City News

Short-Term Vacation Rentals Prohibited in Huntington Beach
posted on 09/28/2015.

Short-term vacation rentals have become very popular in the last few years.  What homeowners and citizens should know is that within the City of Huntington Beach, vacation rentals are currently prohibited.  Short-term vacation rentals are defined as any residence rented for a term of less than thirty (30) consecutive days.   The commercial operation of a short-term vacation rental in single family and multiple family zones is not permitted under the Huntington Beach Zoning and Subdivision Ordinance.

The Community Development Code Enforcement Staff respond to complaints regarding short-term vacation rentals.  Most complaints are a result of adverse impacts (noise, traffic, parking, garbage, light, privacy and safety).  If you suspect a single family or multi-family residential location is being rented as a short-term vacation rental, please contact Code Enforcement  at 714-375-5155  or complete our online complaint form.

Renting out a residence for less than 30 days is a misdemeanor infraction and fines can be imposed up to $1,000. per day per violation.  These fines can become an assessment lien recorded on property.  Furthermore, any person convicted of a misdemeanor under the provisions of this chapter shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $1,000.00 or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment. 

More Detailed Information:
The City of Huntington Beach Zoning and Subdivision Ordinance outlines permitted uses in residential zones.  It is a “permissive” zoning code – any use not specifically indicated in the code is prohibited.  Vacation rentals are currently not permitted at any location within the City of Huntington Beach. Also, short term lodging is only allowed as a bed and breakfast (subject to very specific criteria) or as a hotel/motel which is only allowed in commercial zones.

Here is a list of relevant City Code sections:
HBZSO Section 204.10, Commercial Use Classifications, Section GG – Visitor Accommodations (defines permitted uses that allow short term lodging)
HBZSO Chapter 210 Residential Districts, Section 210.04 Residential Land Use Controls (identifies commercial uses allowed in a residential district)
HBZSO Chapter 210.04 Additional Provisions (provides requirements for establishing a Bed and Breakfast Inn inside a residential district)
HBZSO Chapter 230 Site Standards, Section 230.42 Bed and Breakfast Inns (provides supplemental land use information)
HBZSO 3.28.02; 3.28.030; 3.28.080 Uniform Transient Occupancy Tax
HBMC 17.10.050 (g) Unnecessary noise which disturbs the peace and quiet of the neighborhood
HBMC 17.10.050 (w) The maintenance, use rental or lease of any premises, subunit thereof, including single family dwellings, where people are allowed to congregate, gather or loiter in such a manner as to disturb the peace of other persons lawfully on the property itself or lawfully in the vicinity of the property.  

Sunset Beach Specific Plan – This specific plan is pending final approval before the California Coastal Commission.

If there is additional information needed, please contact the Planning and Zoning counter at 714-536-5271 or request an appointment online


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