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San Diego Wonders What’s Next After Repeal Of Vacation Rental Rules

People walking along a row of palm trees in Pacific Beach in this undated pho...

Photo by KPBS Staff

Above: People walking along a row of palm trees in Pacific Beach in this undated photo.

A week after repealing their new regulations for vacation rental properties, the City of San Diego is looking for a new proposal and considering the enforcement of current law.

Last week, the City Council repealed a strict set of rules for operating vacation rentals, rather than put the question on the ballot. San Diego's regulations would have allowed homeowners to rent their primary homes to vacationers, but no secondary homes. The rental home industry mounted a successful signature campaign that forced the repeal.

With the new rules rescinded, City Councilwoman Barbara Bry said the existing law should be enforced.

"Existing code is a de facto ban on short-term rentals," she said. "And my office, earlier today, asked the mayor's office for an update about what they're doing about enforcing on some specific properties they were given."

Vacation rentals are seen by some people as nuisance properties. The creation of short-term rentals also removes properties from the permanent rental market, at a time when average rents have hit a record high of nearly $2,000.

RELATED: City Council Repeals Regulations On Vacation Rentals

San Diego State economist Miro Copic said short-term rentals are attractive to investors and vacationers, who are looking for something cheaper than a hotel room.

"And I can use the kitchen and I can do whatever I can in this location, while in a hotel I'm limited to what I do and I get charged for every incremental item," Copic said.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer said he's working to get stakeholders to compromise. He has recommended allowing San Diego homeowners to rent out one secondary home for vacation rentals.

Bry has been a proponent of strict rules for limiting the use of homes for vacation rentals. She said she was not ready to comment on the mayor's proposal.

"I want to meet with members in my community before I make any commitment as to what a new ordinance could look like," she said.

Faulconer said he expects to see the issue before the city council again in early 2019.

A week after repealing new regulations for vacation rental properties, San Diego is looking for a new proposal and considering the enforcement of current law.

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