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San Diego To Consider Ban On Most Short-Term Rentals, Including Airbnb


Most short-term rentals, including Airbnb, could be banned in San Diego should the city council approve a proposal by outgoing San Diego city council member Sherri Lightner. Airbnb is by far the largest short-term rental service in the city, with 4,900 hosts renting homes, 67% of whom offer an entire home. The city council is expected to vote on the proposal next Tuesday at a special meeting in Golden Hill, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It will take five votes to pass. If passed, violations would carry a $2,500 fine per violation and maximum fine of $250k per parcel of land.

Lightner said the intent is to clarify that residential zones are for residents and single-family home zones retain the desired quality of life. San Diego municipal code does not provide a definition of short-term rental, but there are regulations for bed-and-breakfast inns. Under Lightner’s proposal, homes in most residential zones could not be rented for less than 30 days. In multifamily zones, the guest would have to stay seven days.

Members of the business community and other council members did not like the proposal. San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce COO Amy Faucett said short-term rentals should be regulated, but asked the council to reject this measure until stakeholders reach a consensus on its impact. Council member Chris Cate said Lightner’s measure will drive short-term rentals underground, complicating the city’s ability to regulate them, and council member Scott Sherman, who prefers enforcement of the current rules rather than passing a new law, said he will ask the mayor to veto the proposal if it's approved by the council.

Other major California cities have implemented tough short-term rental regulations. San Francisco only allows rentals if the hosts are full-time residents, rentals are capped at 90 days and all hosts must register with the city. Santa Monica has the toughest short-term rental regulations in the US. Effective June 2015, anyone putting a listing on Airbnb in Santa Monica must live on the property during the renter’s stay, register for a business license and collect 14% occupancy tax for the city. The new regulations have eliminated 80% of Airbnb listings in the city. [SDUT]