City could head back to square one on Airbnb

Posted at 4:39 PM, Oct 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-19 20:21:18-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The city could be heading back to square one in its quest to regulate short-term vacation rentals.

On Monday, the San Diego City Council will decide whether to send its recently approved short-term rental regulations to a public vote, or scratch them altogether.

In the summer, the council voted 6-3 to limit Airbnb-type rentals to primary residences. That essentially banned investors and owners of second homes from renting them out short-term.

Airbnb launched a referendum that obtained enough signatures to send the decision back to the council, leaving the city those two options. 

"The people who own short-term rentals - they're San Diegans like you and me," said Jeff MacGurn, who owns a short-term rental in the Hillcrest area with his husband and signed the petition. "When it comes right down to it, what we want is a fair and reasonable compromise."

But Ronan Gray, who heads Save San Diego Neighborhoods, said something has to be done to curtail short-term rentals in residential areas. He pointed to a City Attorney memo that says short-term rentals aren't allowed by municipal code and said the city should just enforce that code. 

"They're advertising houses in Pacific Beach as the ideal location for bachelor and bachelorette parties, so they're marketing it as a hotel," he said. 

The council meets at 12 p.m. Monday at City Hall.