ESCONDIDO, Calif. — The City of Escondido is working on an ordinance to regulate short-term rentals within the city and welcoming the community’s input.

“We want to invite people to come to the city, but we also have to respect the people that are here and that is all we are looking to do,” Escondido Mayor Dane White said.

According to the city, there are an estimated 181 short term rentals throughout Escondido operated without any rules. The city plans to have an ordinance in place by early 2024.

“Number one, we are not benefiting from the transient occupancy tax that we could be and number two, we have received a large number of complaints, noise complaints, nuisance type complaints that we need to get addressed and we just need an avenue to make that happen,” White said.

The city says its missing out on a potential of $300,000 or more in revenue from the transient occupancy tax, each year.

Residents have been vocal about a select few short-term rentals they say have become a regular nuisance and spoke out at a community meeting hosted by the city Tuesday evening.

Locals also don’t feel like the renters are boosting the Escondido economy.

“Even on their ad, it says we are the central hub of all these other places. So come stay here basically because you can drive short distances and get to these other things. Not come to Escondido and you’re going to be spending all of your money here,” said Jennifer Baehr when speaking about a regular rental in her neighborhood.

Currently the short-term rental ordinance for Escondido is just a draft, but included are some rules like:

  • A limit of two guests per bedroom/a maximum of 10 people per rental.
  • A 24/7 contact for the rental, who must respond within one hour.
  • A maximum of 2% of total housing within the city (about 942 units).
  • A permit and Escondido business license would also be required.

City staff says the Airbnb operators they’ve heard from are in support of an ordinance. The ordinance is still a work in progress and the next opportunity for the public to weigh in is at the Escondido planning commission meeting on Nov. 28.