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San Diego Council Committee To Talk Short-Term Vacation Rentals

A City Council committee is scheduled Wednesday to take up the thorny issue of short-term vacation rentals, which have left a sour taste in the mouths of San Diego beach area residents affected by noise and overcrowding.

The Smart Growth and Land Use Committee, which will meet at 8:30 a.m. at City Hall, will hear reports on the subject from San Diego's Independent Budget Analyst's Office and the City Attorney's Office, take public testimony and provide direction to staff on how to proceed.

A large crowd of speakers is expected at the meeting.


Currently, the city's regulations on property owners who rent residences to vacationers are few, according to the Independent Budget Analyst's report. All they have to do is obtain a registration certificate to pay a room tax monthly and a rental unit business fee annually.

Earlier this year, the city treasurer's website was updated with information for owners who rent out their homes. Nearly 1,800 owners of vacation rentals were registered with the city as of Feb. 10, but the Independent Budget Analyst estimated around 3,100 properties were available to vacationers.

Other regulations fall under the city's general guidelines for using residential properties. The Independent Budget Analyst said there is no specific category for vacation rentals.

While city officials and property owners are seeking clarification of the rules, neighbors of vacation homes are concerned about their nuisances, especially longtime residents who have sunk hefty amounts of money into homes in pricey beach neighborhoods.

A group called Save Our San Diego Neighborhoods said short-term rentals have "proliferated" in San Diego and expanded beyond the beach areas. A map provided by the organization shows clusters of such properties in trendy areas like the East Village, Little Italy and South Park.


An advertisement provided by the group of a Pacific Beach residence on the popular rental website highlighted its nine queen beds and ability to sleep 20 people in the 3,500-square-foot unit. While the home is comparatively large, it comes with only one parking space.