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EDITORIAL: Make Short-terms a Memory

With the proliferation of AirBnB and other internet-based rentals sites, it is time for Del Mar to ban short term rentals in residential neighborhoods – specifically the R-1 and R-2 zones. Cities have created zones to separate commerce from residents to reduce the impact of commerce on residents. Some residents are treating their own houses as commercial vehicles like hotels when that use is not allowed in a residential neighborhood.

It is only fair to the residents and the hoteliers that Del Mar does not become one large hotel. Increasingly, owners are advertizing very short-term rentals of their houses or rooms within their houses in direct competition with hotels and turning neighborhoods into zones of very temporary residents. There are increasing complaints from residents about unruly behavior, parties, late hours, noise, trash—a spring break type atmosphere.

The City Council is able to enact such an ordinance and enforce the ordinance under the need to provide health, safety and welfare of its residents. Many California cities in vacation areas are already enacting regulations to address this short term rental problem. Such an ordinance would not affect residents who rent their house out for months at a time or for people that want to rent a room within their house for months at a time. It would not affect those residents who let friends stay in their homes while they are on vacation.

Enforcement would be in two ways:

1. City Staff periodically checking websites to find out which owners are providing short term rentals.
2. Neighbors reporting to the city to take enforcement action

While Del Mar is filled with temporary residents – people who live here only part time, the ability to rent out a house or room for less than a month creates an atmosphere that is not conducive to the residential character of Del Mar.

 

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