A group protested short-term vacation rentals in Ocean Beach Saturday, an issue that has divided some in the community.
Mike McAndrew, who lives in Pacific Beach, said the city government promised to zone short-term rentals. “When I bought my home, it was zoned for single-family residential and now I have a commercial entity behind me. People cycling in and out all the time, all year around. You never know who they are. It affects the peaceful enjoyment of my home,” he said. “And that is a promise, zoning is a promise. The city government is breaking that promise by having a commercial entity in my single-family residential neighborhood."
Protesters held up signs at the corner of Abbott and Voltaire St. Saturday that read “Housing for workers, not Airbnb,” “Neighborhoods are for neighbors, not vacation rentals” and “You can’t do this any longer, city council and mayor.”
People who live near vacation rentals have complained about loud visitors, while those who rent them out defend it as a way to make ends meet.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer decided not to crack down on vacation rentals until there are rules to regulate them.
Peter Bolter, the chef of a local restaurant, told NBC 7 he thinks vacation rentals have a positive influence on the community. "It's such a positive community,” he said. “It brings wonderful people in here, families, children. I've only met positive people at my restaurant, staying at Airbnb, not these horror stories you hear on the news."
Ronan Gray, CEO and CoFounder of Save San Diego Neighborhoods, helped organize the protest.
“The city government doesn’t seem to be listening to us," Gray told NBC 7. "Its been three years now since our formation. Time and time again we go and we speak to town councils, planning groups and citizens in communities all over San Diego and no one wants short-term vacation rentals in residential zones."
The city council will vote December 12th.