The number of short-term rentals in Dana Point could jump up in the near future.

That’s if the city council makes three dozen new permits available, which could add more Airbnb locations and other similar rental units in the city.

On Tuesday, the Dana Point City Council is set to vote on opening up 37 new short-term rental permits, according to the city staff report.

Editors’ Note: This dispatch is part of the Voice of OC Collegiate News Service, working with student journalists to cover public policy issues across Orange County. If you would like to submit your own student media project related to Orange County civics or if you have any response to this work, contact

The council already has a set maximum cap of 230 permits — 115 in the city’s coastal zone and another 115 outside that zone.

But not all those permits are currently available. Right now, there are 177 active short-term rental permits in use.

There’s currently a waiting list of 46 people looking to get one of the permits. The 37 permits would be up for grabs if the council members approve the change Tuesday night. 

Those permits would be for outside the coastal zone only. All current short-term rental locations can be viewed using the interactive map on the city’s website.

The consideration comes after a staff evaluation of how short-term rentals are affecting the community — including nuisances and enforcement. 

Since Jan. 1, the city’s short-term rentals complaint line has received four calls, according to the staff report. Three calls were due to parking and another was about a trash concern. The sheriff’s department received seven calls. 

None of the calls resulted in a violation. There’s also a short-term rental complaint page on the city’s website.

For more information on Dana Point’s short-term rental permit application, click here.

Across the county, many cities have grappled with short-term rentals and ways to regulate these facilities over the past few years.

Some cities in Orange County like Laguna Hills, Fountain Valley and Costa Mesa have banned these rentals.

Others allow the units with certain rules. Orange has handed out 125 permits, while Seal Beach capped the total at 33. Newport Beach has reached the city’s maximum of 1550 permits.

The units have been criticized on occasion for attracting a rowdy crowd that can take up parking spots, overfill trash cans and make too much noise.

A concern seen time and time again is how cities can monitor visitors and keep up with code enforcement.

“Code Enforcement conducts proactive monitoring with evening and weekend patrols during the peak season and select days the rest of the year to observe or respond quickly to complaints if issues arise,” the staff report reads. “For significant community events like, but not limited to, the Ohana Music Festival, where the increase in the number of occupied STRs is anticipated, patrols are scheduled to ensure potential nuisances are abated.”

The city updated enforcement regulations in 2021. That includes one permit per owner and a maximum of three violations before a permit can be revoked. Renters also must be at least 25.

The Dana Point City Council will meet on Nov. 21 at 6 p.m.

Angelina Hicks is a Voice of OC Tracy Wood Reporting Fellow. Contact her at or on Twitter @angelinahicks13.


Since you’ve made it this far,

You obviously care about local news and value good journalism. Help us become 100% reader funded with a tax deductible donation. For as little as $5 a month you can help us reach that goal.

Join the conversation: In lieu of comments, we encourage readers to engage with us across a variety of mediums. Join our Facebook discussion. Message us via our website or staff page. Send us a secure tip. Share your thoughts in a community opinion piece.