San Diego

Regulations in the Works for Short-Term Rentals by San Diego City Council

In San Diego, the city council will meet next month to consider new proposals regarding short-term rentals. Several councilmembers submitted suggested changes to local regulations regarding the rentals that have become controversial in many beachside communities.

The hotly-debated issue took center stage at a public forum in Pacific Beach Wednesday night where the city attorney weighed in. Most in attendance told NBC 7 they are feeling the effects of short-term rentals first hand.

"I own property in Ocean Beach and the slum lord next to me has made that a short-term vacation rental, which has been a nightmare for me. Barking dogs, parties, down the line," said Wayne Simnitt.

But others said they hoped for a little peace between homeowners and those using their properties for short-term vacation rentals.

San Diego city councilmembers also weighed in on proposals on the table.

"Other councilmembers are imposing their will when they're far removed from what you and I are experiencing," said Councilmember Lorie Zapf who represents beach communities including Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach, Mission Beach and Point Loma.

A plan, introduced this week by four councilmembers--David Alvarez, Mark Kersey, Scott Sherman and Chris Ward--would require three-night minimum stays, occupancy limits, as well as setting up a system for enforcement and keeping renters under certain rules regarding noise, trash, and parking.

Councilmembers Barbara Bry and Zapf introduced their own plan--to allow short-term rentals in owner-occupied homes. Also, limiting rentals when the owner is absent to 90 days a year and to keep the number of renters at two per guest room.  

"The policymakers ultimately make the rules and we've got policies coming forward for consideration, some of which I believe are going to be viable," said San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott.

On October 23, the council will discuss the proposals.

A vote will most likely be made during that meeting on how to regulate short-term vacation rentals and how they will be enforced moving forward.

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