Councilwoman to hold town hall on short-term rentals

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LA JOLLA, Calif. – The latest attempt to regulate short-term vacation rental properties in San Diego will be the topic of a town hall meeting Wednesday night.

Councilwoman Barbara Bry will seek public input on her recently proposed package of rules for such properties, which provide owners with additional income, tourists with more lodging options and, often, headaches for neighbors.

Bry’s district — Carmel Valley, La Jolla and University City — is one of the most impacted by the practice since visitors generally want to stay near beaches.

Her proposal would allow short-term rentals in owner-occupied residences, but not in houses with absentee owners.

Beach neighborhood residents have complained for years that short-term rental properties create noise, parking and trash problems. Several previous proposals have failed to gain traction in the City Council, including one last year by Bry’s predecessor, Sherri Lightner, to ban the rentals in residential areas.

Among the provisions in Bry’s proposal:

— homeowners who want to rent would have to apply to the city for a permit;

— rentals when the primary occupant is absent would be limited to 90 days a year;

— the number of renters would be limited to two per guest room plus one other visitor per residence; and

— the primary occupant would be required to provide written notice reminding renters they are in a residential neighborhood and should conduct themselves accordingly, and giving information about parking rules and trash pickups.

The homeowner would not be allowed to advertise a business on their premises.

City Attorney Mara Elliott has opined that short-term vacation rentals are illegal in San Diego under current regulations, but she’s been waiting for City Council direction before beginning enforcement.

The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday at the La Jolla Community Center, 6811 La Jolla Blvd.

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