Big Step Taken in STVR Fight

by on March 25, 2017 · 7 comments

in Environment, Ocean Beach, San Diego

From Save San Diego Neighborhoods:

Panel advances home-sharing proposal, declines on whole-home rental plans

MARCH 24, 2017 – In a victory for opponents of short-term vacation rentals, San Diego’s Smart Growth and Land Use Committee today agreed that only a proposal regulating home-sharing should go before the entire City Council with its recommendation. At the same time, the panel declined to push for any of three options brought by the Development Services Department (DSD) dealing with whole-home rentals.

The decision of the committee has the effect of separating home-sharing – where owners are present and rent out rooms – from whole-home rentals, where no owners are on site. And, because today’s three draft proposals were considered by a three-person panel that included the two staunchest supporters of vacation rentals on the City Council, the decision may mean more restrictive action on whole-home rentals is possible when the issue goes before a more-balanced full City Council.

The full City Council will likely next take up the vacation rental issue in late August or early September, when DSD staff said it could come back with more details.

After hours of testimony today, Councilmember Chris Cate quickly made a motion to adopt Option 3 offered by the DSD. The plan was the most lenient of three options regarding whole-house rentals and closely mirrored a plan offered by Cate himself. Smart Growth Chair Scott Sherman seconded the Cate’s proposal. However, the third member of the panel, Councilmember Georgette Gomez, said that while she could support the home-sharing part of the DSD Option 3 plan, she would not support the part of the plan dealing with whole-home rentals. So, the vote was 2-1. However, because only three members of the panel were present, a unanimous vote was needed for passage.

Gomez then made a motion to recommend the home-sharing part of Option 3, but not recommend any option for whole-home rentals. Cate seconded the motion. It passed 3-0. Gomez said:

“I feel there’s a big difference between owner-occupied home-sharing and whole-home rentals where the owner is not around when issues potentially arise, especially at night and on weekends.”

“Particularly, I feel there is a difference between investor-owned whole-home rentals and those simply trying to make ends meet. It is primarily these properties that are not owner-occupied that seem to be contributing to negative impacts, whose effects are being felt throughout neighborhoods, primarily in single-family neighborhoods. For those reasons, I feel this issue should be addressed separately.”

Gomez also said Councilmembers Barbara Bry (District 1) and Lorie Zapf (District 2) should have significant input on any vacation rental proposals because their districts are the most affected by the issue.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

d9 March 25, 2017 at 10:30 pm

Thank you Ms. Gomez!


kh March 26, 2017 at 12:34 am

When the 2 councilmembers who represent the districts with 90% of the whole-home STVRs agree they should be banned, the other councilmembers should shut up and follow suit.

And for good measure they’re a democrat and a republican!!


sloanranger March 26, 2017 at 4:49 pm

Dear OBRag
I had not much opinion on the subject, one way or another but recently considered a trip out of state. When researching rates for lodging, I was appalled, but not as appalled as I was after comparing them to rates in San Diego.
Not only are rents here the most outrageous in the country (my sister found apartments in Hawaii cheaper than San Diego), but so are motels, hotels, etc. Seeing as how the government frowns on pitching tents (what someone I know did, on the beach in Hawaii), what are people with moderate to low incomes supposed to do?


kh March 26, 2017 at 9:13 pm

How about staying in a STVR in Chris Cates district and just drive to the beach. Instead of displacing long term residents from a precious beach community that is already built out….


Jeffeck March 27, 2017 at 9:00 am

Why should Cates district be impacted any more than ours? I get your point about him not being supportive but I think SD should resolve the issue uniformly regardless of our opinion of what is “precious”.

Cant there be a zoning solution? I think those who rent less than 30 days are a hotel/motel and should be subject to different rules or at the least create a new zone when that kind of rental happens.

Those who live on site and rent usually do so on a long term (30 days or more) basis. Those who do STVR to make ends meet can charge accordingly to cover TOT and be required to follow noise abatement etc laws.

Can we not now govern like we did when we created the original zoning laws?


kh March 27, 2017 at 12:05 pm

You’re preaching to the choir Jeff, but unfortunately it isn’t so obvious to the rest of our city leaders or coastal commission.


nostalgic March 27, 2017 at 8:46 am

In Asheville, North Carolina, they advertise the STVR rules on the radio: “If you don’t stay there, they don’t stay there.” It was pretty clear, even to an outlander from California.


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