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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 117375
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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Is Napa Countys ordinance prohibiting the use of short term

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Is Napa County's ordinance prohibiting the use of short term (less than 30 days) vacation rentals in non incorporated agriculturally zoned areas legal. Even if it is, it seems to have been enforced inconsistently, though the county claims that it pursues those that are "egregious," and when it comes to its attention.
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Zoning is considered a police power of the state, which can be exercised by each municipality. Thus, as long as the ordinance was properly passed by the municipality it is indeed legal and the fact that it is not strictly enforced would not make it unenforceable. When a government enacts laws they also have discretion in enforcement which would not be disturbed unless it is proven the law is being enforced based on some unlawfully discriminatory reason (age/race/sex/national origin/disability), since they hold enforcement of these ordinances discretionary to the government. What would make it not enforceable is if you can prove historical non-enforcement and their historical allowing you to engage in such rentals previously with their knowledge and non-enforcement, which you relied upon to your detriment and then you could argue that they are prevented by the equitable theory of laches from enforcing this against you now.

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