Proposed ordinance seeks to regulate Chula Vista’s short-term rentals

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CHULA VISTA, Calif. – Short-term rental owners in Chula Vista soon could face a long list of rules on how to manage their properties.

Chula Vista City Council will discuss a new ordinance Tuesday aimed at addressing concerns — ranging from permitting to violations to rowdy guests — at the nearly 250 existing Airbnbs, VRBOs and other vacation rentals in the community.

As it stands, there are few regulations for existing short-term vacation rentals and the discussion to add them came as a shock to some owners.

“We had no idea this was coming down the pipe and we want to work with the city council on this,” said Guy East, who owns an Airbnb property in Chula Vista. “We have seen other cities adopt legislation that is fair towards short-term rental properties. I think Airbnb should be embraced by the city because of the tourism it brings, the tax dollars it brings. We are able to showcase our city to the world.” 

Under the proposed ordinance, Chula Vista residents would be allowed to rent out their entire primary property for up to 90 days per year and any portion of that primary residence without time limits.

It means owners like Aaron Davitian wouldn’t be allowed to use his second property as a rental.

“There are things we totally agree with,” Davitian said. “Fines for people have the police called on them. This is a no-brainer. Their neighbors are rightfully upset and probably say ‘I’m done with this altogether.’ However, there is a lot of people doing it right.

He added, “I think it’s going to be key to be close to where your property is — which we are — and that can all be put into the legislation.”

Hosts would have to apply for permits, limit the number of guests and notify neighbors, among other things. 

“We don’t have an issue with neighbors being required to be notified,” Davitian said. “We don’t have an issue with capping the number of residents in a home, but this is a de facto ban on any non-primary residence hosting.”

Some residents argue short-term rentals impact housing stock.

“The occupancy rate is really high and there are a lot of families,” Chula Vista resident Randy Boyles said.

Another neighbor living near a short-term rental wrote to city council members, “Trash is always in the front yard, furniture and cans. Lots of cars and vans. noisy and inconsiderate parkers do not care about our neighborhood, or our children, they only want to party.”

Many Airbnb owners argue they have a robust reservation process and want to work to find a solution.

“We are not a blight on the community; we are a part of the community,” Davitian said. “We would like to be able to tell that story and work with the neighbors that may have a hard time understanding that so we can also be on their side.”

The full proposal is available here.

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