Short-Term Rental Proposal Before San Diego Planning Commission Thursday, Oct.8 – District 2 Residents Encouraged to ‘Fight Back’ by Phone or Written Comment

by on October 7, 2020 · 4 comments

in Ocean Beach

The so-called “agreement” on short-term vacation rentals that Councilwoman Jen Campbell brokered will be before the San Diego Planning Commission on Thursday, October 8.

Residents of District 2 are encouraged to fight back and participant easily by phone or by written comment (details below).

Ashley Mackin-Solomon at the La Jolla Light writes:

An ordinance authored by City Councilwoman Jennifer Campbell … aims to amend the municipal code to include short-term rental occupancy licensing and operating regulations, as well as repeal bed and breakfast and boarder and lodger uses and

Additionally, amendments would regulate hosting platforms, booking services and hosts and include “good neighbor” policies, enforcement and limits on the number of licenses.

The proposal stems from an agreement that Campbell brokered between two private organizations — Expedia, which owns VRBO and HomeAway, two online platforms for renting STVRs; and Unite Here Local 30, a union that represents hospitality workers.

After the hearing by the Planning Commission, the draft will have two readings before the City Council — neither of which is expected this year — and at least one hearing by the California Coastal Commission.

According to a Planning Commission report, the ordinance proposes to define short-term rental occupancy as a stay of less than a month. The regulations would require a license to operate a short-term rental unit, put limits on the number of licenses a host may obtain, create caps on the total number of whole-house short-term rental units and create a process to track, manage and enforce such rentals. The regulations also would establish a mechanism to cite hosts or suspend or revoke the licenses of those who don’t follow the rules.

The ordinance groups short-term vacation rentals into a four-tier licensing system:

• Tier 1: Home-share or whole-home short-term residential occupancy for an aggregate total of 20 days or less per calendar year

• Tier 2: Home-share short-term residential occupancy for more than 20 days per calendar year

• Tier 3: Whole-home short-term residential occupancy for more than 20 days per calendar year

• Tier 4: Special tier for Mission Beach, which allows for whole-home short-term rental in a manner consistent with recommendations from the Mission Beach Town Council.

The ordinance also includes a two-night minimum for Tier 3 and 4 rentals and a “good neighbor” policy designed to “make the guest familiar with trash, parking and other rules of conduct that promote neighborhood cohesion and livability.”

During a presentation at the July 8 La Jolla Shores Association meeting, La Jollan and City Council candidate Joe LaCava said the city auditor estimated there are 16,000 STVRs in San Diego and that “the group behind this did a deep data analysis of that 16,000. They believe that between 6,000 and 9,000 are these whole-house rentals … waiting to be rented.”

The agreement states those would be capped at 3,750 units, or 0.7 percent of the city’s housing stock.

How to Fight Back

The opposition to the proposal is active. One group that is in opposition is Save San Diego Neighborhoods. Here is what they say and how to participate:

Fight Back: Object to legalizing short-term rentals online this Thursday!

Housing Crisis: Criminals have stolen over 16,000 homes from hardworking San Diegans that need a place to live. Together, we can force these criminals to give them back.

Time/Place: This Thursday, October 8th at 9:00 am, San Diego Planning Commission Meeting, Agenda Item 2. YouTube Link to watch live.

Action 1: Easily Participate by Phone: Signup online no later than 8 AM Thursday in order to participate via phone. Here is the link.

Action 2: Written Opposition: Submit written opposition into the record online or via email


Councilmember Jennifer Campbell published her deceitful and threadbare report and proposed ordinance to LEGALIZE short-term vacation rentals in our neighborhoods. She wants to rezone ALL of San Diego.

Campbell shoved her proposal in front of coronavirus-related legislation in a desperate attempt to get action before the election of Barbara Bry as Mayor, who will enforce existing laws that forbid STVR.

Here is the link to Campbell’s proposed ordinance legalizing STVRs during a housing crisis.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

retired botanist October 7, 2020 at 12:18 pm

Haha, great photo!! So hoping there is momentous push-back!


Mat Wahlstrom October 7, 2020 at 2:00 pm

Here is the public comment I submitted:

Back in 2017, the City Attorney made clear that “the City is under a ‘permissive zoning ordinance,’ meaning that ANY use not listed in the City’s zoning ordinance is prohibited.”

“Short term vacation rentals are not specifically defined, expressly permitted, or listed in ANY of the zone use categories, including residential or commercial,” Elliott wrote in her statement. [Emphasis added]

See [included as Supporting Document]

In the years since, the City Council has failed to agree whether to rescind or amend the current code precisely due to STVR lobbyist interference in the deliberative process. So it would be glaring for this politically appointed commission to game the system to recommend the City Council to consider this particular scheme crafted behind closed doors with STVR industry representatives.

Therefore, it would be improper and inappropriate to move this item forward until or unless such time as the City Council itself has decided whether to change the law.


Mervie October 7, 2020 at 5:44 pm

I submitted my written comment opposing this bogus proposal and will call in as well. There’s a big difference between compromise and a backdoor deal. We need real regulation, not this corporate-backed crap. I’d also recommend using their own social media propoganda against them to leave comments and opposing opinions.

You can find links to the Facebook and Twitter here:

I couldn’t find an Instagram account, if you find it please let me know


John Thickstun October 7, 2020 at 9:04 pm

City of San Diego
Planning Commission
202 C Street
San Diego, Ca 92101
Re: Planning Commission Docket for October 8, 2020: Item 2 – Proposed Ordinance Legalizing Short
Term Vacation Rentals
Dear Commissioners,
On behalf of the over 2500 members of Save San Diego Neighborhoods throughout the City of San Diego
we urge you to recommend the City Council DENY this proposed ordinance, which fundamentally
alters existing zoning ordinances citywide.
This proposed ordinance would legalize short term rentals in all San Diego residential zones, a sweeping
legal change with extraordinary implications for every neighborhood and resident of San Diego.
The proponents of this proposal appear to be hell bent on pushing this ordinance through in the midst of
the pandemic. There has been minimal investigation or analysis regarding the economic, social and
environmental impact of the ordinance. Even more concerning, there has been almost no community
input sought from residents, business owners and planning groups.
Those trying to rush it through – namely, Councilmember Campbell, Unite Here President Brigette
Browning, and the billion dollar corporation that owns the short term vacation rental platform, VRBO,
that is, Expedia — are taking advantage of the pandemic conditions to stifle public debate and
All indications are that the end is driving the means for those advocating this extraordinary zoning
change. One is compelled to ask, why? This reeks of “special interests” and is the kind of backdoor local
politics that gives city government a bad name and creates distrust among city residents.
Needless to say, our members have been excluded from any meaningful participation in the process. They
have, in effect, been disenfranchised, along with every other San Diegan who has been left out of the
Thank you for your consideration.
Save San Diego Neighborhoods
Save San Diego Neighborhoods, Inc. 864 Grand Avenue, San Diego, CA. 92109P


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