Vacation Rentals – Beach & Bay Press Article

On December 6th, the Pacific Beach Planning Group (PBPG) examined issues and solutions related to short-term vacation rentals, particularly their proliferation and impacts in the single-family zones.  Below is an article from the Beach and Bay Press about the December meeting:

Short-term vacation rentals remains divisive issue between residents, operators

Thursday, December 11, 2014,

By Dave Schwab

Short-term vacation rental operators and residents concerned about them participated in a Dec. 6 subcommittee meeting in Pacific Beach, with residents insisting they don’t belong in single-family neighborhoods and operators agreeing to “reasonable” regulations governing them.

A Short-Term Vacation Rental (STVR) Subcommittee has been established by the Pacific Beach Planning Group (PBPG) to meet with stakeholders to come up with workable recommendations on regulating STVRs. Some PB residents feel the proliferation of STVRs brings noise, traffic, parking and other problems that need to be dealt with.

“I’ve gotten a hundred emails complaining about STVRs being a nuisance,” noted subcommittee chairman Jim Krokee, who added the first STVR subcommittee meeting a month ago produced “two polarized points of view, one that people don’t want them in single family neighborhoods and the other that there should be a permit, ordinance or something to help control vacation rentals, which should be allowed to occur throughout the city.”

Krokee said the objective of the subcommittee is to come up with workable recommendations from stakeholders to address growing noise and other problems associated with vacation rentals.

“It’s (STVRs) becoming a big issue,” he added. “It’s important for the city to start thinking about what we do with vacation rentals.”

Krokee iterated that he felt it’s “absolutely imperative that we need a permit (system) to minimize (STVR) nuisance impacts.”

Vacation-rental industry reps weren’t in disagreement with the notion of a permit system or more regulations. But they did caution against “singling out” short-term rentals.

“A permitting process should have fees used across the board to enforce noise and other issues for all rentals, not just short-term rentals,” said one STVR industry rep.

PBPG chair Brian Curry said STVR issues now being vetted at the subcommittee level will be forwarded for a final decision to the whole planning group, adding the real power to change regulations governing them “lies with the mayor and City Council.”

“Just like the Oversize Vehicle Ordinance (OVO), the City Council likes to do things citywide,” noted Curry. “It’s great to see the community involved in issues that are facing us.”

Neighbors pointed out new regulations governing STVRs need to have teeth.

“The key to what we do with an ordinance is enforcement,” pointed out one resident. “We need to develop a source of revenue dedicated to enforcing whatever regulations you have in place. Eventually, you can have an ordinance which outlines specifically what disciplinary actions
can be taken against (STVR) property owners/managers.”

Resident Marcie Becket argued the number of short-term rentals in Pacific Beach has been growing significantly, adding to already-vexing problems of noise, overcrowding and lack of parking. “Vacation rentals are also causing long-term residents to move away, degrading our quality of life,” she said, arguing that STVRs crowd out “vested” residents who send their kids to local schools and contribute to the community’s long-term well being.

“This is an evolving dialogue,” noted subcommittee member Scott Chipman.

“Hopefully, we can finalize suggestions to present to the full PBPG in February,” said Krokee, suggesting stakeholders bring something to eat at the subcommittee’s next meeting Saturday, Jan. 10 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Pacific Beach/Taylor Branch Library.

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