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Short Term Division
Ann Gardner | Via Latina

The percentages represent how many partocopants chose each requirement as their number ONE priority.
Source City of Del Mar.
Click on graphc to enlarge.

The Del Mar City Council, frustrated by a split in the community over whether or not to allow and regulate short term rentals, asked Councilmembers Terry Sinnott and Dwight Worden to draft regulations that might bridge the “two camps.” The two councilmembers agreed to bring the draft back to the full Council before their August break. Each represents a different side of the issue; Sinnott sees short term rentals as workable with appropriate regulations while Worden objects to their use in residential areas.

The collaboration was reached at the June 20 Council meeting following a staff summary of input gathered at the June 13 community workshop on regulating short term rentals. Residents attending the City sponsored workshop had trouble agreeing on regulations they could live with. A majority of the nine tables set the tone by selecting 30 days as their limit for a minimum stay but worried that the workshop format precluded that option. Councilmember Don Mosier clarified that the workshop was geared toward seeing if regulations could allow some form of short term rentals in Del Mar and if not “all options are still on the table.” STR (no minimum stay) supporters felt this format threw the issue back to whether or not to ban short term rentals rather than identifying workable regulations.

Short term rentals community workshop at the Powerhouse on Monday, June 13. Photo Ann Gardner.
Click on photo to enlarge.

Workshop attendees were seated at nine different tables with a set of regulation options to be discussed and favored choices to be reported back to the whole group. The one option every table listed as a priority choice was that short term rentals be “regulated the same citywide.” Other favored options were that occupancy be limited to the number of people per bedroom and available on site parking. All rental operator requirements were seen as valuable, including notification to nearby residents of the rental details. It was the question of minimum length of stay that drew the most differences, to the extent that staff said it would “require further discussion in order to develop a direction for regulation.

Short term rentals currently are not covered in Del Mar’s Municipal Code leaving their legitimacy subject to controversy as the use in residential areas proliferates via VRBO and similar sites that advertise residences as short term rentals, and have begun to turn neighbors into visitors. One resident said “I want to live next door to a neighbor not a visitor;” another said “I depend on STR income to stay in my home.” A number of STR advocates are also property managers who do not live in the residences. Last month the Council extended an earlier moratorium on all new short term rentals until November in order to “allow and regulate short term rentals in Del Mar.”

Councilmember Sinnott said the June 13 workshop was a “rough effort” to get a community discussion going, a stage one, a beginning step to try and make it work.” Councilmember Worden who will work with Sinnott on a draft said he was happy to participate in the effort “as long as it is understood I may not change my position.”





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