Referendum surpasses signature goal

August 30, 2018

With your support and contributions throughout this past month, Share San Diego today joined HomeAway and Airbnb to successfully submit more signatures than needed to the Registrar of Voters to qualify a referendum. We were joined by San Diego Councilmember Scott Sherman, local homeowners, short-term rental hosts, small businesses and community leaders.

For years we have advocated for reasonable regulations that respect private property, establish an enforcement structure, create an affordable housing fund and protect neighborhoods. The City had the opportunity to pass a fair and equitable compromise, but instead took a dangerous path that stripped the personal property rights of homeowners throughout San Diego, will take money out of the pockets of hard-working families who depend on this income to make ends meet and will be detrimental to the travel and tourism industry.

“It’s clear by the tens of thousands of signatures turned in today that voters in San Diego want their voice heard on this issue” said Jonah Mechanic, President of Share San Diego. “We have long advocated for reasonable regulations and through these efforts we have seen widespread support for traditional vacation rentals and the economic activity they generate throughout the community.”

“This signature gathering effort is a direct result of extreme government overreach by the City Council that took away the property rights of many San Diegans. If signatures are verified, the Council will be forced to scrap this knee jerk de-facto ban, or, I am confident San Diego voters will do it for them,” said Councilmember Scott Sherman.

What's next?

In the coming weeks, the Registrar of Voters will need to validate the signatures in order to qualify the referendum and we will keep you posted as soon as we know more. This was a great first step to overturn this ban and we couldn’t have done it without your help and contributions. But we have a long and expensive road ahead of us and we won’t be able to do it without your continued support!

What you can do right now

Here's what happened

On July 16, the powerful Hotel Lobby interjected into San Diego politics once more as it pressured the City Council into taking the unprecedented step of banning short term rentals in San Diego.

In a 6-3 vote, the following councilmembers voted to restrict short term rentals to primary residence only with a maximum of 6 months of renting:

This decision represents a massive loss for both property rights and the tourism industry in San Diego. The Council’s decision will leave thousands of short term rental hosts without a lifeline and even more small business crippled with losses in revenue and traffic.

Council then proceeded with a second reading on Aug 1 to finalize the ordinance. This will take some time to implement, but they are expected to move quickly to make this ban a reality.

Although the opposition cheered and rejoiced at the end of these last hearings, they also made it very clear that this is just the first step they are taking to impose their will and desire to enact even further restrictions as a next step beyond what they consider to be just a first step this round.

Steps we've taken to fight back

Share San Diego is working with home sharing platforms like Airbnb and HomeAway to help overturn this de facto ban on short term rentals. Together we will lead a referendum on the de facto ban and here’s what that means:

  • City of San Diego law allows for a referendum on laws passed by the City Council
  • To succeed in the referendum we must gather signatures from 5% of the voters in the City of San Diego by the end of August
  • If the referendum qualifies then the City Council must either repeal the de facto ban or send it to the voters

To be successful, we will need your help both financially and in action. For too long we have sat on the sidelines assured that level heads would respect property rights but the City Council has proven that assumption wrong.

Contact your council members

And let them know you disagree with their decision! This current and any future city council has the ability to undo any legislation they pass. So this fight is far from over and we need to make it clear to city council that what they have done so far was a mistake. Inaction at this point serves as validation that they made the right choice, so now is the time to make your voice heard!

Stay in touch

We'll keep you posted on the latest.

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