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San Diego Nears Final Decision On Short-Term Rentals

A hand holds up a sign reading

Photo by Matthew Bowler

Above: A hand holds up a sign reading "Neighborhoods are for neighbors, not vacation rentals" at a San Diego City Council meeting, Nov. 1, 2016.

San Diego Nears Final Decision On Short Term Rentals


Andrew Bowen, metro reporter, KPBS News

The San Diego City Council on Tuesday is set to cast a final vote on how to deal with short-term home rentals. Two proposals are up for debate, though one is far more likely to pass.

The San Diego City Council on Tuesday is scheduled for a special meeting to address the permitting and regulation of short-term home rentals, popularized by websites like AirBnb.

The council is considering two proposed ordinances, both initiated by council members rather than city staffers or the mayor. One proposal from Councilwoman Barbara Bry would limit short-term rental permits to a home's "primary resident." Each primary resident would be allowed only one permit, and the home could only be rented for 90 days per year.

A second proposal written by councilmen Chris Ward, Mark Kersey, Scott Sherman and David Alvarez is less restrictive. Their plan would create a three-night minimum stay at short-term rentals in the coastal areas, and cap the number of permits a person can hold at three. It would also require permit applicants to have owned a property for at least one year if they do not live in the home full time, and it would charge a per-night fee to fund affordable housing.

RELATED: San Diego To Consider Regulating Short-Term Rentals As City Becomes 4th-Busiest AirBnB Market

Both proposals would charge fees for the short-term rental permits, and use those fees to fund more police and code enforcement officers. Much of the anger over short-term rentals has centered on guests having loud parties or leaving trash in the neighborhood.

Councilwoman Lorie Zapf is the only other council member to have endorsed Bry's proposal. Councilman Chris Cate has advocated for looser restrictions on short-term rentals, and appears likely to provide a fifth vote for the more permissive ordinance.

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