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For years now, San Diego has wrestled with how to handle and regulate vacation rentals. City leaders have tried doing something (didn’t work!), they’ve tried doing nothing (didn’t work!) and are now back to trying to do something.
That latest effort to do something about vacation rentals is what’s driving the recall campaign against Council President Jen Campbell, who has led the latest compromise with the backing of the hotel workers union and one of the largest vacation rental platforms.
But the compromise has also “enraged a cadre of coastal residents who have long believed the city could outright ban short-term rentals,” Scott Lewis writes in a new examination of who and what is behind the recall.
Campbell said she simply doesn’t buy into vacation rental opponents’ thinking that banning them altogether is possible.
“I think they are brainwashed into thinking something that isn’t real,” Campbell said.
There are, of course, other elements at play.
Campbell also supported the successful effort in November to lift coastal height limit restrictions for the Midway area. She also sought out and won the Council president job over her colleague, Councilwoman Monica Montgomery Steppe, which angered some Black activists.
The next step in the recall effort is gathering signatures, and one big test for Campbell’s opponents will be whether anyone puts enough money in to hire professional signature-gatherers. If not, gathering about 14,000 signatures in 120 days will be very tough.
San Diego is starting to get serious about the depth and severity of its stormwater deficit, as Andy Keatts reported Monday. Stormwater pipes are old and crumbling, and need fixing pretty often.
But as MacKenzie Elmer notes in the latest Environment Report, climate change could increasingly threaten the city’s stormwater infrastructure, making things even worse.
“By 2030, with just 1 foot of sea level rise, almost 10 percent of the pumps that help drain stormwater could be compromised. And over a quarter of ocean outfalls — the pipes that stick out of the cliff face to drain storm runoff — will be too, according to the city’s Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Report. That’s when seas are calm,” Elmer notes. “When there’s a storm and the seas swell, the number of pump stations that are in trouble jumps to 35 percent.”
Climate change could also bring worsening storms to Southern California, further straining the stormwater infrastructure system.
The Morning Report was written by Sara Libby, and edited by Jesse Marx.