Short Term Rentals and Short Attention Spans

Who Said What

Things got pretty heated, according to the Union Tribune, on July 16th as the San Diego City Council voted to restrict short-term rentals. The council also opted to eliminate a proposal by the mayor to make an exception for the popular beach and bay side communities.


The community that I represent, they've come out in force and they've said, we’ don’t have any neighbors anymore — it's just one big party all the time

This quote comes from council member Lorie Zapf. There have long been complaints, but there are also many opposed to the ordinance, saying that it would ruin the tourism economy and many of those home owner’s livelihoods. The goal of the ordinance is to mitigate investor activity in the short-term rental market and help open up long-term housing to the residents of San Diego.

Need to Know

  • San Diego currently has more than 11,000 short-term rentals (reported by Home Compliance last year)
  • Mission Beach is one of the highest concentrated area of short-term rentals at about 44% of its housing stock
  • Short term rentals (whole homes) will be limited to one’s primary residence and only for up to 6 months out of the year
  • Additional units on the same property will be able to get a license for a second vacation rental
  • Entire home short-term rentals will be subject to a $949 per year licensing fee (this will help fund the enforcement positions)
  • These new regulations will still have to pass the California Coastal Commission to be instated
  • The new rules are set to go into effect July 2019


What Could Happen

There have already been talks of how this ordinance could be a violation of constitutional property rights and organizations like Share San Diego are prepared to bring a lawsuit forward. The California Coastal Commission notified the city that they are expected to compile a list of all San Diego lodging categorized by type, location and pricing. The city is also expected to as assessment of the demand for overnight accommodations relative to the supply.

The commission’s premise for the rejection to rental bans come from the 1976 Coastal Act, which states a section to protect and provide lower-cost visitor facilities “where feasible”.

September Update

A referendum, backed by Airbnb and HomeAway, is underway and has over the required 36,000 signatures from registered voters to force a public vote. The City Council now has the option to place the measure on a future ballot or withdraw its action.

Get Involved

Curious about the efforts to stop the ban on short-term rental limitations? Check out both sides at ShareSanDiego.org and SaveSanDiegoNeighborhoods.org for updates or to donate


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