The Carlsbad City Council's effort to license, tax and restrict short-term vacation rentals in the community is getting a thumb’s down from many residents.
At Tuesday’s council meeting, several homeowners poked holes in the new ordinance up for a first reading.
Carlsbad council's plan is to identify and standardize the more than 400 short-term vacation rentals already illegally operating in the community.
They hope the views, natural spaces, peace and quiet that drew residents to buy in the city will be the same trappings that lure tourists each year.
It would be better to control such commerce then have rentals operate underground, Carlsbad Mayor Matt Hail said.
San Diego Police Officer Mark Bua disagreed: “I can tell you first hand it is virtually impossible to enforce limits on the number of occupants and parking.”
Under the proposed ordinance, enforcement would be complaint driven. Policing rowdy vacation rentals would fall on the shoulders of residents.
Homeowner Tracy Teregis told NBC she wonders if it is wise to pit neighbor against neighbor.
Teregis and husband Greg have been fighting with their neighbor over the rental next door for a year. They live outside the coastal community and in a residentially zoned neighborhood.
“What gives them the right to disturb peaceful safe neighborhoods? Where are my rights as a homeowner?” Greg said.
The city council members were moved to change the proposed ordinance to prohibit rentals
east of Interstate 5 -- a win for residents.
Visitors still have some 6,000 hotel rooms and time shares to choose from.
“I recognize Carlsbad needs a thriving commerce to thrive itself but not in our family neighborhoods,” homeowner Dick Miller said.
The modified proposal will be up for a vote of the full council next month. If approved, it will take effect 30 days later.
As for vacation rentals illegally operating outside the coastal area, it is considered a code violation punishable by fines and possibly criminal charges.