Apply for a Short-Term Rental Permit

A Short-Term Rental Permit is required for each property operating as a short-term rental within City limits. To apply for a Short-Term Rental Permit, follow the step-by step-process below.

Step 1 – Register for TOT/BIA Assessments

The City requires all owners of short-term rentals operating within City limits to register each property for Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) and Santa Rosa Tourism Business Improvement Area (BIA) assessments. You will need the following information to complete the TOT/BIA registration form:

  • Business name and ownership Type (Individual, Partnership, etc.)
  • Property address;
  • Owner contact information;
  • Number of bedrooms to be rented; and
  • Management company name and contact information, if applicable.

To complete the registration process, go to srcity.org/TOT

In addition, an owner of four or more short-term rentals within City limits is required to possess a Business Tax Certificate. Apply for that certificate here.

Step 2 – Prepare Your Application

You will need the following information and documentation to complete the Short-Term Rental Permit Application process:

  • Site (Property) Address and Assessor's Parcel Number.
  • Whether the short-term rental is Hosted or Non-Hosted.
    • Hosted - A short-term rental where the host lives and sleeps in the dwelling unit or lives and sleeps in another legal dwelling unit on the same parcel throughout the short-term rental period.  Hosted short-term rentals shall be allowed only in the property’s primary residence.
      • Hosted short-term rentals may operate with an approved Short-Term Rental Permit anywhere within City limits.
    • Non-Hosted- A short-term rental where the host does not live and sleep in the dwelling unit throughout the short-term rental period.
      • Non-Hosted short-term rentals may operate with a Short-Term Rental Permit in the CMU, SMU, MMU, NMU, RR, R-1, PD (where not explicitly prohibited), R-2, R-3, TV-R, CO, CN, CSC, CG, and TVM zoning districts. Use the City's Find Your Zone online zoning tool to determine your zoning district. If the property is in a Planned Development (PD) zone, use the attached instructions to determine if that specific PD zone prohibits Short Term Rentals.
      • Effective December 4, 2021, no new Non-Hosted short-term rentals may be proposed within 1,000 feet from the property line of another existing or proposed Non-Hosted short-term rental (Hosted short-term rentals are not subject to an overconcentration requirement). Use the City of Santa Rosa Permit Search Tool and Non-hosted Overconcentration Evaluation Instructions to determine if your proposed Non-Hosted short-term rental is at least 1,000 feet from another existing or proposed Non-Hosted short-term rental site prior to submitting a Short-Term Rental Permit Application.
  • Number of bedrooms to be used for short-term rental activity. Staff will verify that the number of bedrooms included on the Short-Term Rental Permit Application and floor plan are consistent with County Assessor Records (as verified by the City’s GIS system).   Applicants should work with the County Assessor’s Office if there are conflicts in this information. 
  • Floor Plan showing each bedroom, and the locations of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and fire extinguisher(s). Please review the Interior Fire Guidance for Short-Term Vacation Rentals to ensure proper quantity and placement of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and fire extinguisher(s). View a floor plan example 
  • Number of off-street spaces available for short-term rental use and whether one on-street parking space will be used to meet parking minimum
  • Site Plan including project name, address, north arrow, and property lines. Show all existing buildings and other on-site structures including decks, pools, fences. Show and provide dimensions for existing garage(s), driveways, and off-street parking spaces available for short-term rental use. Show the location of any proposed on-street parking that will be used to meet minimum parking requirements and the location of paved sidewalks where existing. View a site plan example
    • An on-street parking space must be at least 19 feet in length and located adjacent to the curb and on-site parking spaces must be at least 9 feet in width by 19 feet in length..
  • Verification of short-term rental activity during 2021 if required (i.e., rental agreement, advertisement with date, etc.). This requirement applies only to short-term rental operators who register for TOT and BIA assessments from October 7 to October 27, 2021.
  • Property Owner Information
  • Agent Information, if different from Property Owner
  • Local 24-hour Contact, if different from Property Owner or Agent
  • Transient Occupancy Tax Account Number

For questions about definitions and requirements, review our Frequently Asked Questions.

Step 3 – Submit Your Application

Applicants may submit a Short-Term Rental Permit Application by:

  1. Online through Santa Rosa Citizen Access Portal
    • Gather the documents and information listed in Step 2
    • Go to Santa Rosa Citizen Access Portal and create an account. If you already have an account, skip to the next step.
    • In the menu at the top, click on New, then select Planning Permits
    • Select Short-Term Rental Permit
    • Use the documents and information gathered in Step 2 to complete the online application process
  2. In-person appointments
    • City staff are accepting in-person submittals by appointment only. To make an appointment, use the City's QLess system by going to srcity.org/QLess.
    • Bring the following to your appointment:
      • Completed and signed Short Term Rental Permit application
      • Floor plan (see Step 2 above for details)
      • Site plan (see Step 2 above for details)
      • Verification of short-term rental activity during 2021 (i.e., rental agreement, advertisement with date, etc.). This requirement applies only to short-term rental operators who register for TOT and BIA assessments from October 7 to October 27, 2021.
      • Payment in the amount of $1,129 (check or credit card accepted)
    • At the scheduled QLess appointment time, go to 100 Santa Rosa Ave., Room 3, Santa Rosa, CA  95404. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment.