Reader Rant: ‘Let’s Not Forget Short Term Vacation Rentals Pose Worse Threat to Ocean Beach than Dockless Bikes’

by on March 29, 2018 · 10 comments

in Ocean Beach

By Jon Carr

The bikeshares – or dockless bikes – have caused a stir in numerous communities like Ocean Beach, other parts of San Diego, and around the country. They are noticeable with their vibrant colors and placement in heavily trafficked areas of the town.

Apartment building on Abbott Street turned into 4 units of short term vacation rentals.

Coronado has banned them, Little Italy’s business district is threatening to impound them, and our beach communities are holding forums such as the one held by the OB Town Council Wednesday night to address concerns.

First of all, I’m disappointed the Mayor did not send a representative to Wednesday night’s meeting because my comment is for his office.

I do not personally see these dockless bikes as anywhere near the existential threat posed to our community of Ocean Beach by the proliferation of short term vacation rentals (STVR), and I do not want the mayors office, our elected officials, or our community to lose sight of that issue by switching attention to these shiny new objects.

Perhaps we should paint all the illegal mini-hotels in town lime green?

Would that help illustrate the problem we are facing on that front? Perhaps bright orange for the STVR owned by foreign companies?

Here are the questions I raised at the meeting for representatives of LimeBike, ofo bikes, Mobikes –  or others in attendance:

Q1: What is the plan for special events in our community? When we have 10,000 guests here for the street fair, will there be representatives here to help corral the bikes, or is that up to residents and business owners?

Only OFo replied that they would be willing to work with locals and they are working on things like opening day with the Padres.

Q2: How do you address the issue of ADA compliance? I’m concerned about our neighbors with disabilities navigating streets with bikes strewn about.

None of the representatives addressed this question.

Jon Carr is a member of the Board of Directors of the Ocean Beach Town Council

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

triggerfinger March 29, 2018 at 1:36 pm

I heard that precisely from someone close to the mayor… recent promises to prioritize some of these other issues like limebike was taking away resources from the vacation rental efforts.


SaneVoice March 29, 2018 at 3:29 pm

That’s pretty sad that the government of the eighth-largest city in the US can’t tackle both problems at the same time.


Leonard Armstrong March 30, 2018 at 5:45 am

I’d rather have a pile of Eco-friendly bikes on my sidewalk than the many carbon spewing diesel trucks I wake up to every morning, taking up parking spots on my street. We’re loosing sight of our progressive heritage for suburban aesthetics.


Jon Carr March 30, 2018 at 6:30 am

Same here Leonard. I’m not against the bikes. But I think we should be asking questions about how they will best work in a community like ours, and not let these companies run roughshod over our streets as they battle for market dominance. The point to my statement above (and it’s a little disjointed because those are basically my meeting notes that I shared with Frank) was that this issue is getting so much attention I fear it will distract from the more serious issue of STVR madness. The bikes aren’t displacing residents yet as far as I know.


OBKid March 30, 2018 at 7:29 am

Amen – my block is half air bnbs – it’s like a ghost town all week then parties all weekend. Effin greedy landlords


John March 30, 2018 at 8:17 am

And they are all operating illegally.


Scott March 30, 2018 at 8:58 am

Right on Jon, you are exactly right. Anything that takes pressure off of the city to regulate the vacation rental takeover of our communities right now simply allows more and more to slip in before whatever regulation occurs. All of the homes that get flipped while people are worried about how bikes are parked will be grandfathered in to whatever new rules get put in place… assuming the our representatives ever step up and listen to their communities.


Doug Blackwood March 31, 2018 at 8:12 pm

Vacation rentals are our biggest local problem by far: fewer units available for us working senior locals!
Residents make a community, and we vote. Please enforce the law!


John March 31, 2018 at 9:05 pm

Short term rentals are ruinous. And San Diego government officials are more than happy to mislead San Diego residents. Nothing new. But the damaging impact the transient use, STRs, have on neighborhoods and the City as a whole is undeniable – and irreparable.


Jack April 3, 2018 at 12:54 pm

Twice last night I was woken up yet again in the middle of the night thanks to the screaming vacation rental party next door. It’s not just on the weekends for us. It’s every single night, and often during the evening as well. The infuriating part is that this is starting to effect my health. I’ve called the police department at least three times now when the noise got wildly out of control, but nothing ever changes. I’ve been trying to move for over a year to get away from this madness, but guess what? The STVRs are not just destroying our neighborhoods, they’re exacerbating the housing crisis, and driving up the rents. The pitchforks are coming!


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