Inyo County public order prohibiting short-term rentals rescinded

By: 
Register Staff
Staff Writer

Inyo County Health Officer Dr. James Richardson, in consultation with the Inyo County Unified Command, has rescinded the prior Health Officer Order prohibiting short-term rentals. Following the rescission of this order, campgrounds and RV parks may now rent to customers for less than 30 days. Privately operated short-term rentals (such as Airbnb’s), vacation rentals, timeshares, hotels, motels, or any other facility where the business is renting the customer a physical room or structure must continue to follow Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order No. N-60-20 and the stages of reopening set out in California’s Resilience Roadmap by only renting to essential workers and local residents.

“This update is in line with California’s Resilience Roadmap, which states that hotels may not begin operating for recreation or leisure travelers until Stage Three,” stated Dr. James Richardson. “However, campgrounds and RV parks are distinct from hotels because they do not rent a physical room or structure to a customer.”

With both campgrounds and RV parks closed, Inyo County has seen a significant uptick in dispersed camping. The increase in dispersed camping, particularly by those who normally use campgrounds, poses serious public health and safety concerns. Dispersed campsites offer no garbage collection or facilities to manage human waste, which leads to pollution and the transmission of waste-borne pathogens. Dispersed campsites also lack safe areas to build campfires. As Inyo County moves into fire season, the risk of wildfires caused by dispersed campers has become a serious concern. Mono County has already experienced a brushfire caused by dispersed camping, and Inyo County Dispatch recently had a call for service for illegal warming fires at a dispersed camping site.

As with all other businesses that are currently operating, campgrounds and RV parks that wish to reopen must comply with the COVID-19 guidance posted on the “Reopening Inyo Businesses” page of the County website and must submit an Inyo County Business Attestation. Campgrounds, RV parks, and other businesses seeking technical assistance or additional information about reopening can email questions to businessinfo@inyocounty.us.

Inyo County officials wish to remind all residents and travelers that California remains under a Stay-at-Home Order, and non-essential leisure travel is prohibited per the governor’s executive order. Both local residents and tourists must continue to remain close to home for recreational activities. Additionally, Inyo National Forest has put in place fire restrictions that prohibit campfires outside of developed campsites. More information on those restrictions can be found here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/inyo/alerts-notices.

The County of Inyo, and Unified Command partners are committed to keeping the public up to date with the most accurate and timely information. Anyone can sign up to receive COVID-19 press releases or updates at the Inyo County COVID-19 webpage.

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