Help Keep Short Term Rentals Legal

San Diego City Councilmember Dr. Jennifer Campbell, who represents many of San Diego’s beach communities, has announced that she helped broker an agreement between Expedia Group and UNITE HERE to regulate short-term rentals (STR) in San Diego. Their signed Memorandum of Understanding detailing their proposed regulations is attached here.

Although we had hoped for more favorable terms that respect our fundamental property rights, we appreciate Councilmember Campbell’s leadership on this issue.

What has been proposed so far seems to be a reasonable compromise that protects both hosts and neighbors. It addresses the perception that investors are driving up home prices, allows for second homes to be rented, and establishes “Good Neighbor” policies to protect our quality of life, but we will wait for the full ordinance to be released before passing judgement.

The fact is that despite years of debate, multiple proposed ordinances, hours of public testimony and countless man hours promoting the benefits of STRs we were no closer to passing common sense regulations than we were five years ago. As a result, businesses and families relying on income from STRs have been left to worry if their livelihoods could disappear overnight. These proposed regulations will provide certainty for these families, which is especially important during today’s economic challenges.

The agreement respects the interests of San Diego’s communities, including Mission Beach where STRs have existed for decades.

“We appreciate that Expedia Group and UNITE HERE worked together to develop and recommend a fair compromise that reflects what Mission Beach believes is right for our community,” said Matt Gardner, Mission Beach Town Council President. “We are encouraged by their collaborative efforts and will urge the City Council to adopt this proposal.”

We respect Councilmember Campbell for bringing these two groups together and applaud Expedia Group and Unite HERE for coming to the table with an open mind and the willingness to work together.

Highlights of the MOU include:

  • Creation of four mutually exclusive STR permit tiers:
    1. Part-Time Rentals – 30-days or less per year geared towards supporting high traffic events such as Comic-Con and Pride.
    2. Home Sharing – Permanent resident on-site STRs such as renting a room or rooms in your home, a granny flat prior to 2017 or duplex.
    3. Whole-Home Rentals – Capped at 0.7 percent of the City’s housing stock, which is 3,750 permits today.
    4. Mission Beach – Allows for up to 30 percent of the community’s housing stock to be used as whole-home rentals, which is 1,086 permits today. Mission Beach would not be included in the city-wide cap.
  • One permit per person or LLC.
  • Two-night minimum stay for tiers 3 and 4.
  • Lower permit fees for tiers 1 and 2.
  • Dedicated code enforcement to respond to bad actors.
  • Good Neighbor policies to inform guests and owners about regulations regarding noise, traffic, parking and public safety.

What you can do

What's happened so far

CA Bill AB 1731

In February 2019, California policymakers introduced new legislation that would severely restrict short-term rentals (STRs) throughout the coastal zone in San Diego County only, limiting the legally-protected access to the coast for Californians.

The bill, known as AB 1731, would ban full-time vacation rentals entirely, limit hosting to primary residences, and cap unhosted stays to 30 nights per year in the coastal zone.

By July, it was pulled by the bill’s author and while the bill won’t go any further this year, the fight is far from over as the bill’s author has vowed to continue her pursuit of a ban on short term rentals in San Diego in the next legislative year (2020).

The bill faced significant scrutiny from Share San Diego, local San Diegans, businesses, and most recently several prominent senators had criticized the lack of data and whether or not there was even a need for the bill at all.

During this debate, Share San Diego was there to help protect people who use their homes to make supplemental income and generate money and jobs for the local economy while ensuring families and visitors have affordable access to California’s Coast.

This would not have been possible without the efforts of everyone who wrote and called the legislature to oppose AB 1731. Share San Diego will continue fighting for your property rights and look to get approved reasonable local policy, appropriate for our community and for short term rentals.

Please see our FAQ for more details and history on this disastrous bill.

The 2018 ban

On July 16, 2018 City Council passed a de-facto ban that restricted short term rentals to primary residence only with a maximum of 6 months of renting.

This decision represented a massive loss for both property rights and the tourism industry in San Diego. The Council’s decision would have left thousands of short term rental hosts without a lifeline and even more small business crippled with losses in revenue, not to mention eliminated thousands of jobs that rely on the short-term-rental industry.

Share San Diego worked with home sharing platforms like Airbnb and HomeAway to help overturn this de facto ban on short term rentals. Together we led an expensive referendum on the de facto ban by gathering signatures from more than the required 5% of the voters in the City of San Diego

As a result, City council was given the option to either rescind the ordinance they passed or send it to the ballot for San Diegans to decide, and they chose to rescind it on October 22, 2018.

Your donations and support helped us get this far, but the fight is not over and as the opposition vows to not give up, we will continue to work on your behalf to strive for a fair and reasonable ordinance in San Diego!

Contact your council members

And let them know that you support a fair and reasonable compromise like the one brought forth by Dr. Campbell that will keep San Diego a welcoming community and preserve our fundamental property rights.

Stay in touch

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