Ocean Beach Planners to Review New Possible Vacation Rental on Cape May

by on May 1, 2018 · 13 comments

in Ocean Beach

There is one project up for review by the Ocean Beach Planning Board this Wednesday, May 2nd, at 4715 Cape May Avenue – and it’s a possibly a vacation rental in the making.

Other items on the agenda include the establishment of one new subcommittee by the Board – Transportation – and the selection of Board members for the Project Review Committee, and the usual reports by politico reps and executive members.

The planning panel meets in the Community Room of the OB Recreation Center, 4726 Santa Monica Avenue – and meetings begin right around 6pm.

4715 Cape May Ave.

This is a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) for the conversion and 2nd story addition to the detached garage at 4715 Cape May. The second story is to have a deck. What’s called a companion unit – or “granny flat” – is planned – for a total of 1,092 square feet of the remodel/ construction.

Problem is this original house was built as a “twin” with the house directly east by the owner. That house (the blue one in the photo) is, as of this writing, on VRBO, one of the top vacation rental companies.

For only $233 a night, you too can enjoy :

2 bed, 1.5 bath House, less than 4 blocks to Beach, sleeps 6

Newly listed! Ocean Beach – House! Have sweet dreams in this well adorned 2 BR/1.5 Bath home.. Maximize your enjoyment of the San Diego sunshine with Ocean Breezes and a fabulous backyard! The backyard features a patio, outdoor sofas and dining table and a gas grill for family BBQ’s.

Location, location, location! The house is located in an ideal neighborhood which is a nice 5 minute walk to the beach, yet far enough away from the hustle and bustle/congestion of the immediate beach area. Enjoy off-street parking along with ample additional street parking.

The sands of Ocean Beach (OB) are a pleasant 5 minute walk from your front door. At Ocean Beach you can enjoy an eclectic group of people, shops, restaurants, bars, antique stores, or just sit back and watch the surfers catch waves at the OB pier. Stroll down to Sunset Cliffs and enjoy enchanting views where you might even be lucky enough to see passing Whales! …

The owner has 2 other rentals in OB. Can the owner prove to the OB volunteer planners he’s not building a granny flat for a vacation rental?

Here is the official agenda of the OBPB:

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

ObKid May 1, 2018 at 3:46 pm

STVRs are going to kill coastal SD.


Chris May 2, 2018 at 9:11 pm

STARs are goung to kill all of coastal California. Sadly this may simply be in the cards.


Chris May 3, 2018 at 8:16 am



embo May 2, 2018 at 8:42 am

Where’s the outrage from the “Hotel Industry”? Am I missing something here?


OBkid May 2, 2018 at 10:28 am

Can’t believe the hotels haven’t done one of three things:

1) Lobby the heck out of legislators and get STVRs banned or severly regulated/limited,

2) Lower their prices to compete with STVRs, or

3) Remodel their hotels to provide what people who get STVRs want – bigger spaces that can hold 6-10 people.


bo bo May 3, 2018 at 9:10 am

4) build hotel properties closer to the destinations where these STVR consumers want to stay.

For example, in OB, there are no national chain hotels within walking distance of the beach. The closest you have are in the Midway district.
I KNOW that’s a controversial statement. Being an OB homeowner and resident, I personally do not want a Holiday Inn Express at the end of my street.

However, what is more evil?
STVRs reducing the stock of affordable housing, or a hotel that can absorb a lot of the demand for travelers?

At least with a hotel, loud, obnoxious people will be concentrated in a commercial zone, regulated by on-site management, provide needed tourist taxes, employ locals, and are effectively regulated.

Your thoughts?


Michael May 3, 2018 at 11:39 am

Most hotels are much larger than the height limit in OB so they wouldn’t be able to absorb the density you describe.


bo bo May 3, 2018 at 12:02 pm

Hi Michael,
True…but they don’t HAVE to be. There are plenty of hotels that can easily comply with the 30 foot limit and other special requirements like on-site parking, the use of low-energy and recyclable materials, etc.
Even 100 rooms spread out over 2 properties would remove a lot of pressure and DEMAND for STVRs – potentially freeing-up housing units for actual residents.

Remember, the entire reason STVRs exist is to meet a demand. That demand is for a place to stay. Give them a place to stay – in an appropriately regulated, commercial hotel.


RB May 3, 2018 at 12:40 pm

It is hard for hotels to compete with Airbnb for vacation oriented customers.
While the hotel has many large fixed costs for every room and even a costs for the room when it is not rented, Airbnb has none of these fixed costs. They don’t own the property. Airbnb doesn’t have land and construction costs. Airbnb doesn’t have to build a pool, a kitchen, a parking lot. Airbnb also doesn’t have the variable costs of employees, of cleaning and of the depreciation of assets. And while the hotels are restricted to commercial property or mixed property zoning, our City Council has put no zoning restrictions on Airbnb.

Airbnb, Facebook, and Uber have the prefect business models. They own profitable businesses that use other peoples capital (homes, creative posts, and cars). They produce profits without their own cost of production and without using their own assets.


bo bo May 3, 2018 at 1:48 pm

Yes but AirBnB captures a small service fee from the rentals. It’s the property owners of these STVRs that compete with the hotels. Not AirBnB or VRBO.
As such, those property owners DO have the costs you listed. But what they don’t have is the economy of scale that hotels have.
The only advantage they have is size and a lack of regulatory oversight.


retired botanist May 3, 2018 at 1:12 pm

Why does EVERY beach have to have a hotel within walking distance? Why does every community have to have a Target within walking distance? Why does OB have to have STVRs at all? Demand and local employment? Gosh, those justifications are getting really old- you’d think tourism was the only industry in SD…
And why do we always have to choose the lesser of two evils?! I say just choose No.


bo bo May 3, 2018 at 2:05 pm

@retired botanist;
I’m not in disagreement with you, however, I’m being pragmatic.
No. Not every beach should have a hotel near it. Y\But you can’t just waive a magic wand and make STVRs disappear.
We can agree that they shouldn’t exist but since that cat is out of the bag, it’s very difficult to put it back in.
Tourism and revenue from outside visitors is the largest source of revenue for OB businesses. Those shops, restaurants, bars and businesses aren’t being supported only by local residents.
If you want to make OB a place where no one from outside the neighborhood wants to visit, you’ll lose the majority of businesses here. Sure; housing costs will plummet. But so will the incomes of our neighbors who make a living with these businesses.
That’s why I believe a practical solution to keeping housing costs down is to eliminate the virtual monopoly STVRs have on visitor lodging.
OB Village Inn, The Inn at Sunset Cliffs and OB Hotel are here and the world didn’t fall apart.
But obviously they don’t have enough capacity to meet demand.


kh May 3, 2018 at 3:14 pm

The Coastal Commission is overstepping their bounds. We do NOT have to have hotels within walking distance. (Now if the market bears it, and the land is zoned for it, go on ahead.) We definitely don’t need mini-hotels mixed in with our homes. Allowing residents to live peacefully in their residential neighborhoods in no way contradicts the CCC’s purpose or prohibits others from accessing the coast. We have these things called roads and public parking lots. and airplanes.


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