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An attorney for Share San Diego, HomeAway and Airbnb fired off a letter to the San Diego City Council Monday claiming the Council violated the City Charter and the Brown Act when it approved restrictive vacation rental rules earlier this month.
The letter argues that the Council made so many substantial changes to the proposed legislation that it should have to vote again. The city clerk is allowed to make minimal changes to a proposed ordinance. But substantial changes require the Council to hold another hearing so residents can weigh in.
City staff had prepared an ordinance that would have allowed residents to rent out their own homes to visitors and they, and anyone, could rent out one other home. The ordinance had also provided an exemption for Mission Beach, which the mayor offered to slightly tweak before the meeting. But the Council disregarded both of those principles, vastly restricting short-term rentals across the city. Residents are only allowed to rent out their own homes to visitors for up to six months.
Potential legal challenges represent one of the many unknowns as the city gears up for a major crackdown on vacation rentals.
This post originally appeared in the July 31 Morning Report.