The San Diego City Council voted 8-1 during an Oct. 22 hearing to rescind an ordinance that passed by a 6-3 vote in July and placed stiffer regulations on short-term rental owners and companies like Airbnb and Homeaway.
“Today’s City Council decision is an important step towards fair and effective short-term rental regulations in San Diego,” Share San Diego, Homeaway and Airbnb said via a statement. “… This rescission passed because voters want regulations that protect private property rights, encourage tourism, weed out bad actors and create an enforceable regulatory structure.”
Councilwoman Lorie Zapf, who represents the beach and bay communities in District 2, voted against the repeal.
The regulation limited short-term stays to the host’s primary residence for up to six months a year; called for all short-term rentals of entire homes to be subject to a licensing fee of $949 annually, which is believed to be the highest in the country; required short-term rental hosts to pay a housing fee of $3.96 for whole home rentals and $2.73 for single room rentals per night; and Airbnb and Homeaway were required to pay stiff penalties if the online vacation rental marketplace companies failed to ensure their hosts are registered.
Despite protests by those in support of the home-sharing industry and demands from both Airbnb and Homeaway for a new hearing, in early August, the council reaffirmed its decision. That’s when proponents of short-term rentals, including the Share San Diego coalition, gathered and submitted enough signatures for a petition in August to the Registrar of Voters office for a referendum. On Sept. 25, the petition was certified, as the Office of the City Clerk found sufficient signatures, verified by the Registrar of Voters, to qualify the new restrictions for repeal by the City Council or by voters.