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Redefining Rental Rules
Ann Gardner | Via Latina

New vacation rentals follow not less than 30 day guideline.
Photo Ann Gardner.
Click on image to enlarge.

City Council took its first cut at identifying possible exceptions to its April 17 interpretation that short term rentals are not allowed by the Del Mar Municipal Code in the city’s residential zones. On May 1 Council took contentious public comment on that decision and after 11 p.m. continued its discussion to the May 6 Revised Budget Workshop meeting. At that meeting there was general agreement that any exception must meet the following criteria:

-benefits the community
-consistent with the Community Plan, and
-effectively enforced

Exceptions considered included “Owner/Resident Limited Vacation Rental.” Council agreed that a resident renting out their home as a short term rental for not less than 7 days and totaling no more than 21-30 days a year could potentially meet all the criteria.

“Home Share/Home Exchange”: Council agreed Owner/Resident either present or in a short term exchange or trade for not less than 7days and totaling no more than 21-30 days a year could potentially meet the criteria.

Seasonal short term vacation rentals were discussed as potentially possible by some Councilmembers, but this required further study. Potentials to explore could include a “capped” permit in certain zones during, for instance, the summer, or a conditional use permit. Councilmember Druker also suggested that allowing STRs in high density residential apartment buildings with full time on-site property managers might be considered but support for the suggestion was lukewarm although staff agreed to review. The major focus of the discussion was on how to eliminate the commercial nature of short term rentals in residential neighborhoods and that exceptions be administered and enforced as simply as possible. “So the definition is easy to understand,” Councilmember Havilland said.

Staff will work with this input and bring back for further Council review and public comment, “in a month or two.” The May 6 discussion was seen as a “first look at possible parameters.” The Council reemphasized that short term rentals in effect before the April, 2016 moratorium can continue to operate pending any decision regarding a phasing out procedure.



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