OB Town Council: How Short Term Vacation Rentals Affect OBceans

by on May 11, 2017 · 10 comments

in Ocean Beach

Short-term rental on Santa Monica Ave.

OBTC to Hold Forum on Short-Term Rentals – May 24th

From the OB Town Council

The “OB vibe” is in danger, as an unregulated and alarming increase of Short Term Vacation Rentals (STVRs) poses a threat to our quality of life and OB’s character.

The objects and purposes of the Ocean Beach Town Council are to express the will, to represent the welfare, and to sustain the spirit of the community of Ocean Beach, and therefore the OBTC must address this issue that weighs heavily on the future of our town.

As a community that has the highest percentage of renters to home-owners in our region (85% are renters), Ocean Beach residents are heavily impacted by the area’s steady decline of rental housing as more and more units have become permanent vacation rentals.

The already high cost of living here continues to skyrocket as developers choose to place their housing availabilities on travel websites such as AirBnB, instead of putting them up for rent. This not only causes an influx of tourists which degrades the tight-knit, neighborly community that we love, it also perpetuates a shortage of rental options, pushing local residents out in favor of turning a quick profit.

Although the City Council and Mayor Faulconer’s office have expressed their intent to not enforce regulations on the amount of Short Term Vacation rentals in San Diego, the Ocean Beach Town Council continues to oppose the increase in STVRs in our community, and push for legislation that will effectively limit the number of STVR units that will be allowed in our neighborhoods.

This is not aimed at local residents that wish to supplement their income by renting out a spare room here and there, but towards the home buyer who purchases a house solely to use as a STVR and is never on-site, or the developer that turns their entire apartment complex of 20+ units into a Short-Term Vacation Rental property.

Recent reports show an increase in the number of these properties throughout our community. One local resident who has lived and raised her children in the same rented home for nearly 20 years was ousted by a STVR interest that offered the landlord a rent of several hundred dollars more than what was currently being paid by the resident. Their intent is to rent the property from the landlord, then turn around and sublet it as an STVR. Not only are developers buying properties in OB to rent out to tourists, now they are simply able to rent the property and turn a profit by re-renting it on AirBnB, VRBO and similar sites.

The OBTC will be providing a forum on this topic and other important community issues at our monthly meetings throughout 2017, and we encourage your attendance to make your voice heard. The next OB Town Council meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 24 at 7:00 pm, 1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd., San Diego, CA 92107.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

d9 May 11, 2017 at 4:03 pm

As a long-time OB Renter I absolutely plan to attend this meeting! Thanks for helping to spread the word.


sloanranger May 12, 2017 at 2:36 am

Okay, upon re-reading the article, I’m getting a different perspective. I was under the assumption that rentals were mostly what is specified in paragraph six.
But yes, I can definitely see the adverse effects of landlords buying up properties for exclusively short term rentals. It would indeed change neighborhoods & likely not in a good way.


Zig May 13, 2017 at 8:21 pm

I don’t agree vacation rentals are a problem. I have a couple of them on my street and like the people I meet staying there. Many are young people visiting from Europe and Asia and could not afford a hotel room near the beach, but can afford $40 to $60 to rent a bedroom and shared bath. Never once have I witnessed a loud party at them.


Jon Carr May 15, 2017 at 12:11 pm

My personal view is this: I could care less about noise and partying. I could care less if you pay a TOT tax or not. These are not the issues community members should be concerned with. They are a distraction from the real issue: these are hotels. You said it in your comment, “…and could not afford a hotel room…” Our neighborhoods are not zoned for commercial use for good reason. I could not operate a night club or a grocery store next door to a resident, and people would think it absurd if I tried to. So why is this different? It pushes out long/term tenants who participate in the local community, work at local businesses, volunteer for local events, etc… We love tourists, we welcome them at our hotels, but not at the expense of our own community members who are being actively forced out by exorbitant rent increases and owner/investors Flipping units into hotels where they can demand $300-$400 per night! Why wouldn’t they move out locals? It’s happening all around us, and at an alarming pace. I can count at least 11 neighbors in close proximity who have been forced to move because the landlord wanted to open a hotel just in the past year. I’m very concerned for the future of what we call home if this trend is not reversed.


Sammie May 15, 2017 at 5:36 pm

That’s the Exception, Not the Rule. You are lucky.
Very very bad VRBO around me. Unbelievable.


Sammie May 15, 2017 at 5:40 pm

Its a Very Real problem on 4800 Coronado Ave .Very very bad VRBO around me.


Muir Avenue Ale May 15, 2017 at 9:53 am

All well and good, but:

How is this going to be different from previous town halls on the subject?
Is there a proposed solution the Town Council wants to present?
If so, will this be debated in an open meeting?
Or will the Town Council go into closed meeting to formulate and debate a resolution without public scrutiny?


Jon Carr May 15, 2017 at 12:29 pm

I think one major difference would be that the City Attorney has confirmed attendance whereas prior forums only included various private organizations that were opposed to STVR, and no City officials. I cannot speak for the board of the town council, but personally I think a proposed solution should start with enforcing the law.


By the Numbers May 15, 2017 at 5:03 pm

Thus far, at least 700 OB residents have been displaced by Whole House Hotel (WHH) conversions. This number is likely closer to 1,000 of our 13,000 residents.

If we continue down the current track, the population of OB will have shrunk to less than 10,000 residents by 2030.


OB Mercy May 18, 2017 at 5:32 pm

I helped shoot down at least one proposed STVR at the planning board mtg on May 3 and I’m going to do this again at this town council mtg.

Here is the article about it in the SD Reader.



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