Signs in Crown Point protest the proliferation of short-term vacation rentals. / Photo by Dustin Michelson

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The state Coastal Commission late Wednesday voted to back the city’s plan to dramatically curtail vacation rentals. The Union-Tribune reported on Wednesday’s vote and commissioners’ regulatory addition requiring the city to review the regulations in seven years to gauge their impact.

The Coastal Commission’s approval likely means the city can proceed with implementing long-wanted rules that include a cap on whole-home rentals across the city but it’s not yet clear exactly when the city will implement the new rules. 

Before they move forward, the City Council and Mayor Todd Gloria will first need to formally approve adding the Coastal Commission’s tweak to the city regulations. Then the regulations will need to go back to the commission for a final certification.

For that reason, city spokesperson Arian Collins told Voice of San Diego it’s difficult to pinpoint when those long-elusive vacation rental rules might finally go into effect. 

“City staff is working to bring the California Coastal Commission’s recommended ordinance changes to the City Council for review as soon as possible,” Collins wrote in an email. “Implementation timeline will depend on City Council and mayoral approval of the ordinance changes and subsequent full certification by the Coastal Commission.”

After that second Coastal Commission vote, Collins said the city will pick a date “not more than nine months from Coastal Commission certification” when the new rules will go into effect.

“This will allow the city to onboard and train staff, accept applications and issue licenses, and provide adequate notice to hosts in the industry who are currently accepting advance bookings for their properties,” Collins wrote.

Regulatory Refresher: The regulations cap whole-home vacation rentals at 1 percent of the city’s housing stock, and create a licensing process and a bolstered enforcement system allowing the city to issue fines and revoke licenses. The regulations include a carveout for Mission Beach allowing whole-home rental licenses for the equivalent of 30 percent of the longtime tourist hub’s housing stock.

Lisa Halverstadt

Lisa is a senior investigative reporter who digs into some of San Diego's biggest challenges including homelessness, city real estate debacles, the region's...

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