SAN DIEGO – The Pacific Beach Planning Group took the first step Tuesday toward regulating short-term vacation rentals often operated through websites like Airbnb, a home-sharing website.
Airbnb works by allowing potential renters to pick the city they want to stay in, look at pictures and comments of available properties and send an email to the property owner saying they’re interested, according to Brian, a Pacific Beach homeowner who did not want to reveal his last name.
Users have the option of renting out a room or an entire house.
Brian has been renting the first floor of his Clairemont home for three years through Airbnb. This week, he is renting out to a couple from New York for $95 a night.
“They can use the kitchen if they want, they have full use of the facility,” said Brian.
“In a hotel you have a room, but here I feel like I’m in an apartment,” said one of the renters who is in San Diego on vacation.
“I’ve made many friends and had no problems,” said a woman who rents her PB property.
Brian said he benefits from the extra cash.
“I use the Airbnb money to remodel my house,” he said.
It’s why short-term rental websites have been growing in popularity, but also disdain.
Dozens of residents crammed into a room at the Pacific Beach library Tuesday evening hoping for a chance to sound off to the PB planning group.
“We’re ruining our single family areas by allowing this commercial development to occur,” said Jim Krokee of Pacific Beach.
One of the biggest complaints is lack of regulation.
“It’s worrisome when you have new people coming around every week,” said one man.
To address the mounting concerns, members of the planning group decided to present a recommendation to city of San Diego officials, asking for a permitting process to help regulate rentals that are 30 days or less.
Their intention is to keep track of who rents, how long they stay and how much noise they make.
Members of the group will present those recommendations to city officials in the coming weeks.