Short-Term Rental Regulations Now in the Works for San Diego

San Diegans who have grievances about "short-term rentals" figure to be on edge a while longer.

But efforts to come up with a set of regulations are finally under way.

City Attorney Mara Elliott recently concluded that short-term rentals actually are illegal in San Diego, because they're not specifically mentioned in the city's zoning ordinance.

Even so, nobody's gotten a ticket for that.

The issue has been heating to a boil for years, mainly because a lot of people renting non-owner occupied dwellings have been noisy, inconsiderate party animals -- especially in beach neighborhoods.

While residents often complain to police and city hall, enforcement of nuisance regulations hasn't had enough impact on a large scale.

And the City Council has been reluctant to pass what would have amounted to widespread bans on short-term rentals.

Now, after many hours of meetings involving vacation-rental advocates and opponents who say the practice is a disruption to communities, City Council members are weighing options for a regulatory scheme that Mayor Faulconer is looking forward to this summer.

“It's time not just to engage in dialogue, but to get it done," Elliott said during Friday's recording session for Sunday's edition of NBC 7’s "Politically Speaking" program, which airs at 9 a.m.

“It is one of those issues where you're going to have people unhappy on either side of it, so I think there's been a reluctance to act,” Elliott added. “But I do think we have a Council that's very anxious to resolve this issue. So I'm very optimistic. And we have a team of lawyers in the office who are standing by, ready to help."

Otherwise, without formal regulations to use, city inspectors can only crack down on nuisance complaints.

Short-term rental issues also are testing other cities in the area, especially coastal communities.

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