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San Bernardino County to study impact of short-term rental…


Residents with strong feelings about short-term rentals: San Bernardino County wants to hear from you.

The county is in the process of studying the impact that web sites and apps such as AirBNB, Trulia or Vrbo, which allow property owners to rent rooms or whole houses out for shorter terms, are having on the amount of San Bernardino County’s available housing.

As of January, only 29 out of California’s 538 incorporated cities and towns are meeting state requirements for affordable housing, according to a Southern California News Group analysis.

In that analysis, unincorporated San Bernardino County as a whole gets an A+ — although its goal was only permitting 39 affordable homes between October 2013 and October 2021. Meanwhile, only six of San Bernardino County’s 23 cities and the town of Apple Valley got better than a D+ grade: Big Bear Lake (which got a C+ grade), Chino Hills (B+), Grand Terrace (C), Ontario (C), Rancho Cucamonga (B-) and Yucaipa (C).

San Bernardino County has taken action on short-term rentals before.

Those changes follow requiring permits in desert and mountain communities and raising penalties for offering rentals without a permit by 1,000%.

Last summer, the county paused new approvals on short-term rentals for 45 days. At that time, the county Board of Supervisors imposed new limits on short-term rentals in desert and mountain communities, where such rentals are most popular:

  • Permits were limited to two per person — new permits only; existing permit holders were grandfathered in.
  • Occupancy limits were based on dwelling size, with a maximum of 12 guests.
  • Owners were incentivized to purchase noise-monitoring devices.
  • The number of rentals was limited based on parcel size.
  • Permit numbers were ordered displayed on web hosting platforms.
  • Automatic permit transfers when a property sells were eliminated.

But complaints, both from those living near short-term rentals and property owners frustrated that they can’t use their properties as they see fit, continue.

The Board of Supervisors last got an update on short-term rentals this past March.

The bottom line: “This is a far more complicated issue than we anticipated,” said Chad Nottingham, the county’s deputy executive officer of Land Use Services

The county is bringing in outside help — it hired an outside contractor, government services firm Granicus — to determine the number of short-term rentals in the county and study what impact they’re having on housing availability.

“When the study concludes, we’re going to take that data, whatever the results may be, and make a recommendation to the board about whether a cap ought to be in place,” said Nottingham, who’s directing the project.

The county will conduct four public meetings in August, in mountain and desert communities:

  • Crestline: 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 1, San Moritz Lodge, 24640 San Moritz Drive
  • Twin Peaks: 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 3, Twin Peaks County Building, 26010 Highway 189
  • Big Bear: 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 21, Big Bear Senior Center, 42651 Big Bear Blvd.
  • Morongo Basin: 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 24, Joshua Tree Community Center, 6171 Sunburst St.

“We always value the participation from the public in everything we do, this included,” Nottingham said. “We want to collaborate and cooperate with them to come to a solution on this.”

The study should be completed by the end of 2023 and the Board of Supervisors should have policy changes to consider early in 2024, according to Nottingham.

For more information about short-term rentals in San Bernardino County, visit Those who cannot attend the meeting, but want more information about the study can request more information by emailing, with “STR Study Comments” in the subject line.

The short-term rental meetings will not be discussing specific nuisance complaints. To make complaints about short-term rentals, visit or call 1-800-205-9417.

Staff writer Jeff Collins contributed to this story.

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