Short-Stay and Vacation Rentals

Short-Stay and Vacation Rental (SSVR) Permit Applications will be accepted beginning March 22, 2021. The SSVR Permit applies to units rented for 29 or fewer days per month, including VRBO and AirBnB rentals, whether they are separate units, or rooms within a home.  

In addition to the SSVR Permit, operators must obtain an Arcata Business License and Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) Certificate. SSVR Permit Applications are processed by the Community Development Department. Business Licenses and TOTs are processed by the Finance Department.

How to Apply:

  1. Submit SSVR Permit Application.  Be sure to identify which units are used as short-term rentals.
  2. Pay the SSVR Permit Fee.  Payment may be made by check or over the phone with Mastercard or Visa. See fees below.
  3. Submit the required documentation
  • Owner-Occupant Exemption:  Copy of Declarations page from Homeowner's Insurance Policy that covers the address listed on the application or current Tax Bill showing the Homeowner's Exemption for the address listed on the application.
  • Long-Term Tenant Exemption:  Copy of signed Lease/Rental Agreement.  Please redact any personally identifiable information.
  • Existing Operator:  Earnings Statement or Proof of Income that demonstrates rental activity in 2020 (or 2019 if operations ceased due to COVID-19).

Fee to Pay:

The SSVR Permit Fee is:

  • $150.00 for the initial SSVR Permit Application
  • $100.00 for each renewal application of an SSVR Permit
  • $20.00 to be placed on the waitlist

How to Submit:

  1. Mail:  Mail a completed application and check for the SSVR Permit Fee to: City of Arcata, Community Development Department, 736 F Street, Arcata CA 95521.
  2. Email:  Email the application and applicable documentation to Make sure to provide your phone number so City staff can call to obtain your Mastercard or Visa payment.

Forms & References


Ordinance No. 1545 establishes permit requirements, including a limit on the total number of permits that may be active at any time, and other regulations intended to ensure the safe and orderly conduct of short-stay, vacation, and other similar businesses in the City of Arcata. These regulations are also intended to ensure that only a limited proportion of the City’s housing stock, which would otherwise be used for long-term residency, is converted to short-stay use.

Keep Informed

Receive notices related to Short-Stay/Vacation Rentals by signing up for the "Long Range Planning & Community Visioning" eNotification list.


If you have further questions, please contact the Community Development Department at or #707-822-5955.