Mission Beach Is Shrinking and the City Is Using Incorrect Numbers in Issuing Licenses for Short-Term Rentals

by on November 1, 2022 · 4 comments

in Ocean Beach, San Diego

By Gary Wonacott

Mission Beach is shrinking but the City is not using this fact in issuing licenses for short-term rentals (STR). This addresses two issues related to the 2020 census data, not yet included in SANDAG Data Surfer, but everyone else in the world has access to it.

Upon examination of the 2020 census data, there is one piece of information that jumped out at me.

While the housing in the majority of San Diego has been growing, in some areas by leaps and bounds, the number of housing units in Mission Beach has decreased, substantially.

The relevant census tract for Mission Beach is 76, which divides in to 76.01 and 76.02. Tract 76.01 is South Mission Beach while 76.02 is north Mission Beach plus De Anza, Campland and Briarfield. In the two images, Tract 76.02 housing has decreased by 25.7 percent while housing in 76.01 has decreased by 21.6 percent.

In order to get an accurate count of housing for Mission Beach, it is important to subtract out the three neighborhoods, De Anza, Campland, and Briarfield.

Since Data Surfer does not include the 2020 census data, Development Services used 2010 census estimated for 2020. The estimate for housing units for Mission Beach based on the 2010 census is 3,602, and if multiplied by thirty percent, the answer is the 1,081 being used by the Short Term Rental licensing office.

If however, Development Services did just a little more digging, they should have used the much more accurate 2020 census data. When this is done, the total for both of the relevant tracts from the 2020 census is 3573 housing units.

But again, this includes the count for the housing units in the three neighborhoods outside of Mission Beach. When the housing units for the blocks in these neighborhoods is added up, the total is 397. If one then subtracts the 397 from the 3,573, the number is 3,177 housing units as the total housing units for Mission Beach.

The effective date for the STR regulations is in 2021, while the census is 2020 and therefore the relevant data that should have been used by Development Services to calculate the number of licenses for Mission Beach is 3,177 housing units. The number of STR licenses is then 953, not 1,081 (a 128 difference).

This needs to be changed by Development Services and the STR Office, given the higher number is not going to survive a legal challenge. There is no two year prior for this initial number; it is what it is. In X years, the number will be reassessed and if greater, then the number of licenses could increase over the initial 953.

Gary Wonacot is a resident of Mission Beach

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

J Moldy November 2, 2022 at 7:22 am

you think that Mission Beach is shrinking now, Wait till the cap on short term rentals hit businesses cuz people won’t pay/stay 30 days they’ll go elsewhere and the economy of Mission Beach will collapse.


sealintheSelkirks November 2, 2022 at 11:42 pm

This is hilarious! Well, in an ironic George Carlin sort of way…

So let me get this right. The Fed Census includes this entire area and the
SD politicians use it to justify higher numbers of these neighborhood-destroying STVRs on the strip of sand that actually is MB? How shady, how underhanded, how inaccurate. How much like San Diego politicians sucking the hind tit of ‘developers’ for campaign cash by doing what they want not what is better for the people LIVING in MB!

MB starts at the Catamaran Hotel and ends at South Mission Jetty. Where the old wooden Ventura bridge was, past the Bahia Hotel, was the farthest east considered MB.

And there are 3 parts to MB. The Catamaran Hotel to Santa Clara Place is North Mission. It actually had the ‘business district.’ Middle Mission extended from Santa Clara ending at Ventura Place. My 1968 Evening Tribune paper route even ‘officially’ called it that.

All of Belmont Amusement Park, from the southside curb of Ventura, to the Jetty was South Mish. That is the ONLY area that should be counted.

But the elementary school district extended from all of Southwest PB to Verona Ct. where kids were required to go to Farnum Elementary. But if you lived on Venice the next Court south to the Jetty, you went to MB School on Santa Barbara Pl. My parents moved from one to the other when I was in 3rd grade and I had to switch schools for 4th-6th. The Principle of both schools, whom everyone disliked including my parents, was Mrs. Barnyard (nickname).

My how the neighborhood has changed.
Moldy: As sea level rise increases, or another hurricane comes in again like they have in the past, or one or another of the faults in the area throws out a big enough shake to cause liquification, you’re really gonna see a crashing MB economy!



nostalgic November 3, 2022 at 5:16 pm

In the 1960s students lived in Mission Beach Sept-June, moved out, and the summer people from Arizona moved in for three months. Not three days. Not for a wedding. Not for a Bachelor party. Most rental units were furnished then, and the only difference in Mission Beach was that dishes and pots and pans were included. Both populations brought their own sheets and towels. The point is: Even temporarily, people lived there. They got along with the people who lived there year round. My mother lived there year round, loved it, and could afford it. We could walk to the Catamaran for lunch. Those days are over. The difference is the profit.


Gary Wonacott November 4, 2022 at 9:11 am

Thanks OB Rag. Councilmember Campbell is intransigent on any suggestions to improve STR regulations Tier 4, that might help the residents of Mission Beach. As it is, the density will actually be 34 percent, not 30. And Mission Beach will do quite well with 953 STR Tier 4 licenses as well as an unlimited number of Tier 2 and 20 days annual.


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