The Morning Report
Get the news and information you need to take on the day.
Efforts to regulate Airbnb and other short-term vacation rentals this year resulted in bupkis. (I too can use Yiddish, Donald Trump.)
Our Lisa Halverstadt reports that 2016 will see new attempts to create rules regulating vacation rentals like the ones you find on Airbnb in San Diego. Halverstadt says the regulations will focus on full home vs. room rentals, how long renters can stay, permitting and enforcement, parking and clarifying the city’s existing rules.
The discussion about vacation rental regulations has been marked by confusion and disagreement over what the city’s current rules even allow.
Big Powers Often Force Big Developments to the Ballot
Whatever rules ultimately end up coming out of the Airbnb debate, there’s a decent chance the group that believes it lost the fight might try and go to the ballot to get the regulations thrown out.
Our Maya Srikrishnan examines the increasing trend of big-money, ballot-box developments locally and what we might learn from them. One state politics watcher believes the trend is dangerous:
“It’s very common to see hotels block a new hotel, a mall block a mall,” said Joe Matthews, author of “California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State.” “Do we want our public participation to be used by one power to screw another power? Having people pick winners and losers between two malls or hotel companies – is that really what we want?”
Recently in San Diego we’ve seen fights over a big development in Carmel Valley and a community plan in Barrio Logan. Next year, we’ll have a referendum over a new mall in Carlsbad and possibly an initiative on raising the hotel-room tax among other things.
The Chargers Are Being Jerks
It was a great scene last week seeing longtime Chargers safety Eric Weddle lying at midfield after the team’s possible last game at Qualcomm Stadium.
Now comes news that amid the Chargers’ move to ditch San Diego, they’re ditching Weddle in the most jerky way possible, too.
The team fined Weddle $10,000 for watching his daughter perform a dance ceremony on the field at halftime of the game instead of going to the locker room. Then Monday, the Chargers put Weddle on the injured reserve list over his objections and barred him from the team plane for the Chargers game this week in Denver.
Weddle’s a free agent at the end of the year and, like the team, there’s no sign he’ll back in 2016.
In other sports news:
• Mighty1090 had a nice story on the differences in the moods between possible last NFL games in San Diego and Oakland before the teams’ move to Los Angeles. In San Diego, people were sad. In Oakland, they were hopeful.
• This Union-Tribune piece from last week about some guy getting the deed to Petco Park is bananas. It’s gone national.
• Everyone’s favorite former San Diego Padres owner, John Moores, is back. Moores has been bankrolling a possible hotel-room tax initiative and mucking with the mayor’s plans to expand the Convention Center. Now, the U-T says he’s part of a group interested in bringing professional soccer to San Diego.
An Update on Our Towing Investigation and Other News
• Last month, we published a big story on Angelo’s Towing and its owner, Nash Habib. I found that Angelo’s had habitually misrepresented Habib’s criminal and financial history in bids for prestigious local government contracts.
On Monday, I learned that the city of San Diego recently suspended Angelo’s after it didn’t have proper insurance paperwork. Angelo’s is now back working with the city after giving officials proof of coverage.
• Cornelius Bowser a bishop at Charity Apostolic Church and a commissioner on San Diego’s Commission on Gang Prevention and Intervention wrote a blistering op-ed for us criticizing Mayor Kevin Faulconer and other local leaders’ failures to fund gang prevention strategies.
• Downtown could see more than 10,000 new homes, 3,866 new hotel rooms and other planned projects worth $6.4 billion (U-T)
• Five months after the city promised to remove a public bathroom in East Village because of complaints over crime, it’s still there. (KPBS)
• The city’s Charter Review Committee is still reviewing the charter. The U-T’s story says there might be some minor issues on the ballot next year, and hints toward future discussions about dealing with free trash pickup for single-family homes.
• That city firefighter who made $210,000 in overtime last year also got drunk at a department-sponsored training event in 2012 and argued in court that was OK. (U-T)
• The Sacramento Bee has a good roundup of all the new state laws taking effect in 2016.
• James Chute is another in the list of longtime local reporters leaving their posts through buyouts at the Union-Tribune and L.A. Times. The U-T published a Q-and-A with him about his quarter-century as an arts critic.