After years of studies, Del Mar has adopted rules for short-term vacation rentals, limiting them in residential areas to 28 days per year, with a seven-day minimum stay.

While the city still has to get approval from the California Coastal Commission, the moratorium on new short-term rentals is still in effect, according to the city’s website.

Attorney Cory Briggs was at the City Council meeting, and told the Council his group intended to sue the city over its new restrictions, which he said are unlikely to be approved by the Coastal Commission, the Union-Tribune reports.

The Coastal Commission tends to favor short-term rentals, viewing them as consistent with the state’s Coastal Act and promoting affordable access to the beach. Del Mar’s ordinance aligns with previous ordinances the Coastal Commission has upheld, but the Coastal Commission also looks at the larger picture, and the broader availability of rentals in the city.

The Council approved the rules 4-1, and one Council member called the ordinance a compromise between those who want to “protect” their neighborhood, and those who say beach rentals have for decades been a part of life in Del Mar.

“We are trying to do something here that has a little bit for everyone,” Councilwoman Ellie Haviland said, according to the U-T. “If there were a way to make everybody happy, this would have been solved long ago.”
On one side are residents who don’t want to be disturbed by the noise and traffic short-term rentals can bring. One resident described the city’s neighborhoods as “sacrosanct.” On the other side are those who say they need the income to keep their homes, and that the tourism is a boost to the city’s businesses.

The new rules only affect residential areas, and short-term rentals won’t be restricted in the city’s other planning zones – though in Del Mar, those areas are limited.

Areas without short-term rental limits fall along Camino Del Mar, and the area immediately next to the beach between 15th and 18th streets, where there are very few residential uses.

Mayor Terry Sinnott cast the only vote against the rules, saying they went too far.

“I’ve heard a lot of input from a lot of folks that this is not the right way to go,” Sinnott said, according to the U-T. “I’m willing to support regulation, but we’re going at it in a too harsh way.”

They Made it in (Northern) San Diego

Hitherto overlooked by the North County Report is Voice’s podcast “I Made it in San Diego,” which tells the stories of San Diego’s businesses and the people behind them.

The podcast has talked to banjo makers and solar power tycoons, and so far, a number of stories have roots in North County.

There’s the head of Jazzercise, who got her start teaching in recreation centers around Oceanside. Dr. Bronner’s built its eccentric, multimillion dollar brand in Escondido, now in Vista. And a prominent theater troupe in Carlsbad got its start in a chicken coop.

The latest episode features Ryan Smith, who co-founded Bitchin’ Sauce in Carlsbad. After walking away from that business because of a family dispute, Smith built Good Lovin’ Foods, which sells vegan sauces and dips.

Inflatable Chicken Draws Attention of Sheriff’s Department

A giant inflatable chicken with a golden coif reminiscent of President Donald Trump at a protest rally outside Rep. Darrell Issa’s office got the attention of Sheriff’s deputies, who issued seven tickets to attendees.

Six of the tickets went to Issa and Trump’s opponents, while one went to the lone Trump supporter who parked his motorcycle facing the curb, the Union-Tribune reports.

The U-T says the ordeal started when a deputy called the city’s code enforcement office to see if the inflatable chicken violated any city codes. When he was told that it was protected by the First Amendment, the deputy called a traffic enforcement deputy, who issued the tickets for parking and moving violations.

Prior to this week’s incident, deputies have only issued four citations and received 18 calls for service since the rallies were first held in December, the U-T reports.

Rally attendees called the tickets “intimidation,” but the Sheriff’s Department maintains they were not meant to harass or intimidate, and didn’t involve politics.

Also in the News

• Nearly 300 people have signed a petition to get Del Mar City Manager Pat Vergne fired. (The Coast News)

• Encinitas will consider allowing cannabis cultivation at its City Council meeting Wednesday. A City Council subcommittee previously was unable to agree on whether it should be allowed. (The Coast News)

• Issa is asking for federal assistance to fight the hepatitis A outbreak in the county.

• Vista may purchase a downtown home, and demolish it to add parking. (Union-Tribune)

• Issa outraised his three Democratic opponents this filing period, but Rep. Duncan Hunter was bested by two of his Democratic challengers. (Union-Tribune)

• About 60,000 gallons of sewage entered a sewer that drains to Lake Hodges. (NBC 7)

• Street improvements, including re-striping, bike lanes and a “pedestrian scramble” are planned for Lomas Santa Fe Drive. (The Coast News)

Ruarri Serpa is a freelance writer in Oceanside. Email him at and find him on Twitter at @RuarriS.

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