San Diego Poised to Act on Short Term Vacation Rentals

by on October 24, 2016 · 8 comments

in Civil Rights, Culture, Economy, Environment, History, Ocean Beach, Organizing, Politics, San Diego


Each red dot indicates a STVR.

Two Important Meetings re: STVRs on Calendar

Residents of the coastal neighborhoods who have been fighting short term vacation rentals (STVRs) are happy right now – relatively speaking – as it appears that the City of San Diego is finally poised to act on them.

One of the key organizations in this fight is Save San Diego Neighborhoods, and they are trying to mobilize their supporters for two critical meetings coming up, October 25th and November 1st.

From SSDN website:

First, on Tuesday, October 25, the Community Planners Committee (CPC) meeting will host City Council President Sherri Lightner.  The CPC meets from 7 to 9 pm. at the Metropolitan Op. Ctr. II Auditorium, 9192 Topaz Way, San Diego.

According to the CPC memo:

The City Council is scheduled to hear the issue of Short Term Vacation Rentals in the Single Dwelling Zones on Tuesday, November 1, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. at Golden Hall in the City Concourse, located at 202 C Street, San Diego, CA., 92101.

Council President Lightner is partnering with Councilmember Lorie Zapf and the City Attorney regarding this issue. A report for this item will be released in the back-up material in the City Council agenda available on Wednesday, October 26, 2016.

Second, as noted in the CPC memo above, the San Diego City Council will be having a meeting regarding Short Term Vacation Rentals on November 1st at 10 a.m. in Golden Hall, located at 202 C Street, San Diego, CA., 92101.

We anticipate that these meetings will be very important for our members and anyone who wants to see the enforcement of the current San Diego Municipal Code regarding STVR in residential zones.

While both meetings are important, we ask you to particularly mark the Nov. 1 City Council hearing on your calendars as one to attend. Keep an eye on this webpage in anticipation of the Notice of Hearing being published by City.

stvr-image-aug016-ed1According to our SSDN contact, John Thickstun:

Although the proposed minor changes to the ordinance are deemed unnecessary to enforcement. The minor changes are being proposed at the request of Jan Goldsmith to “for clarity and to facilitate enforcement”. So whether or not the changes are made the Code is clear – STVR are Visitor Accommodations and, as such, are not permitted in residential zones.

I’m told the City Attorney’s office is presently prosecuting a violator in Pacific Beach – with more to come. Development Services Department head Bob Vacchi agrees and Code Enforcement is gearing up for vigorous enforcement.

And here’s what future City Attorney Mara Elliott said debate with Robert Hickey at La Jolla Town council meeting;

“The Municipal Code is very clear and does not allow short-term vacation rentals (in residential neighborhoods).

The City and its politicians have been very reluctant to touch the issue because there are very strong lobbyists pushing them in one direction, but it is not fair to those whose neighborhoods have been affected and those whose lives have been completely changed because this industry is not regulated. Under my leadership, we will enforce the Municipal Code.

This does not mean short-term rentals wouldn’t be allowed later with fair and reasonable regulations, but this is an issue that has been brewing far too long with no action.”

Here is the Notice of Hearing on STVR/STR on November 1st:


{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Lyn October 24, 2016 at 3:19 pm

Heavens-to-Betsy –
O.B. is a sea of red dots. That explains the excess late night rowdiness experienced here on my formerly quiet street in South O.B.
Looks as if the ordinance is in place but the city has chosen (hmm, wonder why…) to just look the other way.


triggerfinger October 24, 2016 at 7:01 pm

Airbnb is calling its San Diego hosts and trying to pack these upcoming meetings with supporters (10/25 and 11/1). So if you want to protect our neighborhoods from mini-hotels, please show up for a good cause.

According to my contact with the city council, the winds are blowing in the right direction, don’t let anyone derail the momentum!


Zen October 24, 2016 at 10:19 pm

So is there a plan to replace the large hotel tax these places pay? Who should pay higher taxes or what in the city budget should be cut?

I am told AirBNB started automatically forcing people to pay hotel tax last year.

It is something like 11%, so for a modest $120 a night place that is rented 90% of the time, the city collects $4336 a year. Put in a regular renter and the city/county just get property tax, which could be as low as $500 a year. The the AirBNB owners pay the property tax too!


nostalgic October 25, 2016 at 12:12 pm

Zen, it’s pretty clear that you don’t live next door to an AirBNB. That much is clear.


Sam Trego October 27, 2016 at 9:43 am

Your experience with your neighbor is rare. Believe me, my neighbor in Mission Hills LOVES the fact that I do AirBnB. It has saved my home from foreclosure, therefore maintaining the home values of everybody in the neighborhood…. not to mention that it affords me the ability to keep the home spotless, renovated, with very high curb appeal. It’s very good for neighborhoods. It would be great for those that truly have a problem with their neighbors doing this, to simply talk to them, and encourage them to control their guests more, like I do.


OB Dude October 25, 2016 at 12:45 pm

No amount of tax collect justifies having a hotel in one’s neighborhood.


OBRUSS33 October 26, 2016 at 5:52 am

This is great news as AirBnB contributes to forcing families out of certain areas and skyrocketing rent prices.


triggerfinger October 26, 2016 at 6:27 pm

AirBnB listings in OB:
Feb 2015 – 140
May 2016 – 230
Oct 2016 – 367 (78% are whole home rentals)

Whole home rentals now make up 3.6% of the housing stock in OB. That’s a small number, but it’s exploding. And I believe these are disproportionately removing our smaller and otherwise affordable units from the market.

How’s Mission Beach fairing? More than 20% of dwelling units there are listed on AirBNB as whole home rentals. 738 listings. I bet it’s more than 25% when you consider how many are listed through their own commercial agencies.

my sources: Airbnb current listings, Voice of San Diego data from BeyondPricing, and OB and MB community plans showing # of dwelling units.


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