By Deb Murphy

A draft ordinance allowing but regulating short-term rentals (aka Airbnbs) in Bishop made it over the first hurtle during Monday’s City Council meeting. The ordinance still has to go through a Planning Commission hearing, then back to council for a second public hearing before it’s written in stone.

The draft was designed to mitigate some of the concerns expressed by residents while still allowing the practice, Associate Planner Elaine Kabala told the Council.

Some of the regulations include:

  • Only one unit on the property can be rented out and the owner, or host, must be on site. The issue of on-site for a host was clarified by City Administrator Jim Tatum. “A reliable contact has to be available if issues arise,” he said. The rental must be a primary resident to avoid depleting Bishop’s available housing. Vacation homes (not lived in by the owner for six months, plus one day each year) cannot be used as Airbnbs,

  • Renters are limited to two lodgers per bedroom.

  • On-site parking for renters is required.

  • The residence has to comply with all city codes as well as the Americans with Disability Act requirements. The latter is almost moot since the ADA exempts establishments with fewer than five rentable rooms.

  • The owner has to get a special permit, a business license and pay Transient Occupancy Taxes and Bishop Tourism Improvement District fees. As part of the permitting process, residents within 300 feet of the potential Airbnb will be given 30-day notice of the permit approval, giving them time to register their concerns. The permit must be renewed annually.



Inyo County is seeking public input on Short Term Vacation Rentals
(Air B&B type businesses) in residential zones

The following community workshops are scheduled to provide information on the current status of Short Term Vacation Rentals with regard to the County’s Zoning Code and to gather public input on the desired future of the use.

June 19th – Statham Hall, 138 Jackson Street, Lone Pine
June 26th – Big Pine Town Hall, 150 Dewey Street, Big Pine
June 28th – Tecopa Community Center, 405 Tecopa Hot Springs Rd, Tecopa
June 29th – Legion Hall Independence, 201 S. Edwards St., Independence
July 6th – Northern Inyo Hospital District Board Room, 2957 Birch St., Bishop

All meetings will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. – You are welcome at all!
For more information, go to: or call 760-878-0263

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