In a bid to address concerns about vacation rentals in residential neighborhoods, the San Diego Planning Commission recommends cutting the number of short-term rentals in the city in half.
After years of complaints about loud guests and threats to long-term renters, San Diego leaders are evaluating a proposalto reduce the number of permitted short-term rentals by 50%. "Beyond the disruption the short-term rentals bring with a revolving door of strangers, they destabilize neighborhoods and reduce needed permanent housing supply," Reginald Jones of the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation told the San Diego Union-Tribune. "They should ultimately be banned from residential areas." Homeowners and renters have both expressed concerns about the effects of short-term rentals on neighborhood character and the rental market, citing Airbnb and its ilk as a major driver of displacement, instability, and scarcity for long-term renters.
Other experts seem less sure, asserting that any new policies should balance the needs of property owners with neighbors and other stakeholders. According to Gary London of London Moeder Advisors, eliminating short-term rentals would have almost no effect on the broader housing crisis faced by many Californians. Ray Major of the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) agreed, saying that while short-term rentals do need regulation, property owners who depend on rental income should be allowed to operate rentals "within a set of reasonable guidelines."
The plan, endorsed by the city's Planning Commission, still requires approval by the San Diego City Council.
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