Short Term Rentals

Short Term Rentals

The operator of a short-term vacation rental is required to have:

A Transient Use Permit

17.64.030 A. A separate transient use permit shall be required and maintained in good standing for each parcel in which a transient use rental is located. Transient use permits shall be renewed annually.

Must be used in a manner consistent with the neighborhood.

17.64.030 B. Each transient use parcel shall be used and maintained in a manner consistent with the character of the neighborhood in which it is located; shall not impair the desirability of investment or occupation of the surrounding neighborhood; and shall not have displayed thereon any sign that indicates the property is used or available for transient or short-term rental purposes.

Short-term rentals prohibited for accessory dwelling units.

17.64.030 C. It is unlawful for any person to advertise, maintain, operate or use a short-term rental within the City without a transient use permit, or in violation of this Chapter. Transient use permits shall be issued only for the primary residences of Operators within the City. It is unlawful for any person to advertise, maintain, operate, or use as a short-term rental an accessory dwelling unit as defined in Government Code section 65852.2, as it may be amended from time to time.

Collect and remit transient occupancy tax of 12% from renters.

17.64.030 D. All transient use permits shall be subject to the transient occupancy tax pursuant to Chapter 3.20 of the Code.

Obtain and maintain an annual business license.

17.64.030 E. All short-term rental operators must obtain and maintain a business license.

Provide local contact.

17.64.040 B. A local contact person shall be available by telephone when contacted by the City’s employees or agents or the short-term rental’s guest(s) on a twenty-four (24) hour basis. A local contact person shall be physically present at the short-term rental within thirty (30) minutes of contact.

Parking Requirements.

17.64.040 C. On-site parking shall be provided for each short-term rental guest to the extent on-site parking is possible on the parcel in which a transient use rental is located. A maximum of two motor vehicles shall be allowed to park on street, if no on-site parking is available, at the transient use parcel by the responsible tenant or any other occupant subject to availability and parking regulations. No guest of a short-term rental shall park a vehicle (including without limitation boat trailers and recreational vehicles) on the street or in an unpaved area. The operator may park his or her vehicle on the street.

Proof of existing solid waste and recyclable collection and disposal service.

17.64.040 D. Each short-term rental shall obtain solid waste and recyclable collection and disposal service from the City’s franchisee.

Required Fire Inspections and Other Inspections

17.64.040 E-I. The operator of each short-term rental shall allow Sonora Fire Department staff to conduct an inspection prior to the issuance of a transient use permit and upon request by the City, to ensure the short-term rental complies with requirements pertaining to smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, fire extinguishers, visible address, outdoor fireplaces and fire pits, grills and barbecues and the City’s defensible space requirements pursuant to Chapter 8.12.


City Ordinance 898 Regulating Short Term Rentals
Transient Use Permit Application
Business License Information

Report a Short-Term Rental – A 24/7 Complaint Hotline

Think a property is operating as a short-term rental without a City issued permit?  Want to file a complaint about a short-term rental?  Call (209) 299-4442 or make a complaint online.

Common use-cases for the hotline include reports of:

  •     Noise Complaints  
  •     Improper trash disposal
  •     Damaged Properties  
  •     Parking Concerns  
  •     Unlicensed Rentals

Please Call the City at (209) 299-4442