City officials want to make people who rent out spare rooms in their homes on sites like Airbnb get one of two special permits.
The city’s own data, however, shows a resident can plan on waiting about a year to get one of those permits.
Hosts who rent rooms in their homes on a short-term basis would need either a neighborhood use permit or a conditional use permit, depending on the neighborhood in which they live.
Lots of other businesses already need to get those permits, which are required when someone wants to use property in a way that’s different than existing regulations. So things like auto shops, recycling yards, sidewalk cafes, veterinary clinics, museums, senior housing and others already have to get them.
But getting one isn’t easy.
In part, that’s by design. The process is meant to collect responses from neighbors, since the property is asking for an exception from existing regulations.
Support Independent Journalism Today
Yes, trying to get permission to run a B&B in a residential neighborhood requires a permit and neighbors get to weigh in. That's a good thing.
It does not because that is a normal expectation of the community and homeowners, and covered in the codes. Rental of a home, or part thereof, is a commercial transaction. On a practical level though, in my experience when neighbors invite relatives and friends to stay, they tend to act quite responsibly in most cases. However, when owners rent a property to unknown actors and especially when they are not onsite, they have no knowledge or control over the renters actions.
@Chris Brewster What about when my relatives come over to stay? Does that require a permit? If no, why not?
@Chris Brewster Every AirBnB operator I know rents a room or two while residing in the home. I am also familiar with the issue of turning homes into minidorms from my SDSU experience. Clearly, there is a spectrum of activity. It is also my experience in 30+ years here in Rancho San Diego that homeowners are will throw a loud and late party if they see it in their family interest. Pretty common here actually in a community of half-acre lots and $500k+ homes. The real issue about AirBnB is about the feared threat to a traditional business model (hotel-motel) and TOT taxes - and can be managed without permitting the activity to death. Interference in other people's property rights by an AirBnB operator reasonably exercising their property rights is rare and anecdotal.
Michael Robertson 5ptssubscribermemberFeatured
17 hours ago
"Revealing reporting Andrew. It's a stark example of how government regulation hinders or blocks economic innovation and development. "
It also prevents your neighbors from opening a commercial business in a community zoned residential.
That's why we have regulations.
@SDResident What is the difference between a "commercial business" and a home-operated business? Does a "commercial business" include a consultancy or a real estate seller or an internet business?
@SDResident What about a dog groomer? Isn't that also a commercial business?
Revealing reporting Andrew. It's a stark example of how government regulation hinders or blocks economic innovation and development.