Placer County Short Term Rental Ordinance

Community Development Placer County


Placer County, which includes the Sierra Nevada region of California, is renowned for its stunning landscapes, outdoor recreational activities, and vibrant communities. As tourism has flourished in Lake Tahoe, so too has the short term rental (STR) market, providing visitors with unique lodging options and homeowners with lucrative opportunities.

However, the rapid growth of STRs has also brought about challenges, prompting Placer County to implement a comprehensive Short Term Rental Ordinance to balance the interests of residents, visitors, and property owners.

Background and Purpose

The Short Term Rental Ordinance in Placer County was established to address the diverse impacts of STRs on the community. These impacts include concerns over neighborhood character, housing availability, public safety, and noise disturbances. By implementing this ordinance, the county aims to regulate and manage STRs in a manner that promotes community well-being while supporting the local tourism economy.

Key Provisions of the Ordinance

  1. Registration and Permitting: All property owners intending to operate an STR must register with Placer County and obtain the necessary permits. This process includes providing detailed information about the property, such as location, maximum occupancy, and safety features.
  2. Zoning and Location Restrictions: The ordinance specifies zoning districts where STRs are permitted. Certain residential areas with high concentrations of permanent residents may have stricter regulations to preserve neighborhood integrity.
  3. Occupancy Limits: To prevent overcrowding and potential disturbances, the ordinance sets limits on the number of occupants allowed in an STR based on the property's size and amenities.
  4. Safety and Health Standards: Property owners must ensure that their STRs meet specific safety and health standards, including working smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers. Regular inspections may be conducted to ensure compliance.
  5. Noise and Conduct Regulations: To mitigate noise-related issues, the ordinance imposes quiet hours and requires property owners to inform guests about appropriate conduct. Violations can result in fines or revocation of the STR permit.
  6. Parking Requirements: Adequate parking must be provided for guests, and parking regulations aim to minimize disruptions to the local community.
  7. Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT): STR operators are required to collect and remit a Transient Occupancy Tax, contributing to the county's revenue and supporting local services and infrastructure.
  8. Enforcement and Penalties: Placer County has established a robust enforcement mechanism to address non-compliance. This includes fines, suspension, or revocation of permits for repeated violations.

Benefits and Challenges


  • Economic Growth: STRs contribute to the local economy by attracting tourists who spend money on lodging, dining, and recreational activities.
  • Property Owner Income: Homeowners can generate additional income by renting out their properties, which can be particularly beneficial in a seasonal tourist destination like Placer County.
  • Diverse Lodging Options: STRs provide visitors with a wide range of accommodation choices, enhancing their overall experience.


  • Community Impact: The presence of STRs can alter the character of residential neighborhoods, leading to concerns about noise, parking, and community cohesion.
  • Housing Availability: The proliferation of STRs can reduce the availability of long-term rental housing, contributing to affordability issues for local residents.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Ensuring that all STR operators comply with the ordinance requires significant resources and enforcement efforts.


Placer County's Short Term Rental Ordinance represents a thoughtful approach to managing the growing STR market. By balancing the needs of property owners, residents, and visitors, the county aims to foster a harmonious and vibrant community. Through ongoing evaluation and adjustment of the ordinance, Placer County can continue to address emerging challenges and capitalize on the benefits of short term rentals, ensuring that the region remains a desirable destination for all.