By JP Crumrine


Tuesday, Nov. 28, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to review another revision of Ordinance 927.2, “Regulating Short Term Rentals” (STRs). The board held a hearing on the initial proposed changes on Nov. 7. After the hearing and discussion among the supervisors, they asked the staff to consider several more changes and bring the new revision back to the board.

Many of the new changes would affect either Idyllwild (including Pine Cove) or the Wine Country or both. 

This draft makes no changes in the language for caps or density of STRs in Idyllwild. The cap would remain 14% of the 3,567 current residential units. When approved, Ordinance 927.2 will allow up to 500 STRs in Idyllwild and Pine Cove.

And the density restrictions remain 150 feet between STRs. When the proposed changes are approved, certified STRs within 150 feet of another properly certified STR may continue to renew their certificate. The county will use the attrition of existing certified STRs to enforce the density limit. So STRs that may be adjacent to each other can continue to operate according to the revised ordinance.

Changes in ownership of existing STRs certificates and the eligibility of STRs without a certificate, but which may have been paying the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), are new.

The limitation of only two STR certificates per person was the first issue that evoked questions and concerns from board members. Also, the transfer of ownership and the accompanying county certificate within a family raised more concerns. Currently, there are no limitations on the number of STRs a person may own. 

Board Chair Kevin Jeffries, (1st District), and Supervisor Karen Spiegel (2nd District) were concerned about this limitation and, in particular, how a family with more than two STRs could shift the ownership among family members.

“I’m not interested in penalizing these owners if they’ve been in compliance and been a good neighbor,” Jeffries said during the discussion earlier this month. “What does it matter if they own four or five?”

The revised STR ordinance allows the transfer of an STR certificate among family members if two conditions are met. Once a property is transferred, a request to transfer the STR certificate must be made within 180 days. Secondly, the new owner will have to “demonstrate” their family relationship. 

Regarding the total number of STR ownerships, the county will now permit STR operators with more than two STR certificates to keep them without relinquishing any.

Other issues with new solutions include STR owners who have used Airbnb to pay their TOT.

STRs on an unpaved road is part of the response to the board as well as creating an STR czar for the county. Local Supervisor V. Manuel Perez (4th District) had made that recommendation. This person would be the focal point for all STR issues, whether from certificate applicants, owners or neighbors.

Planning staff identified several changes from the current STR ordinance, but which were already included in the initial 927.2 draft. One is that the signage for an STR must be posted in a place that is readily visible from the public view. Responsible guests must acknowledge that they have read the “Good Neighbor” brochure and seen the video. Fines for STR violations may also be imposed on the “Responsible Operator” or “Responsible Guest” as well as the STR owner, pursuant to section 14.e.

To attend the session in person, the board of supervisors has a regular meeting scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 28, in the board chambers on the 1st Floor of County Administrative Center located at 4080 Lemon St. in Riverside.

Alternatively, the meeting may be watched online at the board's website and/or call the clerk of the board at (951) 955-1069 to request to make comments by phone.