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Airbnb, Hosts Oppose San Diego’s Short-Term Rental Deal
Thursday, September 24, 2020
Photo by KPBS Staff
San Diego has been trying to regulate short-term rentals for years, and a new proposal is going before the city planning commission next month.
Airbnb opposes the measure and said its hosts didn’t get a say on the deal.
The new proposal was negotiated in July by Councilmember Jennifer Campbell, Expedia and the UNITE HERE labor union. Their plan was to reduce the number of full-home rental units, enforce fines for rule violators and require a minimum two-night stay.
John Choi, the senior public policy manager at Airbnb, said the company was not part of the discussion, and the suggested changes will eliminate critical revenue streams for Airbnb hosts during an especially difficult year.
“Our hosts have overwhelmingly expressed serious concerns that the proposed 0.7% cap on the number of city-wide vacation rental licenses will eliminate a critical source of income at a time where they need the income more than ever," Choi said.
He also said they need to see a change in the total number of homes approved for vacation rental licenses to provide a fair solution.
“We have asked Councilmember Campbell to consider a cap of 1.2% of the housing stock, which would still represent a 50% reduction in the number of short-term rentals in the city,” Choi said.
San Diego is still in talks with Airbnb to try to come to a middle ground, Venus Molina, Campbell's chief of staff, said
“I don't know if we will do 1.2%, but we will see. We will see what we can come up with," she said. "Right now we feel that .75 is something that’s doable, but we will see what that conversation looks like. We are still having those talks.”
Guillermo Gonzales, an Airbnb host in San Diego, said the current policies regarding Airbnb provide affordable access to California’s coast.
“Limiting the number of Airbnb’s in San Diego will create a problem with supply and demand that is also going to skyrocket the pricing of Airbnb’s. It’s going to be a lot more difficult for the regular, standard family from another state to come down to San Diego,” Gonzales said.
The proposal will affect the communities of San Diego’s Second District. The draft ordinance is expected to be released next week and the city of San Diego Planning Commission is set to discuss the proposal on October 8th.
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