Ann Gardner | Via Latina
A new second temporary moratorium “on the use of any residential property within the City of Del Mar for Short Term Rentals excluding current uses” was approved unanimously by City Council on October 17 with literally no public speakers on the issue. The stated purpose of the new moratorium is to give staff and Council “additional time to fully develop potential regulations of STRs.” Brief Council discussion centered on the need to resolve the issue as quickly as possible because, in Councilmember Dwight Worden’s words, “it is tearing the community apart.”
The question of whether or not to allow short term rentals (any property that is rented out for a period of less than 30 days) in Del Mar’s residential zones has been on the agenda for months. Issues identified by residents at Council meetings and at a community workshop include loss of long term neighbors and housing opportunities as well as changes in the neighborhood character when homes are rented mostly by visitors in vacation mode. Added noise and trash and loss of on-street parking are also mentioned.
The first moratorium, enacted in April and extended in May 2016, ends on November 18, and the issue has now moved front and center in the November 8 City Council election. The first question asked of candidates at the September Candidates Forum was “how and when do you plan on enforcing the community plan that does not allow short term rentals in residential areas.” Four of the six candidates running for three seats, Sherryl Parks, Ellie Havilland, Dave Drucker and Jim Benedict, all responded they would support a clarification of our zoning codes to not allow short term rentals in residential zones. Current Council member Al Corti said he disagreed that the Community Plan does not allow short term rentals in residential areas and wanted to find “a form that works for the whole community.” Candidate T. Pat Stubbs said: “Bans do not work. Let’s identify the problems and then move forward.”
At the October Council meeting staff clarified that the new moratorium would cover the previous moratorium time period. Short term rentals in existence before April 4, 2016 only are allowed to continue operating. Agreeing with the rest of the Council that the issue needed to be resolved as soon as possible Councilmember Don Mosier said he kept hoping to find a solution in other California cities but had not been successful.
Commencing use of a property for a new short-term residential rental after the City Council’s April 4, 2016 adoption of Urgency Ordinance No. 913 constitutes a violation of the moratorium.
To report a complaint about a short-term rental that is potentially in violation of the ordinance, please complete the Code Enforcement Complaint Form. Once a violation complaint is received, staff will perform an investigation and report back to the complainant on the status of the investigation. www.delmar.ca.us/563/Short-Term-Rentals