Community Planners Committee Rejects Council’s Proposals on Short Term Rentals

by on September 23, 2015 · 3 comments

in Culture, Environment, History, Ocean Beach, Politics, San Diego

Community Planners Slap Down Zapf and Cate Proposals to Allow STVRs to Operate in San Diego Residential Zones.

On Tuesday, September 22, the Community Planners Committee (CPC) at their monthly meeting rejected City Council-member Lori Zapf’s proposal to allow STVR to operate in San Diego residential zones with restrictions and Council member Chris Cates’ proposal to allow STVR in residential zones outright.

Instead the CPC voted to uphold and enforce the existing San Diego Municipal Code regarding Short Term Vacation Rentals in residential zoned areas.  In an almost unanimous vote, (24-3) the CPC agreed that that the Municipal Code already addresses and prohibits such commercial entities in residential zones.

CPC Chair Joe Le Cava and members of the committee reiterated that STVRs are Visitor Accommodations as defined in the San Diego Municipal Code and are commercial businesses that do not belong in neighborhoods zoned for residential use.  The committee rejected the proposal that would allow STVRs in residential zones.

Committee member and chair of Pacific Beach’s Planning group, Brian Curry said:

“Whole-house rentals for less than 30 days are Visitor Accommodations and the City should enforce the Code.”

While acknowledging that the City’s failure to enforce its existing Municipal Code up to this point will negatively impact investors and corporations who have been buying up homes in residential neighborhoods and operating them as de-facto hotels, Le Cava, citing the municipal code’s stated purpose of residential zones to provide neighborhood quality character and livability, said that non-enforcement is no excuse to allow them to continue to operate in and diminish the quality of life for San Diego residents.

Ronan Gray, president of Save San Diego Neighborhoods, stated:

“This is a big step forward for San Diego residents in communities all across the city and county who have been asking the City Council to simply enforce the existing Municipal Code which clearly does not allow these commercial operations in residential zones.”

Save San Diego Neighborhoods is a grass roots organization with thousands of members throughout San Diego that came together to combat the destructive and virulent spread of STVRs across the region.

The motion, which passed by a vote of 24 to 3, recommends that the City uphold and enforce its existing Municipal Code, which does not allow STVRs to operate in residential zoned areas.  The committee also recommended changes be made to the Municipal Code section regarding Boarder and Lodger Accommodations, which would allow home sharing where the home owner is present on site during the visitor stays with some restrictions on the minimum length of stay and maximum number of lodgers allowed.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Tessa September 24, 2015 at 2:01 pm

Good! O B is under assault in many ways, and here we are, fighting back just to get the city to enforce existing city code.
Shame on Zapf – she shows that she does not accurately or adequately represent Ocean Beach by her proposal made here.
Perhaps she is taking this stance to assuage wealthy investors who want to snap up homes along the coast and turn a profit.
Perhaps she should listen to the message of Pope Francis – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” – is one well-known quote he mentioned in one of his speeches.


joi September 24, 2015 at 4:31 pm

Are you saying I might be able to report my neighbor for running an air bnb? The constant turnover and noise is beyond disruptive and annoying.


Lori Hegerle October 1, 2015 at 8:14 pm

This issue is not over yet. That was the recommendation by the CPC to the City Planning board. Of course the City Planning board should listen to their community planners, but will they? With a 24-2 vote they should! There is also a chance that the City Planning board will think a compromise is to allow them in certain residential zones and not others…..this would be terrible for OB… would push them all in a highly concentrated area.


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