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Short-Term Residential Occupancy (STRO)

(Updated on June 27, 2022)

Status of California Coastal Commission (CCC) Review

On June 14, 2022, City Council approved the California Coastal Commission (CCC) recommended modifications to the STRO Ordinance. These modifications include the following additions:

  • Language regarding lottery stratification by Community Planning Area for Tier 3 licenses,
  • Editor’s notes in various sections of the Ordinance identifying the relevant sections that are being added to the Local Coastal Program and the requirement of CCC approval, and
  • Sunset Clause.

The recommended CCC modifications require Mayoral approval and subsequent full certification by the CCC.


Licensing Requirement Effective Date

The implementation timeline will depend on City Council and Mayoral approval of the Ordinance changes and subsequent full certification by CCC. Once the CCC unconditionally certifies the STRO ordinance as a local coastal program amendment, an ordinance implementation date will be set, including the requirement to obtain an STRO license & opening of the application process. The STRO webpage will be updated with more information regarding ordinance implementation as it becomes available.


The STRO Ordinance requires a license for all STRO of a dwelling unit, or part thereof, for less than one month within the City of San Diego. To determine if your property is located within the City of San Diego, reference the City of San Diego Council District Map. If your dwelling unit falls within the nine (9) Council Districts on the map, the STRO Ordinance will apply. There are four (4) license types with varying requirements on the number of days and type of dwelling available for the STRO. A host may only hold one license and may not operate more than one dwelling unit for STRO at a time; licenses are not transferrable between ownership or location/dwelling unit.

A host may obtain a maximum of one license at a time in one of the following four (4) STRO license tiers:

Tier 1

Tier 2
Home Sharing
Tier 3
Whole Home
(excluding Mission Beach)
Tier 4
Mission Beach Whole Home

Rented for an aggregate of 20 days or less per year

The owner or permanent resident does not need to reside onsite during the STRO

Renting a room or rooms in the home for more than 20 days per year so long as the owner or permanent resident resides onsite

The owner or permanent resident may be absent from the permanent residence during the STRO for up to 90 days per calendar year

Home sharing includes duplex properties and eligible accessory dwelling units  when the host resides onsite

Rentals for more than 20 days per year where the owner or permanent resident does not reside onsite.   To determine your dwelling unit's Community Planning Area (CPA), reference the City of San Diego Community Plans Map.

If your dwelling unit is within the Mission Beach CPA, you would fall into Tier 4 Mission Beach Whole Home. Any other CPA would fall into Tier 3 Whole Home (excluding Mission Beach).

The number of licenses issued will not exceed 1% of San Diego’s total housing units outside the Mission Beach Community Planning Area*

Guest two-night minimum stay required

The number of licenses issued will not exceed 30% of the Mission Beach Community Planning Area*

Guest two-night minimum stay required

*Based on the most recent Demographic and Socioeconomic Housing estimates issued by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) rounded up to the nearest whole number

Application Process

Application Submission and Lottery Dates

The license application period has not opened yet and is expected to open in the Fall of 2022. The license application period and lottery dates will be determined once the Ordinance is unconditionally certified by the CCC. The following documents/links provide information that will be necessary to complete the online application for an STRO license once the application period opens:

PDF icon STRO Application Checklist

PDF icon STRO Application Information Sheet

OpenData Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) Information

OpenData Rental Unit Business Tax (RUBT) Information

The Office of the City Treasurer will establish a lottery application process; this webpage will be updated as more information becomes available. If the total number of Tier 3 and/or Tier 4 applications received is greater than the number of licenses available, applications will be chosen via a lottery. Prioritization will be given to “good actors” as outlined in this PDF icon memo to City Council.

Additionally, City Council has approved the following application and license fees:

  Application Fee License Fee
Tier  1 

$           25   

$           100   
Tier  2 

$           25   

$           225   
Tier  3 

$           70   

$         1000   
Tier  4 

$           70   

$         1000   

Note that application fees are non-refundable, and licenses expire two (2) years from the date of issuance and may be renewed in accordance with section 510.0106(d) of the Ordinance.

This website will be updated as additional information becomes available. If you would like to be notified when the website has been updated, please submit your email address to receive email updates.