Aptos Vacation Rental Restrictions Approved

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Seacliff Aptos Designated Area (SADA)

Seacliff Aptos Designated Area (SADA)

At a public hearing today, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors voted to adopt new Aptos vacation rental restrictions. These new restrictions were proposed last December but modified with some community input. The members of the community in attendance at the meeting today largely spoke in favor of the restrictions, and the vote of the supervisors was unanimous.

The newly adopted vacation rental restrictions for SADA (Seacliff/Aptos Designated Area) are for the most part a copy of the restrictions now in place in Live Oak (the so-called LODA, or Live Oak Designated Area). The Seacliff/Aptos Designated Area is defined as:

The “Sea Cliff/Aptos Designated Area” means that portion of the Aptos Planning Area bounded on the west by the Capitola city limit. on the north by Highway One, and on the east and southeast by Bonita Drive, San Andreas Road, and the Urban Services Line from San Andreas Road to Monterey Bay.

The ordinance will limit the number of vacation rentals to no more than 20% of the homes on any one given block. However, a number of “carve outs” have been created for some streets which have historically had a high number of vacation rentals. The following areas are specifically exempted from the 20% limit:

Pot Belly Beach Road; Las Olas Drive; those residentially-zoned parcels in the Rio Del Mar flats consisting of parcels fronting on Stephen Road. Marina Avenue. and Venetian Road between its intersection with the Esplanade and Aptos Beach Drive to its intersection with Lake Court and Stephen Road; those parcels fronting on or gaining access from Cliff Court or fronting on or
gaining access from Rio Del Mar Boulevard between its intersection with Aptos Beach Drive and Beach Drive to its intersection with Kingsburv Drive. Cliff Drive, and Beach Villa Lane; Beach Drive; and Via Gaviota.

In addition, it is now prohibited for a home that has an adjoining wall with another home to be used as a vacation rental, unless written permission is first given from the adjoining property owner(s).

Previously, vacation rental permits did not expire so long as the property was operated as a vacation rental for three out of five years. In LODA and now SADA, owners will need to renew their permits every five years.

Vacation rental restrictions apply only to whole-house vacation rentals. If owners are renting rooms or a “guest house” via services like VRBO.com or AirBNB.com, and the owner lives on site, no vacation rental permit is required for that.

The ordinance will now be submitted to the California Coastal Commission for approval at their mid-February 2015 meeting. It is anticipated that the Coastal Commission will give approval in time for the Summer 2015 season.

The entire ordinance and supporting documentation is available for download here on AptosCommunityNews.org. The file has been passed through a process to make the text searchable and copiable. Just click here to download it.

Update May 25, 2016: ┬árental of “accessory dwelling units” (aka guest houses) is explicitly prohibited by the vacation rental ordinance, which reads in part:

Habitable accessory structures, nonhabitable accessory structures, second units constructed under the provisions of SCCC 13.10.681, 13.20.107, or 13.20.108, and legally restricted affordable housing units shall not be used as vacation rentals