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Rental Regs Review:
Short Term Solutions
Ann Gardner | Via Latina

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With a 3 to 2 vote the City Council approved changing the Municipal Code to allow and regulate short term rentals in Del Mar, and scheduled an initial community workshop for June 13th from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. when residents can provide feedback on possible regulations. Councilmembers Corti, Mosier and Sinnott voted yes, supporting a “phase one” or “pilot program” approach to see if short term rentals can be regulated in a way to eliminate the negative impacts identified by some residents over the past year or so. We could sunset (the ordinance) and prohibit short term rentals in certain areas if it is not working, Mosier said. “It is not irrevocable.”

Mayor Parks and Councilman Worden voted no. They expressed concern that, unless limited to commercial visitor zones, short term rentals would continue to threaten the residential “fabric” of the community. Worden presented information indicating that Del Mar already had more than its fair share of visitor accommodations. He felt concerns expressed by the California Coastal Commission staff in other jurisdictions about shortages of visitor serving rooms near the Coast may have less validity in Del Mar. He suggested expanding the Visitor Commercial (VC) zone to include, for instance, adjacent apartments in the RM zone or Wave Crest currently in the R-2 zone.

The vote followed a presentation by staff that provided updated information on short term rentals in Del Mar including location (mostly North Beach area), size (2,741 sq. ft. average), rates (Avg. daily rate $493 off season and $655 peak season) and intensity of use (the avg. 270 days a year reportedly did not take into account days blocked by owner for personal use). The report noted that three major issues required more specific direction from the Council: should the Municipal Code be amended to allow STRs; should STR rentals be allowed in certain locations (i.e. by zone, by home type or by geographic area) and should there be a limit or cap on the permitted number of STR rentals (i.e. per year, or in a geographic area)? The latter two questions were deferred to the community workshops for input. The complete list of possible issues to be discussed is available at www.delmarsandpiper.org/#STR/. Readers can also sign up as interested in the workshops at planning@delmar.ca.us.

Feedback from the June workshop will be considered by the Council on June 20 followed by a draft ordinance and a second community workshop in September. A final ordinance would go to the Planning Commission and eventually back to City Council for approval in October. The goal is to have a new ordinance in effect before the extended six month moratorium runs out on November 16. The original moratorium on all new short term rentals was unanimously approved on April 4 and extended on May 16 when the Council voted to work on a new ordinance. In the meantime short term rentals in existence before April 4 can continue to operate. Asked about a short term rental opening after April 4, Planning Director Kathy Garcia said that one violation had already been reported to Del Mar Code Enforcement.



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