That was clearly evidenced at a March 8 meeting of the newly formed San Diego Coalition of Town Councils’ STVR Working Group hosted by La Jolla Town Council.
Representatives from town councils in La Jolla, Mission Beach, Ocean Beach Pacific Beach and Clairemont, as well as the San Diego Unified School District and City Council Districts 1 and 2, met to plot strategy. The new group vetted recommendations proposed for tightening rules and enforcement governing the placement and operation of short-term vacation rentals in their communities.
The working group meeting came at a pivotal time, as both SDUSD, the City Council and the mayor, have all taken, or are about to take, further action on the vacation-rental issue.
Citing impacts of short-term rentals on housing supply allegedly threatening the ability of communities to support their local schools, SDUSD’s board recently unanimously passed a resolution urging the city to approve “appropriate regulation” of vacation rentals. The district added that resolving the issue "is critical for the future of the communities in our city."
New proposals on reigning-in vacation rentals are also expected soon from Mayor Kevin Faulconer and the City Council.
In December 2017, following five-plus hours of public testimony on vacation rentals, an impasse among the City Council’s nine members, who split between two competing proposals, failed to approve new regulations for the burgeoning industry.
“We do not hate short-term rentals, nor are we trying to get rid of them in communities,” said Ann Kerr Bache, LJTC president at the meeting. “We’re not against home sharing, but when it impacts the quality of life in neighborhoods … short-term rental owners need to be held accountable.”
Kerr Bache gave a slideshow presentation detailing a number of recommendations for short-term rentals including establishing a permitting process, limiting the number of rentals in communities and their proximity to one another, establishing a violation “process” with specific escalating penalties; $500 for first offense, $2,500 for a second and permit revocation thereafter.
The working group additionally is proposing that a fund is established, into which all enforcement fees and fines would be deposited, to administer and enforce new stricter vacation-rental regulations.
Working group panelists weighed-in on the need for new, stronger rental regulations.
Panelist Chris Brewster, a retired lifeguard, said the issue needs to be viewed through “the big picture” while urging compromise. “In a democracy, you need to end up with something that is in the middle,” he said.
District 2 Councilmember Lorie Zapf staffer Ryan Purdy said, “Our main concern is year-round, whole-home rentals in single-family neighborhoods.”
Noting the “home sharing economy is here to stay,” District 1 Councilmember Barbara Bry staffer Mauricio Medina said, “Councilwoman Bry’s position is we don’t want neighborhoods taken over by mini-hotels.”