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San Diego Lawmakers Split on Airbnb Bill as it Clears Assembly

vacation rental san diego
Signs in Crown Point protest the proliferation of short-term vacation rentals. / Photo by Dustin Michelson

This post initially appeared in the May 24 Sacramento Report. [1] Get the Sacramento Report delivered to your inbox [2].

Assemblywoman Tasha Boerner Horvath’s attempt to tamp down vacation rentals along San Diego’s coastline passed the state Assembly on Thursday without the support of a couple key allies.

Boerner Horvath’s AB 1731 [3] takes a different tack than San Diego County cities that have sought to regulate vacation rentals, barring rental platforms like Airbnb and VRBO from listing San Diego County vacation rentals that fall into both residential and state coastal zones on their sites for more than 30 days a year unless a full-time resident is on site.

Cities across the county, namely the city of San Diego, have for years been paralyzed [4] over how to regulate vacation rentals.

Yet a spokesman for fellow Democrat and state Assemblyman Todd Gloria, who is running for mayor, said Thursday that Gloria voted against AB 1731 because he believes cities – not the state – should lead the way on regulations.

“(Gloria) has served on the City Council and he’s lived through all of these discussions related to short-term vacation rentals and what we realize is there’s really no replacement for local action on this issue,” spokesman Nick Serrano said.

Serrano said Gloria had urged Boerner Horvath to amend her bill to allow cities to choose to opt in or out of its regulations. He had also raised concerns about the lack of enforcement mechanisms for the proposed rules.

Assemblyman Brian Maienschein, a Democrat, abstained from voting on the matter. Maienschein’s office did not immediately respond to VOSD’s request for comment on his decision.

Other San Diego Democrats, Assemblywomen Lorena Gonzalez and Shirley Weber, backed Boerner Horvath’s bill while Republican Assemblywoman Marie Waldron and Assemblyman Randy Voepel in voting against the bill.

AB 1731 is now headed to the state Senate. If signed by Newsom, it’s expected to go into effect next January.