San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott says anyone running vacation rentals in San Diego isn’t allowed within the city’s current zoning rules.

In a memo released this week, Elliott clearly states that short-term vacation rentals are not allowed in residential or commercial areas. Her city attorney predecessors, however, said things weren’t nearly as black and white.

Councilman Chris Cate joined hosts Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts and shared his reaction to the big short-term rental shift.

He said he was taken aback by the opinion, partly because it was so blunt in saying the use is illegal without much attempt to explain why Elliott’s two predecessors were wrong.

A City Council committee will meet next Friday to discuss short-term rental rules, and Cate shared details of his proposal, which, among other things, would separate whole-home rentals and home-sharing and allow them but require permits and  fees that would help pay for enforcement.

“Even if you ban them, you’re still going to need the enforcement because otherwise they’re going to go underground,” he said.

We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?

Gonzalez: Time to Reform SANDAG

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez joined the podcast this week to talk about the details of her SANDAG reform bill.

Gonzalez introduced AB 805 after Voice of San Diego revealed that SANDAG leadership knowingly overstated how much money a sales tax hike would bring in and understated costs of transportation projects voters approved in 2004.

The bill proposes sweeping changes to how the region’s transportation planning agency makes decisions and would also change who audits the agency.

Gonzalez said the VOSD series on SANDAG hammered home the need for a new leadership structure at the agency.

“Where’s the accountability here?” she said. “It’s time to reform it. It’s time to take it on and not pussyfoot around.”

Also on the podcast, the density battle over building new homes around new trolley stops rages on, and Lewis shared a story about his friendly beach encounter with local Syrian families, some of whom left the war-torn country just months ago.

Hero of the Week

The San Diego Hall of Champions sports memorabilia museum gets the nod this week for agreeing to move to Petco Park to make room for the new Comic-Con museum.

No goat this week, sorry folks.

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    This article relates to: Must Reads, News, Voice of San Diego Podcast

    Written by Kinsee Morlan

    Kinsee Morlan is the Engagement Editor at Voice of San Diego and author of the Culture Report. Contact her directly at Follow her on Facebook or Twitter. Subscribe to her podcast.

    Frank Michell
    Frank Michell

    It's hard to consider the actual impact of Whole-House STVR's, until it happens to you. Imagine you buy a home in a single-family residential neighborhood and shortly thereafter the house next to yours becomes an STVR. You'll find a house which normally accommodates a family of 2-5 now accommodates 8-12 persons. The increased noise and higher density/traffic levels will change your life. Communities all over the nation are trying to deal with the issue but making little or no progress as government seems stalled with regulatory issues. Why? Because, local businesses, investors, and the commercial enterprises (Air B&B, etc) are generating a billion dollar industry. How can the voice of a single family resident be heard over the enormous influence of the commercial interests? If we want to solve this problem, we need to simplify the approach/ordinance. Let's concentrate on single family residential neighborhoods, ban whole-house short term vacation rentals of less the 30 days, and 95% of the problems is gone. I think the other 5% is something we can live with! If you can't see your way on the issue,  ask yourself, "Do I want to live next door to a hotel?" We're seeing really great neighborhoods turning into transient bus stops

    Nancy Witt
    Nancy Witt subscribermember

    Bcat, you said it well.

    bcat subscriber

    Short Term Vacation Rentals - I feel for all the families that invested in San Diego real estate to become small (or big) time landlords.  Their finances are likely up-ended by the City Attorney's announcement.  I know several families in this position.

    However, without regulation, where will this end?  If it is unregulated, how will any beach community be a home for any families?  They'll all turn into AirBnB / STVR regions.

    Cities are for citizens, not business owners.  Although many say that you cannot have a city without businesses, you definitely cannot have a city without residences.  Without residents, it is just a business district.

    The social problems of these STVR's are enormous for many communities - noise, foul language, public urination, changes to the economy and local businesses that are not resident friendly (prices, services, ...).  Nobody seems to be trying to come up with a solution.  So, just like the alcohol ban at the beach, an unpopular, but necessary ban has not come into play.