Pacific Beach Town Council Opposes Councilwoman Campbell’s Short Term Vacation Rental Deal

by on July 7, 2020 · 9 comments

in Ocean Beach, San Diego

A statement was sent out early this morning, July 7, by the Pacific Beach Town Council board of directors in response to District 2 Councilwoman Jen Campbell’s recent and to them – surprising – announcement on short term vacation rentals released on July 1st with Expedia and Unite Here.

The PB Town Council Board of Directors “strongly oppose this approach by Councilmember Campbell to legalize vacationer accommodations in our neighborhoods and permanently transfer thousands of residential homes into mini-hotels.” One of their main criticisms is that as a community and stakeholder, they’ve been ignored by Campbell and the process that came up with the deal.

In the intro to the statement by the BOD, Brian White, president, asks, “Why is our elected representative playing the ‘housing giveaway sweepstakes’ with a multi-billion dollar corporation during an unprecedented housing crisis?”

White adds, “The business interests of HomeAway, VRBO, and their cavalry of STVR operators run contradictory to the City of San Diego’s purported affordable housing goals.  As stakeholders in the future of our San Diego housing supply, we ask to be heard on this critical issue.”

Here is the PB Town Council Board’s statement:

New STVR Back Room Deal Ignores Stakeholders, Community Groups, Residents

Prompted by corporate lobbyists, Councilmember Jen Campbell is working with Expedia to legalize visitor accommodations in our residential neighborhoods while ignoring key stakeholders. The announcement on July 1st about a “compromise” framework for STVR regulation came as a surprise to Pacific Beach residents and organizations as we have been seeking a solution since 2007. As stakeholders, we’ve been ignored.

Community town councils, planning groups, and residents were not consulted on this “compromise,” although many of us have reached out to the D2 council office since Councilmember Campbell was elected, and meeting requests have been consistently ignored.

Our Pacific Beach Town Council strongly opposes this approach by Councilmember Campbell to legalize short-term rentals in our neighborhoods. STVRs are visitor accommodations and these commercial uses are illegal under the city’s zoning code and have no place in our residential zones.

We’re appalled at the process in which STVR operators, a labor union, and a multi-billion dollar corporation were the only ones at the table producing a “compromise” that radically and completely alters our residential zoning laws only to their benefit at the expense of San Diego residents.

During an unprecedented affordable housing crisis, why is Expedia deciding our current and future housing supply? We oppose this back room deal driven by special interests.

Pacific Beach Town Council Board of Directors

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Paul Webb July 7, 2020 at 1:56 pm

I am most taken with the statement that “as a community and stakeholder, they’ve been ignored by Campbell and the process…” This seems to be a hallmark of Campbell’s term of office, along with abandoning every position she campaigned on.


Doug Blackwood July 7, 2020 at 8:19 pm

Campbell is no friend of ours!
Jen C listen to the people who elected you: STOP VACATION RENTALS NOW.
Does she even live in our district?
Taxation without representation!
I’ve never seen her in OB: we are a community, stop wrecking it.


Micporte July 8, 2020 at 2:52 am

Yeah, she’s a a political liar and incompetent and absent leader, and so is her staff, none of whom live here, and obvious prey for free luncheons from corporate lobbyists, sold out…. wonder what kind of doctor she was? too bad, Dr. Jen, heal thyself….


Gary Wonacott July 8, 2020 at 7:04 am

Right now, residents are being told to work with Matt Gardner, president of the MBTC. Matt sold out to the STR industry long ago and mainly depends on Blaine Smith, owner of 710 Beach Rentals for his advice. Or now, it is Blaine who is negotiating with Campbell’s office. So far nothing has gotten her attention. I think it is time for a recall of Campbell which may be the only way to stop this train.


Geoff Page July 8, 2020 at 8:35 am

Here is the recall process, I think it is time to get started.


Georgia Sparkman July 8, 2020 at 11:50 am

During this pandemic STVR are being used in lieu of hotels for young people to gather, drink alcohol, party and spread Covid. The County data shows one of highest activities leading to community spread are private gatherings, so it will be no surprise there will be a spike coming soon as young people came to our beach communities from the north (since their beaches are closed ) staying in STVR’s was a perfect accommodation for them . As long as SD beaches are open and those north of us are closed, every weekend will be like this last one. And don’t bother to contact SDPD, I did and was told a group of 20 young people drinking and partying was a “family gathering”.

Reply July 8, 2020 at 2:25 pm

For the record her office did reach out to representatives from several OB organizations.

The meeting I was part of seemed very productive but this press release that came out immediately after doesn’t seem to incorporate any changes we asked for. Although we’ll have to see a complete draft to really judge its strengths and weaknesses.

1 per LLC isn’t a real restriction.


Gary Wonacott July 8, 2020 at 4:09 pm

Campbell brought in someone from most communities at the very end after the MOU had been signed so that she could claim that she worked closely with all of the beach communities. So frankly, she has taken advantage of your sincere interest in providing inputs from your commuity.


Brian White July 11, 2020 at 3:10 pm

Gary is right. After the MOU was already solidified, (and quite honestly I’m sure the ordinance is already drafted), she and her staff held a few token “input” meetings with some of the beach community groups during the week leading up to her July 1st presser announcement with Expedia. The D2 staff was merely “checking the box” on community input optics. During these token meetings, they shared no details of what they were drafting, and claimed nothing was in the works yet. Six days later we see a press conference announcing the new “compromise” agreement that they’d been working on for the past year with Expedia while ignoring the real stakeholders – RESIDENTS!


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