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City of San Diego shuts down Bankers Hill Airbnb ‘party house’ over COVID-19 concerns, other violations

Posted at 11:47 AM, Aug 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-07 20:13:55-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The San Diego City Attorney's Office shut down an Airbnb vacation rental in Bankers Hill Friday, citing concerns over gatherings amid coronavirus-related restrictions and nearly two dozen other violations.

“From packing a party house during a pandemic to illegally renovating an entire property, the conduct of the defendants in this case is egregious and unacceptable,” City Attorney Mara W. Elliott said in a news release sent to ABC 10News. “No neighborhood should have to put up with such dangerous behavior.”

The home on 2970 2nd Ave. is listed on Airbnb’s website as "The Ashley - Your Private Oasis Next to Downtown." It rents for $930 per night.

Airbnb sent the following statement to ABC 10News:

Airbnb policy expressly prohibits 'party houses' and we have suspended this listing as we investigate further.
We take these reports very seriously and stand ready to support local officials in their efforts to address this issue.

According to Airbnb, hosts are not allowed to authorize parties where current public health orders prohibit gathers, like in San Diego County.

Airbnb said it has also "temporarily removed the 'parties and events allowed' rule from the from the House Rules of any San Diego listings that formerly authorized parties."

The company has also made it more challenging for some guests under the age of 25 from booking rentals in their local region, unless they have a number of positive reviews.

Neighbors say they hear loud noises and parties coming from the house almost every week. The San Diego Police Department received more than a dozen noise or nuisance complaints, with many coming since restrictions on large gatherings went into place in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

SDPD tells ABC 10News the department received 13 calls for service regarding this location from January to July this year.

SDPD turned the complaints over to the City Attorney's Office. Their investigation revealed much more than noise.

According to the complaint, the owner of the home, David Contreras Curiel, didn't pay the required taxes or fees to operate a vacation rental. Curiel also did not get the required Business Tax License or Transient Occupancy Tax Certificate.

The complaint also stated Curiel did not pay Rental Unit Business Taxes, nor bills for water and sewer services from the city.

The complaint alleges Curiel never got the required permits for extensive renovations on the house. According to the news release, they include:

  • converting the garage into an illegal second dwelling with a full kitchen and bathroom without permits
  • installing an in-ground pool without permits
  • installing an in-ground jacuzzi, gas-line, and firepit without permits
  • construction of two additional bathrooms without required permits
  • installing interior lighting circuits, electrical outlets, HVAC system, and water heaters without permits
  • making extensive electrical and mechanical modifications to the kitchen without permits
  • obstructing emergency escape and rescue by converting the den into a bedroom without permits
  • installing a patio structure outside property boundaries

ABC 10News reached out to the owner as well as the listed property manager for comment. Neither returned our calls.