The memorandum of understanding between Expedia and Unite HERE, brokered by City Councilwoman Jennifer Campbell, creates a framework to regulate vacation rentals that could potentially cut the number of whole-home vacation rentals within the city limits by 70 percent.
“San Diegans deserve short-term rental regulations that protect our neighborhoods, preserve valuable housing and will stand the test of time,” said Campbell, who represents coastal communities including Mission Beach, Pacific Beach and Ocean Beach.
The City Attorney’s office has agreed to draft an ordinance based on the Expedia/Unite HERE framework, according to participants. The new rules would carve out some of the more contentious items in previous attempts to regulate short-term rentals in the city.
The key piece of the agreement calls for capping whole-home short-term rentals to 0.7 percent of the city’s housing stock, which would amount to 3,750 permits.
The exact number of entire home vacation rentals being listed in the city currently is unclear. But the City Auditor has estimated total short-term rentals — both whole home and home share units — at 16,000.
“We have heard from an organization that watches over short-term rentals throughout the state that 80 percent to 90 percent are whole home rentals in San Diego,” said Campbell, “so home sharing is not a big part of it.”
Critics of vacation rentals say that platforms such as Airbnb and HomeAway create financial incentives for renting out properties for short-term stays instead of long-term residential use, thus reducing the housing supply and driving up prices.