Councilman Chris Cate, the parade grand marshal. Photo credit: Alexander Nguyen
Councilman Chris Cate. Photo credit: Alexander Nguyen

A city councilman Monday released a set of regulations on short-term vacation rental properties in San Diego, as an alternative to a proposal that will be considered Tuesday.

Councilman Chris Cate said his plan would allow vacation rentals to continue operating in residential neighborhoods zoned for single-family homes, with restrictions.

A proposal floated last week by council President Sherri Lightner would prohibit such operations in neighborhoods primarily made up of houses. Short-term rentals would be allowed in residential areas with higher density.

The issue of how to regulate vacation rentals has been a thorny issue in recent years, as the properties have proliferated in coastal areas and neighbors complain of loud late-night parties, safety problems, overcrowding and trash.

The City Council has held several long meetings on the issue, and will consider Lightner’s proposal Tuesday, at a 10 a.m. meeting at Golden Hall.

“We believe the proposed minor edit strikes a reasonable, measured balance between continuing to allow short-term vacation rentals in zones that are designed to accommodate visitors while protecting the sanctity of our single-family neighborhoods,” Lightner said at a news conference last week.

Lightner, who represents La Jolla, received support from Councilwoman Lorie Zapf, whose district covers Mission Beach and Pacific Beach.

Cate said that while his proposal would allow rentals to remain in residential neighborhoods, property owners would have to obtain permits, and be subject to an escalation of fines for code violations that could lead to permit revocation.

A local contact would be responsible for preventing noise, crowding and disorderly conduct violations, and a rental agreement would provide information on noise and parking regulations, and the fine structure.

“Basically, it’s a way to allow home-sharing and whole-home rentals to exist in San Diego, and regulate those activities,” Cate told City News Service.

He said he would urge his colleagues to vote “no” on Lightner’s proposal and schedule a future hearing for his and other proposals.

–City News Service