Reader’s Rant: ‘Congratulations City Council – You’ve Made a Short-Term Rental Ghetto in Mission Beach’

by on January 23, 2023 · 3 comments

in Ocean Beach

By Gary Wonacott

Congratulations Councilmember Campbell and supporting cast:

You have taken a small beach community, allowed an unrestrained proliferation of short term rentals from 2010 to 2020, a time period that coincidentally correlates with a loss of almost twenty five percent of our population.  Then you legalized it solidifying what is now an area surrounding Belmont Park that is, in my opinion, a STR ghetto.

Some of you have already concluded that these properties were chosen because they support Belmont Park.  Wrong.  Investors have learned that these areas in particular show greater return for STRs, because they have been allowed to slip in many cases into disrepair.

They can continue to demand high STR nightly rates in the current conditions rather than improve the properties for long term rentals.

Of course, you could make it worse.

The City has been sued by the STR Alliance of San Diego, using legal terms like discrimination, equal protection, with an objective of eliminating regulations all together, although my guess is that they will settle for elimination of any limits on density of STRs in Mission Beach.

This is going to be a bit difficult for you to grasp, but the Mission Beach community is held together, its glue, by the long term residents.  I don’t know if you can imagine what happens when there is not enough glue, but someone there needs to figure this out and takes some steps to stop the cancer from spreading further.  We have had residents beaten up by STR visitors when they are emboldened by their numbers, by their density.

Hello, is anyone in there?  Look at the chart; is this “equal protection” for long term renters and owner occupied properties in the ghetto area?

Gary Wonacott is a Past President of the Mission Beach Town Council and Mission Beach resident since 1974.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

kh January 24, 2023 at 4:24 pm

What is the population change from 2000 to 2020? It plainly shows that the myth is false… that MB supposedly has always been a vacation rental hellscape. They certainly existed, but it wasn’t such a profitable venture to displace residents until platforms like Airbnb took over.

The vacation rental host advocates are suing on the basis that the city is limiting beach access for poor minorities. Last I checked these hosts are charging over $2,000 for a summer weekend for a 2 bedroom rental there. I can’t afford that! Maybe the city can help them sort this all out but adding price caps? Hahahaahahahaahaaaa.


sealintheSelkirks January 24, 2023 at 7:21 pm

I have questions.

Are there any ‘long term’ residents that have lived there since 1980 when I was priced completely out of being able to live where I grew up? Is there a single person left who remembers what MB USED TO BE in the 1960s/70s before gentrification revved up to ridiculous levels in the late 70s? Even my elementary school ceased to exist a long time ago…

So to me, it’s pretty much the people that ran us beach kids that grew up there out of town by buying highly-inflated home prices (or the landlord-rental equivalents) who are now the ones screaming about STVRs moving them out.

Bluntly, welcome to the reality of Capitalism. Especially the neoliberal version that’s even more cut-throat. Fun ride, huh? What, don’t have enough capital to buy mayors or city council members? Too bad for you.

From the moaning going on you’d think not a single one has ever played the game of Monopoly (modern version) to the very end where one person owns all the money and all the property, and the rest are destitute.

Sucks, doesn’t it?

But there’s one bright spot in all this. You can look forward to, as you move inland, watching the ocean rise and, if you’re lucky, you may live long enough to see MB abandoned to the sea….



john jaco January 27, 2023 at 8:21 pm

I was born and raised in the beach area.I remember how nice mission beach was in the 60’s and 70’s.It breaks my heart to see it today,and see how crowded it is and all the rip off rentals.SAD!


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