Santa Barbara:

Vacation rentals are hotels and a non-residential use for zoning purposes

“No one is talking about the housing crisis,” Santa Barbara Mayor Gregg Hart said, referring to the 0.5 percent rental vacancy rate. “That issue (STVR) is crushing people, and it is different today than it was just a few years ago.” Santa Barbara is enforcing its Municipal Code, which, like San Diego’s, does not permit STVR in RS zones

Zoning, affordable housing concerns, and explosive growth force Santa Barbara to protect neighborhoods

Overview (from the City of Santa Barbara's website)


In the City of Santa Barbara, short-term residential rentals, including Vacation Rentals and Home Sharing, are regulated as "Hotels," pursuant to that definition in the Zoning Ordinance:


"A building, group of buildings or a portion of a building which is designed for or occupied as the temporary abiding place of individuals for less than thirty (30) consecutive days including, but not limited to establishments held out to the public as auto courts, bed and breakfast inns, hostels, inns, motels, motor lodges, time share projects, tourist courts, and other similar uses."


In June 2015, City Council directed staff to continue enforcement of the City's existing zoning regulations prohibiting all residential short-term rentals, unless properly permitted.


Between June and December 2015, staff and decision-makers explored options to allow and regulate home sharing rentals in areas where residential uses are allowed. On December 8, 2015, City Council voted to forego further development of such an ordinance. As a result, all short-term residential rentals remain prohibited in the City, unless they receive proper land use approvals and permits, as necessary.


Vacation rentals and home sharing operations are "hotels" and considered a non-residential use for zoning purposes. As such, if all required approvals are obtained, they may only legally operate in zones that allow hotels.

864 Grand Avenue, PMB 526, San Diego CA   92109