DEL MAR, Calif. — Del Mar City Council continues to take steps toward forming rules around short-term rentals. Tuesday night both council and community members came together to discuss what they value in a future policy.

“When you start regulating these things, it should really be the free market,” Ed Kurdziel said.

Currently, new short-term rentals are not allowed in residential zones. Those that have been in place since before April 2016, however, have been eligible for the city’s forbearance period.

“I’m not against short-term rentals, U just live across from one that I see every weekend someone new,” Mary Zobell said.

City staff also looked at what other coastal cities in California that Del Mar should compare itself to.

“I would recommend focusing on San Diego County, where coastal is already approved. Kind of forget about Central Coast, forget about Northern California,” Kimberly Jackson said.

While the city isn’t diving into specific regulations just yet, Del Mar’s legal team provided insight by presenting court rulings involving short-term rentals.

“It’s important to recognize the community of Del Mar and that the community plan recognized and knew that we have vacation rentals and seasonal rentals,” Jennifer McDowell said.

A portion of the discussion was focused on the concept of establishing a database of existing short-term rentals within the last 10 years.

“I would recommend allowing everyone to come to the table whether they have tax returns or what not to get all the data you need,” Jackson said.

Questions still remain over guaranteeing permits for everyone on the list, especially those who may not have been operating legally.

In July, council weighed several guiding principles for the future short-term rental policy, things like maintaining the residential character of neighborhoods and considering the distribution of short-term rentals throughout the community. 

The next Del Mar City Council meeting that will address the short-term rental policy is Sept. 18.