Inland Vacation Rentals
For the Inland portion of the City, a Vacation Rental is an entire residence or a portion of a residence, such as one bedroom or a futon in a home office, which is rented to guests for 30 consecutive days or less.
For the Coastal portion of the City, a Vacation Dwelling Unit is an entire dwelling unit which includes areas for living, sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation rented to guests for 30 days or less. Click HERE for how to apply for a Vacation Dwelling Unit Permit in the Coastal Zone.
In general, anything east of Broadway, south of 3rd Street, and west of Myrtle Avenue is Inland. Click HERE to be directed to the City’s interactive zoning map.
Type in your street address in the upper left-hand corner, be sure to include “Eureka, CA”, and hit Enter or click the magnifying glass. You’ll be taken to your site on the map. If the site has a color overlay, your site is located in the Inland portion of the City and you’re on the right page. If the site is just the aerial photo (no color overlay), your site is located in the Coastal portion of the City. If your site is Coastal, click HERE for information on obtaining a Coastal Vacation Dwelling Unit Permit.
In any zone:
An Accessory Dwelling Unit or Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit which received a Certificate of Occupancy from the City prior to January 1, 2020, can be used as a Vacation Rental.
In the R1 zone:
A single-family residence, or one or more spaces/bedrooms in the single-family residence, can be used as a Vacation Rental, unless the single-family residence was created under California Government Code § 65852.21 or 66411.7.
In all other zones:
Legally permitted single- or multi-family residences can be used as Vacation Rentals in any zoning district where Vacation Rentals are allowed.
Contact Development Services – Planning if you are uncertain about whether your single-family, multi-family, or accessory dwelling unit can be used as a Vacation Rental.
Click HERE to view the City's rules, which include basic standards for Vacation Rentals, such as limitations on occupancy, events, signage, and a requirement to identify an emergency contact. Additional requirements/limitations may be imposed through the Minor Use Permit process (see Item 8).
A Business License and Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) payments will be required. TOT is a 10% City tax which must be collected every time rent is paid for short-term stays of 30 consecutive days or less in a Vacation Rental. Sites like Airbnb, VRBO, etc., DO NOT collect or pay TOT for you. It is your responsibility to collect TOT from guests and remit the collected TOT directly to the City’s Finance Department on a quarterly basis.
Whether you live on the site where the Vacation Rental is, or off-site but still within Eureka’s City limits, you will also be required to obtain a Home Occupation Permit unless a property management company is operating the Vacation Rental for you.
Long-term rental of dwelling units is allowed and encouraged – we need more housing! Building permits can often be obtained for almost any space, either attached to or detached from your primary residence, to be converted to a residence. A space or building with an independent entrance, sleeping area, bathroom, kitchenette, and a Certificate of Occupancy issued by the City can be a dwelling unit.
Follow the instructions in Item 2 How do I find out whether my site is Coastal or Inland? above to locate your site on the interactive zoning map. The colors on the zoning map denote different zone districts, and somewhere on the map should be an abbreviation for your zone district. If your zone district abbreviation starts with an R (e.g., RE, R1, R2, or R3), your site is located in a Residential Zone. If your site is located in a district which does not begin with an R, the site is located in a Mixed-use zone.
In Inland Mixed-use Zone Districts, Vacation Rentals are called Commercial Lodging, which, in most Mixed-use zones, is principally permitted, meaning you won’t need any special zoning permits. You will, however, still need a business license, any necessary building permits, an inspection from the building inspector, and you will need to pay Transient Occupancy Tax to the City.
If your site is located within an Office Residential (OR) or Hospital Medical (HM) Zone, a Commercial Lodging use requires a Conditional Use Permit be granted. Contact Development Services – Planning for more information.
To get started you will need a:
- Vacation Rental (VR) Permit application (one-time permit as long as the Business License remains valid)
- Home Occupation Permit (one-time permit as long as the Business License remains valid) application available here.
- Business License (requires annual renewal) application available here
- Building inspection scheduled through planning department.
The building inspection is required to ensure the space or dwelling unit to be rented complies with residential Building Code standards. If any unpermitted work is discovered, the Vacation Rental Permit can not be issued until the work is legalized through a building permit. The building inspector will also look for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, a properly strapped and vented water heater, and will confirm the space or unit to be rented was legally created.
Although the fees vary slightly for each situation, on average the cost is less than $500 total for the permits, license, and inspection.
With property owners onsite:
The Planning Department will send you and the City of Eureka Finance Department a letter of Approval.
With property owners Offsite:
The Planning Department will send you and the City of Eureka Finance Department a letter of Approval, a postcard with the emergency contact information to the property owners within a 200' radius of the site and send the emergency contact information to the City of Eureka Police Department.
you will need to:
- Renew your Business License annually you will get notification of the renewal in November.
A Vacation Dwelling Unit Permit will lapse and become void by February 1st of each year unless your Business License is renewed and in good standing, all applicable taxes and fees are paid, and there are no outstanding Police, Fire, or Building Department violations.
- Pay Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) Quarterly
The tax, license, and permit requirements apply whether properties are rented directly by owners, through a local property manager, and/or through an internet listing site such as airbnb.com, vrbo.com, homeaway.com, craigslist.org, etc,
Click HERE to be directed to the Planning Apps and Forms page where you can find the application forms and instructions for all of the planning permits mentioned above.
Click HERE to be directed to the Business License page which includes a link for the online Business License portal.
City of Eureka Finance Staff will reach out to you about how to pay your Transient Occupancy Tax.
Contact Development Services – Planning
We can assist you in identifying your zone, help you find the correct application form(s), and answer any questions you have about the process.
Thank you for your interest in providing a new and unique addition to the lodging options in Eureka!