Special San Diego City Council Hearing on Short Term Vacation Rentals – Tues., Nov. 1st

by on October 31, 2016 · 2 comments

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


Each red dot represents a STVR

The San Diego City Council will hold a Special Hearing on short-term vacation rentals in single family residential zones on Tuesday, November 1, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. in Golden Hall. Due to the anticipated interest, Golden Hall will open at 9:00 a.m., and public comment on the issue will be limited to one minute per person. (Golden Hall is in the same complex as City Hall.)

It is greatly anticipated that the hearing will focus on an edit to the San Diego Municipal Code proposed by Councilwomen Sheri Lightner and Lori Zapf during a press conference last Friday, October 28th, an edit they say will address community concerns about the vacation rentals in single family neighborhoods. The edit will clarify that STVRs are currently not permitted in Single Family Residential neighborhoods.

Councilwoman Lightner – who is also the Council President – made this statement:

“We believe the current Municipal Code as written does not permit short term vacation rentals in single family zones and is already enforceable today.

“Our item that we are bringing to Council next Tuesday merely recommends a minor edit to clarify the existing Municipal Code to facilitate enforcement of the zones in the City where short term vacation rentals are not permitted. This is NOT a ban on Short Term Vacation Rentals citywide. We believe that short term rentals and short term vacation rentals have a place in our city.”

The press conference also demonstrated support by Save San Diego Neighborhoods – the key organization city-wide that has been fighting Airbnb and other rental agencies. Behind Lightner and Zapf were members of the Community Planners Committee, the La Jolla Community Planning Association, the Peninsula Community Planning Board, and local homeowners. Noticeably absent were any members of the Ocean Beach Planning Board – whose leadership is in a show-down with Zapf over a controversial project in OB at Ebers and Greene Streets.

Said John Thickstun of Save San Diego Neighborhoods:

“We all know that our municipal code does NOT permit short term rentals in residential zones.”

According to a press statement about the news conference:

The Municipal Code already clearly states the zones in which visitor accommodations, which are a type of commercial use, are permitted, and those zones in which they are not permitted.  This item recommends minor edits to the Municipal Code to better clarify the description of “visitor accommodation,” which includes short term vacation rentals.

This item will continue to allow home-sharing or owner-occupied rentals and will continue to allow short term vacation rentals in all zones that allow visitor accommodations.

Lightner added:

“Our suggested Municipal Code edit strikes a reasonable, measured balance between allowing short term vacation rentals in zones that are designed to accommodate visitors, while protecting the sanctity of single family neighborhoods, which are not designed to accommodate visitors and other commercial uses, but are intended for long-term residents.”

Councilmember Lorie Zapf stated:

“Over the last year and a half we held multiple hearings on this issue which impacts San Diego families, and received a tremendous amount of public input. We are standing together to protect single family residential neighborhoods and preserve the quality of life for all San Diegans.”

Attached to the press statement was a City of San Diego Fact Sheet.

To read the item information, please visit the San Diego City Council Docket on the Clerk’s website .


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Zen October 31, 2016 at 12:47 pm

Isn’t like 3/4 or more of Mission Beach, and about 50% of the ocean-front blocks in PB/OB short term rentals zoned residential? Seems to me that simply banning them would devastate the local economy and seriously damage city hotel tax revenue, with smaller but substantial hits to sales tax. Easily this could cost the city hundreds of millions a year and cause major disruptions to property values.

In reality, I really doubt this will ever be enforced for these reasons, so we will be left with an unfair system of selective enforcement.

I also wonder if this would violate the CCC’s mandate there be affordable visitor accommodations near the beach. While a deluxe beachfront place may be far from affordable, short-term rentals are generally much cheaper for a family that needs 3+ beds.

A much better idea for people who think there are too many short-term rentals near the beach is a special tax district that increases the hotel tax in this area, which will discourage STRs but not prohibit them. Rather than cost the city money, if the tax is done right, it will raise money. Even better, the structure of special tax districts allows the money to be kept within the neighborhood.


Happyinob October 31, 2016 at 5:30 pm

99% of these short term/ vacation rentals & B&B
Don’t pay the TOT tax now !!
How will they plan to enforce that now?
I would like to see a map with what’s out there
now, there are at least a dozen alone on the last
block of Cape May & Saratoga, including the alley
Isn’t this area residential!
What & where are theses so called Zones ??!


Leave a Comment

Older Article:

Newer Article: