Property Rentals in Diamond A

Property Rentals in Diamond A

1.      Vacation Rentals (the rental of an entire private residence for periods of 30 days or less) are not  permitted by Sonoma County in Diamond A. Such whole house, short-term rentals began to be advertised in Diamond A several years ago. The regulation of Vacation Rentals in Rural Residential zones, such as Diamond A, has been through specific ordinances, the latest of which became effective in May 2016. 

2.     The rental of an entire private residence for greater than 30 days is termed a long-term rental; such activity is not regulated by Sonoma County. Long-term rentals have taken place in Diamond A for a number of years.

3.     The rental of a room or of a separate guest house for greater than 30 days is another activity that is not regulated by Sonoma County and that has also taken place in Diamond A for a number of years.

4.     The rental of a room in a residence or of a separate guest house on the property for 30 days or less is a "hosted vacation rental". The owner must be in residence during the rental period. Hosted vacation rentals are permitted as one-bedroom Bed and Breakfast Inns. Recently, some Diamond A residents have applied for such permits.

History of County regulations:

In 2010, the County Board of Supervisors formulated an ordinance to allow and manage vacation rentals in unincorporated areas of the county that happen to include residential zoning. In the following years, a number of complaints about Vacation Rentals individually and collectively were logged with members of the Board of Supervisors and with staff at Sonoma County PRMD (Permit and Resource Management Department, now known as Permit Sonoma). The majority of complaints were from residents of Districts 1 and 4.  Diamond A is in District 1.

As a result of the ongoing controversy, in November of 2014, the supervisors unanimously agreed to an action:

“Directing Staff To Initiate the Process to Review and Revise The Vacation Rental Ordinance”.

Subsequent Activities:

The review process included conducting a series of community outreach meetings, the last of which was held on 2/23/2015. PRMD and the Board of Supervisors then conducted a number of public meetings (members of the Diamond A community testified at all of these meetings).

In addition, members of the Diamond A community collectively (through the DANA Board) and individually, communicated with District 1 Planning Commission members and with Susan Gorin, the Supervisor for District 1

Details of these county meetings can be reviewed at:

The following is simply a listing:

·         May 18, 2015 – Planning Commission Workshop

·         September 3, 2015 – Planning Commission Workshop

·         November 19, 2015 – Planning Commission Public Hearing

·         January 26, 2016 – Board of Supervisors Public Hearing

·         March 15, 2016 – Board of Supervisors Meeting

o   At the conclusion of this meeting, a revised Vacation Rental ordinance was approved

o   Hosted Rentals were allowed, with somewhat different rules from Vacation Rentals (covered as 1 room B & B- County Code Section 26-88-118). See application for basic performance standards

o   One element of the ordinance is the ability to create Exclusion Overlay Zones/Districts, where no further Vacation Rental permits would be allowed

·         April 21, 2016 – Planning Commission Public Hearing

·         May 24, 2016 – Board of Supervisors Hearing

At the conclusion of the May 24, 2016 meeting, the Vacation Rental Exclusion Districts were specified:

Diamond A Status:

The Diamond A community (all properties that have an APN [Assessor’s Parcel Number] beginning with 064) was named a designated Vacation Rental Exclusion Zone by the County Board of Supervisors at their May 24, 2016 meeting.

This means that, in Diamond A, the following ordinance wording applies:

 “…existing legally permitted vacation rentals may continue but those permits will expire upon sale or transfer of the property. Hosted rentals may still be conducted in these areas. No further applications for vacation rentals will be accepted within the Vacation Rental Exclusion (X) Combining District Areas.”

The revised Vacation Rental Ordinance specifies additional standards to which property owners must adhere in order to maintain an existing Vacation Rental permit. PRMD hired additional staff to monitor code violations. We expect that the small number of existing Vacation Rental properties in Diamond A will comply with the specified standards.

We continue to expect that neighboring property owners will be able to rely on PRMD to assure that Vacation Rental customers do not “adversely impact surrounding residential uses.”

An online system to facilitate investigation of issues specific to one or more Vacation Rental properties in Diamond A may be reached at: