State Bill Restricting Short-Term Vacation Rentals in San Diego Passes Assembly

by on May 28, 2019 · 16 comments

in Ocean Beach, San Diego

The legislation, which only applies to San Diego County, targets short-term rental platforms like Airbnb and VRBO and would have the effect of prohibiting the rental of second homes on those sites.

By Lori Weisberg / San Diego Union-Tribune

In a major victory for critics of short-term rentals, a bill to sharply curtail them in San Diego County’s coastal communities won approval Thursday, May 23 in the state Assembly. Should the bill ultimately win passage in the state Senate and be signed by the governor, it would hugely transform the home sharing landscape in local jurisdictions that have more lenient rules or none at all, as in the city of San Diego.

Authored by North County Assemblywoman Tasha Boerner Horvath, D-Encinitas, the bill takes aim at the short-term rental platforms themselves by not allowing them to list a residential property for any more than 30 days a year unless the full-time resident were present. Year-round rentals would be permitted for traditional home-sharing in which residents rent out a spare bedroom or a granny flat on their property. The short-term rental of second homes and investor properties listed on the home sharing platforms would be prohibited.

Most affected would be the largest players in the vacation rental market — home sharing giants Airbnb, HomeAway and VRBO. In San Diego County’s coastal cities, there are nearly 14,000 housing units currently listed as short-term rentals on the Airbnb, HomeAway and VRBO platforms, according to the home-sharing data analytics firm Airdna.

For the balance of this article.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

ZZ May 28, 2019 at 1:40 pm

The law only prohibits using third party websites to do vacation rentals, not the vacation rental itself.

So big property owners can set up their own websites, but someone who owns just one property can’t do the same thing using AirBNB. They can’t even do 9-month student 3-month vacation rentals using AirBNB.

Great work NIMBY-Boomer crew, making San Diego even more unequal!


Eric May 28, 2019 at 8:12 pm

This is good. Neighborhoods are for neighbors not transient partiers who don’t give a damn about the folks that live there. We already have plenty of areas zoned for motels and hotels.


Lop May 28, 2019 at 10:37 pm

@ZZ Airbnb entire business model is they are a third party to the deal. Privately run websites by owners are a possibility, but then they’d obviously be breaking the law instead of indirectly and with the help of a large corporation.


ZZ May 29, 2019 at 1:59 pm

Did you read the law? It only deals with rental marketplace type websites. Setting up your own website for your own vacation rentals isn’t addressed at all.


Logic and Reason May 30, 2019 at 3:17 pm

A major victory for big business. The money spent by the hotel association has paid off.
Now all those pesky entrepreneurs have been put in their place. To those who have bought property and fixed them up for this use will now be driven into bankruptcy.
Can’t have individuals make money with out the payment of a vig.
I bought a 7 cottage unit property that was literally a crack house, slated for demolition and construction of a 4 story condo. I fixed them all up and used them as vacation rentals – as it was the only way to pay for it.
Fortunately for me I sold out to my partner. Unfortunately for him, long term rentals will not pay the loan, so he will probably go belly up.
Also, parties are a bigger problem with long term rentals than vacation rentals.
Thank you political mafia.


ZZ May 30, 2019 at 4:25 pm

Yep, lots of “progressives” who are siding with Doug Manchester.

The law itself literally uses the word “flophouses.” Can’t let the plebs who can’t afford a house in OB (current average price: $1.62 million) slum it up by saving their money to rent one for a few vacation days.


Peter from South O May 31, 2019 at 4:31 am

Fact check: Nowhere in the AB does the term “flophouses” appear.


Eric May 31, 2019 at 10:48 am

Thank you Peter for the link! I as well did not see the word “flophouse” anywhere in the legislation. I don’t see any of zz’s assertions spelled out anywhere in the legislation. I do see if you own a house you can rent the whole thing for 30 days a year, you can rent a room in your house all year if you also live there and if you have another unit on your property you can motel it if you live on the property which is good because if you have to live there than you also have to deal with the animal house which you unlikely will.


ZZ May 31, 2019 at 10:58 am

Sorry, they used “crash pads” an equally elitist term.


Eric May 31, 2019 at 1:56 pm

I’d say the “elitists” are the people with fat stacks of cash, buying up residential homes in neighborhoods and turning those little neighborhoods into transient party hotels/motels with little to no regard for the good people that live next and near their investments. Those are the elitist not the folks who have to live next their hotels. You got it backwards.


Peter from South O June 3, 2019 at 3:26 pm

Actually, “crash pad” refers to (often an airline-owned or rented) a house or hotel suite used for overnight pilot and flight crew lodging. By logical extension it has become a phrase associated with short term occupancy. NOT an elitist term, merely a term.


Vern May 31, 2019 at 6:10 am

Business is inherently risky.


Eric May 31, 2019 at 8:39 am

I didn’t see buying residential properties in lovely neighborhoods and trying to turn them into hotels and motels (sorry “vacation rentals) as a very good business model. I’d be pissed to have a home next door to where I peacefully live turned into transient party “vacation rental”. Short term investment they got it while they could but the blow back and regulation should have been expected.


Vern May 31, 2019 at 11:05 am

Eric, make no mistake, I’d be pissed, too. When we wander down the hill on Sundays for breakfast, we’ll invariably witness painfully hungover chumps, screaming into cell phones, “I’m gonna kick your ass…”, while their semi-packed bags sit at the curb as they wait for a taxi (Uber, Yellow, whatever brand taxi).
We’re fortunate our immediate neighbors don’t share the STVR mindset. However, there’s always creative community policing if the City cannot manage things. This could apply to the dockless e-waste littering neighborhoods, as well.


ChristoK May 31, 2019 at 7:47 pm

Nobody is stopping you from investing in a hotel in a properly zoned area.

What you sought to do was destroy a neighborhood to satiate your own greed.


kh June 3, 2019 at 1:20 pm

Logic, Congrats on finally figuring out why this is a problem.

If the only way to pay for a home is by converting it into a hotel, then don’t buy it. If people can’t run it as a hotel I guess nobody’s going to pay that much for it. And the seller will be forced to adjust the price accordingly.

If the law goes into effect and your property decreases in value as a result, you’ll know precisely how much STVR profitability impacts someone trying to buy a home to actually live in.


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