page.