San Diego City Council approves short-term vacation rental regulations

Posted at 5:54 AM, Jul 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-16 22:07:59-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- San Diego City Council Monday voted to establish new regulations for short-term vacation rentals.

The new regulations were based on a plan by Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

“I introduced my compromise proposal to help the City Council find enough common ground so they could pass comprehensive short-term rental laws, and with the additional amendments made today we’ve finally achieved that goal,” Mayor Faulconer said.

“As I’ve said repeatedly, the most important thing is that we have an established set of rules that protects neighborhood quality of life through increased oversight and enforcement.”

The rules adopted create the city’s first license-based system to manage the rentals, charge cost-recoverable fees to administer licenses and enforce code violations, establish a “Good Neighbor” policy to preserve neighborhood quality of life, hire additional staff to respond to complaints about nuisance properties, and implement a per-night fee that would generate funding for affordable housing projects.

The plan, introduced in June, allows for a maximum of two licenses to be issued to a host for, one for their primary residence and another for a secondary residents.

It also included no limitations on the number of licenses available to hosts within Mission Beach given the long history of vacation rentals and unique character of the community.

Faulconer later issued a memo that amended the plan by allowing existing operators of short-term rentals in Mission Beach.

In the final vote, the council amended Faulconer’s proposal to only allow a host to be issued a license for the host’s primary residents and one additional license for a dwelling unit on the same piece of land as the primary residence.

Following the Monday vote, Councilmember Lorie Zapf released the following statements. 

“I wasn’t elected to serve the interests of out-of-town investors, I was elected to serve the needs of my constituents, so I am pleased to support the Mayor's proposal with the Bry-Zapf amendments. This makes the most sense for our communities. This is not the perfect solution, but I have been working on this for the last four years and the City Council must provide some relief for the residents in my district. This final plan will fund enforcement to penalize bad actors so we can preserve the quality of life in our neighborhoods."

Councilmember Chris Ward also released the following statement:

“Council’s decision today demonstrates a clear commitment to prioritizing the needs of our neighborhoods while maintaining opportunities for San Diegans to participate in – and benefit from – home-sharing and limited whole-home rentals. This is a starting point that will allow the City to finally form the regulatory measures necessary to address constituent concerns, provide enforcement for recurrent bad actors, and provide a structure that leaves the window open to revisit in the future once investor loopholes are addressed.”