San Diego City Council votes to institute cap on number of vacation rental properties

The San Diego City Council passed a new ordinance earlier this week that will institute a cap on the number of vacation rental properties the city will allow at any one time, designed to clamp down on properties that allow more rowdy events to happen. produce and help bring some of these homes back on the market to help alleviate the housing shortage in the city.

Under the new ordinance, drafted by Councilwoman Jennifer Campbell, a lottery system will be set up to decide which homeowners will receive a two-year license to rent out their home to vacationers for 20 more days a year, including including those who have gone through online services like Airbnb. Homeowners who are in good standing and have not received complaints of noise or other issues will be given priority in the lottery. Those selected will be required to pay a fee to receive a permit. The cap is to be set at 1% of homes, or around 5,400 homes, with enforcement provisions set out to help keep the order enforced, including dedicated code enforcement officers.

San Diego City Councilwoman Jen Campbell (Photo: Youtube)

Many city residents have been fighting for regulations like these since the mid-2010s, when the proliferation of Airbnb and short-term rentals exploded in popularity across the city, especially at properties close to the beach. With noise complaints, particularly those caused by stag and hen parties at many properties, and the city’s low housing stock driving up prices and worsening the homelessness crisis, the call for a cap on the number of vacation rentals has grown louder.

The regulatory effort led to the draft law passed last year that divided rentals into specific tiers, to make it easier to target the most problematic rental types and avoid removing family-oriented rentals. However, the final pass to effectively limit rentals was slower for a full pass, not being approved by the California Coastal Commission (CCC) in March. It all led to the final pass vote on Tuesday, with the city council unanimously passing it 14-0.

“With today’s vote approving San Diego’s first-ever short-term rental rules, we’ve rounded the corner on one of San Diego’s thorniest challenges,” Councilwoman Campbell said after the vote. of Tuesday. “San Diegan residents have been asking for years for common sense and reason for short-term vacation rentals — and now their voices are finally being heard. This new law will keep neighborhoods safe and livable by capping short-term vacation rentals. term and will finally create the robust enforcement arm needed to hold harmful properties accountable.

“This will allow thousands of homes to return to the housing market and bring stability and normalcy to our neighborhoods. It really is a lot simpler than it looks. We have four different levels, and level three is for those who have a whole house rental in the city of San Diego. They would have to enter a lottery to get the license if there are more than 5,400, which is the cap at the moment. Those who live in Mission Beach and have an entire house will also have their own lottery. It’s 1,080 right now. And so, if there are only 1,080 applicants, they will all get a license if they are good actors.

San Diego Short Term Rental Changes

Many in the short-term rental industry were excited about the changes coming Thursday, with many noting that they alone shouldn’t bear the blame for San Diego’s affordable housing crisis.

“The San Diego Short Term Rental Alliance (SDSTRA) is pleased to see sensitive aspects of the regulations being put in place,” the San Diego Short Term Rental Alliance said in a statement. “We believe this permit and the fee collection and enforcement mechanisms behind it are good things that will promote harmony between short-term rentals and the communities in which we coexist. Responsible Hosts in San Diego have advocated for the city to clamp down on irresponsible actors who would tarnish our reputation and smear San Diego’s long tradition of short-term rentals.

“However, as San Diego’s host community, we refuse to take responsibility for the city’s affordable housing crisis – a crisis declared by the City Council since 2002, long before the proliferation of web platforms. housing crisis in this city is just a matter of onerous costs, regulation and opposition to building more housing and increasing density Prohibiting approximately 5,000 units in the short term that the city ​​estimates to operate will not have a significant impact on housing affordability in our great city.

“It will, however, make it more difficult for families and friends to travel together in San Diego and we are very concerned about the impact this lottery will have on our members, our valued guests and the San Diego short-term rental community in as a whole and closely monitor its implementation.

However, for many, the law simply won’t do enough to reduce all the problems.

“There are no limits on permits less than 20 days a year for a rental, which means those big parties can still take place,” said Juan Ramos, a neighborhood watch organizer who tried to reign over rental issues on his street for the last time. decade. “This law is about whole house rentals. Guess where most of them are? The beach and other areas of great wealth. This is a law to protect the interests of the wealthy and property management companies. This law makes it clear that they don’t care about people who are not in these areas.

“Seriously, a lot of the grief was about Airbnb. But guess what? Most Airbnb listings only rent out part of their home, like a garage or an apartment or something. Guess what this ordinance does to limit Absolutely nothing. It’s not about the housing crisis. It’s just a way to get rid of annoying rental places as they were a bit too noisy and their neighbors didn’t like people having a good time. And these people will now rent more in our neighborhoods, which will cause us the problems that they did not want. I would call all these people bad for the ordinance, but I think they already know that .

New licenses are expected to be issued by the end of the year, with the regulations taking effect early next year.

Printable, PDF and email version

Comments are closed.