Del Mar votes to ban short-term rentals

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DEL MAR, Calif. -- In a 4-1 vote, the Del Mar City Council voted Monday night to ban short-term rentals in all residential zones other than residential/commercial.

At a public hearing, council members heard arguments about defining the use of short-term rentals. At issue was whether zoning ordinances, including community plans, should allow vacation rentals in residential zones.

There were two sides to the argument: homeowners who rely on the rentals to earn income and residents opposed to vacation rentals because they say they are the cause of noise, litter and parking shortages.

Supporters of short-term rentals packed into council chambers. Each person was allowed three minutes of public testimony. The majority of the speakers spoke in favor of vacation rentals.

"Resident or long-term tenants accounted for 469 offenses over the past four years. Eighteen came from short-term rentals," said one man in favor of short-term rentals.

"It just feels very unfair. I’ll tell you what, no matter what goes on, I’ll never not care about my neighbors," said one woman. "I’ve always listened to my neighbors, I always care about them, I always want to live peacefully with them."

The only dissenting vote was from Del Mar Mayor Terry Sinnot.

The council also determined they will continue with the short-term rental moratorium until they can determine how they can be permitted or regulated. The next steps will be discussed at the city council meeting on May 1.  

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