City councilmembers to make push for short-term vacation rental regulations in San Diego

Posted at 9:41 AM, Jul 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-13 20:09:52-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Two city leaders are making a push for regulations on short-term vacation rentals in San Diego just days before a possible resolution on the issue.

On Friday, San Diego City Council President Pro Tem Barbara Bry and Councilwoman Lorie Zapf spoke on possible solutions to the ongoing short-term vacation rental controversy. Their plan would allow unlimited short term rentals as long as the homeowner is there, and up to 90 days off-site.

Bry and Zapf believe regulations on short-term rentals would prioritize San Diegans “over wealthy investors who are converting our residential neighborhoods into permanent mini-hotels.”

Bry said the proposal would keep neighborhoods from being overrun by off-site owners. 

"My proposal would basically ban investors because you can only have one primary residence under the IRS tax code. You get one place, that's it," Bry said.

The announcement by Bry and Zapf comes several weeks after Mayor Kevin Faulconer outlined his proposal to regulate short-term rentals in the city. Under his plan, a permit-based system would be created to manage the rentals. Owners would be limited to renting out two homes, except in Mission Beach. 

RELATED: Mayor unveils plan to regulate short-term rentals

Additionally, Faulconer’s plan calls for the charging of cost-recoverable fees to administer permits and enforce any code violations and will also include the establishment of a “good neighbor” policy intended to “preserve neighborhood quality of life.”

The mayor’s plan includes the creation of a 16-member enforcement team to respond to any issues, a $950 per property annual fee for those renting out their entire home, and a per-night fee that would create revenue for affordable housing projects.

Craig Gustafson, a spokesman for the mayor, said Faulconer has been welcoming feedback from all sides. 

"The Mayor has put forward a compromise plan that strikes the right balance, and now it’s time for the City Council to adopt reasonable regulations with robust enforcement that set clear rules of the road for short-term rentals," Gustafson said in a statement.

Faulconer's plan would impose a three-night minimum stay in the downtown and coastal areas.

Airbnb said it supports the mayor's plan, but not the Bry-Zapf plan because the organization says it limits access to the coastal areas. 

The full City Council is scheduled to address the short-term vacation rental issue at a July 16 meeting.

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Bry represents District 1, which includes Carmel Valley, Del Mar Heights, Del Mar Mesa, La Jolla, Pacific Highlands Ranch, Torrey Hills, Torrey Pines and University City.

Zapf represents District 2, which includes Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach, Point Loma, Clairemont and Linda Vista.