Short-term rental market exploding in Marin County as officials mull regulations

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (KGO) -- Marin County has an explosion on its hands of short-term rentals, also known as AirBNB's or VRBO's - Vacation Rentals By Owners.

"There is one street in Stinson Beach where every house but one is a vacation rental," said resident Scott Tye. "That kind of destroys the neighborhood."

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On Tuesday the Marin's Board of Supervisors began considering what regulations, if any, to place on such rentals. They heard from all sides.

"The only thing between me and living under a freeway overpass is AirBNB," said John McHugh, who opposes regulations.

"I'll kick them a couple of bucks if they got their hand out and they bother me but I don't think it's any of their damned business," countered Novato resident John McHugh. "The county should stay out of this."

County regulations could require permits, third-party inspections, written signs outside of buildings, and percentage limits of houses for rent in communities.

"We have 160 homes and roughly 15 are rentals," Virginia Hamilton-Rivers told us while watering plants outside her two rentals in Muir Beach. She's all for regulations, which already require 10 percent goes to the county. Ideally, she says, the county would target some of those funds directly back to the communities from which they came. "I think it would make an enormous difference because right now, this is an 'us and them' argument," she said, suggesting that the money could go to infrastructure improvements. "I think it would be a fair way for the county to repay some of the residents who are burdened by this."

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