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San Diego City Council gives final approval on new short-term rental regulations

Under the new regulations, whole-home rentals will be capped at 1% of the city’s total 540,000 housing units.

SAN DIEGO — Editor's Note: The video featured in this story was produced prior to the council's approval of the short-term rental ordinance.

The short-term rental ordinance has been officially approved by the San Diego City Council, after a decade of working to find a solution.

According to a press release sent out by the team for Councilmember Jennifer Campbell, Campbell led the efforts to create regulations to cap vacation rentals at 1%, adding 16 new city enforcement positions and offering a lottery system for permits. The ordinance will exclude bad-actor partners and have strong enforcement. The short-term vacation rental law was approved Tuesday after it was approved by the California Coastal Commission.

According to Campbell, “With today’s vote approving San Diego’s first-ever short-term rental rules, we’ve turned the corner on one of San Diego’s thorniest challenges. San Diegans have been asking for common sense and sanity on short-term vacation rentals for years – and now their voices are finally being heard. This new law will keep neighborhoods safe and livable by capping short-term rentals and finally create the robust enforcement arm needed to hold nuisance properties accountable.”

The Coastal Commission approved the new rules by a 12-0 vote in March 2022.

Under the new regulations, whole-home rentals will be capped at 1% of the city’s total 540,000 housing units.

Mission Beach would be carved out with a 30% cap, which is about 1,100 STRs for that area. Altogether, about 6,500 licenses will be available.

For some people living in Mission Beach, a unanimous vote from the Coastal Commission was totally unexpected. “To go 12-0, did the commissioners even read what was presented to them?” said Klaus Mendenhall, 52-year resident of Mission Beach.

“We have to hire code enforcement officers who can work to make sure that any properties that are nuisance properties are held accountable,” said Mayor Todd Gloria. “It’s a privilege to operate a short-term vacation rental in the City of San Diego and that privilege will be revoked if you’re a bad actor.”

Two-year licenses will be allocated through a lottery system with only one allowed per person. The new rules could go into effect as early as this fall.

WATCH RELATED: San Diego City Council expected to give final approval on new short-term rental regulations

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