Morning Report: What's Happening With Vacation Rentals (Hint: Nothing) - Voice of San Diego

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Morning Report: What's Happening With Vacation Rentals (Hint: Nothing)

Opponents and supporters of vacation rentals voice their concerns at a San Diego City Council meeting. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

It’s been almost a year since vacation rental regulations proposed by city leaders went down in flames.

Last October, City Council Pro Tem Barbara Bry and others dropped the issue in response to a successful signature-gathering effort funded by vacation rental platforms. But they vowed to quickly get to work and come up with a new proposal. 

Since then, the city has gotten nowhere on vacation rentals. Lisa Halverstadt decided to check in with city leaders on the status of any new proposals and heard a lotta this: 

“Square one … ” 

“Nothing’s really moving right now … ” 

“This issue is still unresolved… ” 

“Nothing is going on … ”

Now a mayoral candidate, Bry once said she planned to lead on the issue, and she’s made anger over vacation rentals a focal point of her campaign. Yet she and others at City Hall haven’t offered anything concrete. 

Instead, she’s urged Mayor Kevin Faulconer to enforce existing city code that she and City Attorney Mara Elliott have said allows for a crackdown.

Fellow City Councilwoman Jen Campbell, who also represents some of San Diego’s beach communities, said she remains committed to new vacation rental rules and has been meeting with stakeholders to try to come up with potential solutions.

The Truth About SANDAG’s New Spending Plan

San Marcos Mayor Rebecca Jones joined the podcast to talk about SANDAG’s new $600 million spending blueprint. She’s part of a group of elected officials from North County who’ve pushed the transportation agency to keep its promise to taxpayers and expand roads. 

At a meeting late last month, Jones and others successfully spiked a proposal by SANDAG executive director Hasan Ikhrata and replaced it with one of their own. Ikhrata wants to jump-start a new transit system, warning that the region must reduce greenhouse gas emissions or suffer the legal consequences. 

But as Andrew Keatts and Scott Lewis explain in the Politics Report, there was very little difference between the proposals that Ikhrata put forward and the North County politicians put forward. The latter shifted $60 million towards environmental and design work on various highway projects. 

To be clear, none of the projects in the plan, including both the highways and transit lines, are fully funded or anywhere close to breaking ground. Those projects still need to compete for additional state or federal funding so they could eventually be built.

Politics Roundup

  • Gov. Gavin Newsom has until Oct. 13 to sign or spike the bills delivered to his desk this session. In the Sacramento Report, Sara Libby recounts the fate of more than a dozen pieces of legislation with San Diego connections. That includes SB 1, which was written by Senate Leader Toni Atkins and would’ve prevented the Trump administration from rolling back certain environmental standards. Newsom said nah.
  • Earlier this year, the governor argued that restricting building in high-fire areas would run counter to the state’s “pioneering spirit.” The U-T reports that Newsom’s position has frustrated wildfire researchers who’ve called for a more robust debate on home construction in fire-prone areas and floodplains. 
  • Atkins filled in Friday as acting governor of California. She used the power of the state to create Tuna Harbor Dockside Market Day on Saturday and cover adoption fees for senior pets at the San Diego Humane Society on Oct. 12.
  • In a profile of Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, USA Today writes, “Her bills often start conversations in other states and set the bar for progressive policies around the country, especially when it comes to workers’ rights.” 

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Jesse Marx, and edited by Sara Libby.

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