Call to Action - Upcoming Board of Supervisors Hearing Dec. 15, 2020


Please support this grassroots effort by providing input to the Board of Supervisors. Showing strong community support for the ordinance is vitally important.

  • Write a personal letter (email or USPS). Your letter should arrive December 7-11

  • Make live public comments at the hearing on December 15

Option: pre-record your comments, to be played at the hearing. However please be aware that time limits or technical difficulties may preclude this.

Here's how:

Send email letters to:

Letters and verbal comments are both important.  

  • Letters lay the groundwork for the meeting. You can say as much or as little as you wish. The best letters are personal – they use your words to express your thoughts.

  • Verbal comments provided at the meeting, although limited to only 3 minutes, can be very influential, as these remarks are fresh in the supervisors’ minds when they discuss this item in the meeting. Verbal comments typically have the greatest impact.



We are asking the Board of Supervisors to endorse the Vacation Rental Ordinance for Los Osos that was unanimously recommended by the Planning Commission on July 9th, 2020. 

The proposed ordinance is:

  • A good plan. Some community members would like a stronger ordinance than this, while others would prefer fewer regulations. Overwhelming approval by the Los Osos Community Advisory Council (LOCAC) after receiving a great deal of public input shows that this is a good middle path.

  • Good for our community. It protects housing, neighborhoods, businesses and schools.

  • Fact based. The ordinance is based on guidelines developed by LOCAC’s Land Use Committee. These guidelines were developed based on the experience of communities in SLO County and throughout the state that have been impacted by vacation rentals.

  • Consistent with good planning policies, including the SLO County Coastal Zone Land Use Ordinance and the Local Coastal Plan.

  • Strongly supported by the community, by LOCAC (approved 7-1), and by the SLO County Planning Commission (approved 4-0).


Here are the key elements of the proposed ordinance, along with a brief explanation of why each is important.

Vacation rentals not allowed in multi-family dwellings or mobile home parks (allowed only in single family residences)

  • The most urgent issue facing SLO County is our well known housing crisis. Housing for low- and moderate income families is especially needed. 

  • This measure protects housing that is typically most affordable.


Maximum of 1% of single family dwellings may be used as a vacation rental

  • Los Osos’ housing supply, particularly rental housing, is extremely tight. This situation will continue for the foreseeable future due to a slow projected growth rate. Consequently, this cap is necessary to protect housing stock for residential use. 

  • For comparison, Morro Bay (which, unlike Los Osos, is highly dependent on tourism) recently adopted a 3% cap for vacation rentals.


500 foot buffer between vacation rentals

  • Prevents the over-concentration of vacation rentals in residential areas.

  • Promotes equity for vacation rental ownership by spreading opportunities throughout town.

  • Provides greater variety of lodging options for visitors by spreading vacation rentals throughout town.


Maximum of one vacation rental per owner

  • Promotes equity by giving more people an opportunity to have a vacation rental.

  • Helps reduce commercialization of neighborhoods.


Vacation rental permit expires when house is sold

  • Promotes equity by making permits available that can be used for other properties.

  • Provides eventual relief for neighbors of a vacation rental.

  • Prevents commodification of a property.

  • Promotes diversity of lodging options for visitors.


Minor Use Permit required to establish a new vacation rental

  • Allows community review and input on a permit before it is granted.



  • Unlike many communities in our area, Los Osos is not a tourist town, and does not need to cater to tourists.  Los Osos’ vacation rental ordinance should reflect that difference.

  • This ordinance is not “government overreach”. In fact, it is quite minimal compared to many other places.


  • Many communities throughout the state have recently adopted far stricter limits on vacation rentals, after experiencing significant negative impacts from these lodging businesses located in residential areas.


  • It does not limit investment property ownership in Los Osos.  

    • Anyone can own as many long term rentals as they would like. In fact, this would be welcome, to help alleviate the tight rental housing market.

  • It does not limit the number of second homes in Los Osos.  

    • It only places a sensible limit on the number of second homes that can be operated as a vacation rental.

  • It does not ban vacation rentals in Los Osos.

    • It only imposes sensible limits that protect housing stock and the community.

  • It does not unduly infringe on property rights.

    • It strikes a good balance between individual property rights and overall community well-being. Government does this all the time, regulating property uses, business location and operation, etc.

Affordability and Availability of Housing

  • Housing being converted to short term vacation rental businesses has detrimental impacts to the community.

  • If housing stock is taken away, prices are driven higher.

  • We lose community diversity and locals who can live and work here if long term rental housing is converted to short term rental housing.

  • Moderate income families struggle to find decent housing. Vacation rentals reduce the housing stock that much further.  

  • Think of how our community will be impacted by loss of homes and families. What are the trickle down effects?


Our Community Infrastructure will be protected with the recommended vacation rental ordinance. 

  • Schools - School systems are negatively affected by the loss of students

  • Faith communities

  • Community Groups - sports, art, crafts, social groups, volunteer groups, etc.

  • Local businesses that serve our full time residents - hair dressers, pet shop, jewelry store, tax preparers, etc.


We have a variety of visitor accommodations

  • Back Bay Inn, Baywood Inn, Sea Pines Golf Resort - all three businesses are growing their accommodations with new development in the pipeline.

  • We have 56 permitted Homestays.

  • We have nearby campgrounds at Montana De Oro and Morro Bay.

  • Los Osos lacks infrastructure for visitor services - lighting, sidewalks, paths, signage, trashcans, public restrooms, etc.