City Attorney Mara Elliott’s memo declaring short-term vacation rentals illegal under city code may have excited weary opponents but it’s not sparking a crackdown on those rentals.
Instead, neighbors angered by bustling Airbnbs in beach communities and elsewhere will have to keep waiting. For more than two years, short-term rental operators and those who dislike them have been pushing for regulations. Multiple hours-long hearings with heated testimony from both sides have failed to provide any clarity on the rules.
Now, Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who has remained silent throughout the two-year debate, is speaking up. Well, through a spokeswoman, anyway.
“We are not changing our enforcement practices until the regulations are clarified,” Faulconer spokeswoman Jen Lebron said. “We look forward to the Council’s actions on this issue this summer.”
The mayor’s office’s statement, provided after a request from Voice of San Diego, follows a March 15 memo from Elliott, who has taken a harsher view of short-term rentals than past city attorneys. Former City Attorneys Jan Goldsmith and Mike Aguirre both underlined the lack of clarity in city code about rentals, which have proliferated the past few years.
Elliott shared another interpretation in her memo.