Marina has been watching from the sidelines as other cities ban or regulate short-term rentals. There are no ordinances guiding the 60 or so such rentals in Marina.
“We’re trying to craft something that isn’t convoluted,” Councilmember Adam Urrutia says. “Enforcement is necessary, but we want to know what’s possible.”
Past efforts have caused stalemates, with controversy around things like whether allowing 10 percent of a block to be short-term rentals is too much or too little. The last time a draft ordinance went to council, on Aug. 7, the vote was just 2-1, with one abstention and one absence. Another ordinance is set to be heard on Sept. 4.
Dave Fleschman lives in The Dunes, which also comes with HOA restrictions. But he says there are rogue operators. “I don’t want a new neighbor every weekend,” he says. (He’s not completely against eliminating them, noting the beachside appeal of Marina.)
Operators themselves are also hungry for regulation. Jonathan Stein, a Sacramento-based lawyer, visits town periodically. His second home is a short-term rental; he plans to eventually open a local firm and move. In anticipation of regulation, he acquired a business license and raised his rates in anticipation of a transient-occupancy tax. “I think most STR owners are like us,” Stein says. “They’re part of the community.”
Annee Martin is on the board of Monterey County Vacation Rental Alliance and runs a long-term rental in East Garrison and a short-term rental in Seaside. She hopes Marina’s regulations won’t completely eliminate the market. “If we don’t enforce, the market will go underground,” making the rentals worse for neighborhoods, she says.