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Commentary:
Short Term Cases

Ellie Haviland | Mayor

There is a group named the Del Mar Alliance for Preservation of Beach Access and Village that has challenged the City’s plan to regulate short-term rentals. This litigious group challenged the city with three different cases.

• One case was dismissed.
• The second case they lost (the judge awarded them legal fees even though they lost).
• The third case was just ruled on December 24th. This limited ruling was that the city should have run a CEQA review before adopting its zoning interpretation. That’s it!

In the fight to retain local control, the city has brought only one case. That case challenges the California Coastal Commission contending local zoning regulations for STRs is a local city matter. We are fighting to uphold our community plan.
The Del Mar Alliance does not want us to have local control. They are even opposed to the Coastal Commission proposal that would allow STRs in all zones for up to 90 days per year with a 3 day minimum. The Alliance opposed all efforts at compromise insisting STRs in Del Mar should be unlimited in any zone. They continue to mischaracterize our residents-first strategy as an STR Ban.
Remember, the 7/28 plan allows for the following:

• Unrestricted STRs in the RC and all visitor and commercial zones.
• Restricted STRs for up to 28 days per year with a 7-day minimum stay in all residential zones (except for the RC where the 28/7 limits do not apply)
• Unlimited vacation rentals that are for 30+ days in all zones.

This is in addition to the 1550 weekly room night rentals at Wavecrest, 12 condo units in weekly stays at L’Auberge’s, and 12 units in the soon-to-be-built 941 Camino Del Mar project that can be used for a short-term rentals.
There is no ban.

The 7/28 plan for short-term rentals is the right strategy for Del Mar. This strategy was designed to allow residents and property owners to make some extra money off their homes without incentivizing short-term rental businesses. Even the moratorium on new STRs that was put in place when the Alliance first challenged the City in court has brought temporary peace of mind to residents in neighborhoods that have not yet been overrun with short-term rental businesses. Unfortunately, the Beach Colony neighborhood has not yet had any relief from the proliferation of mini-hotels already in their beautiful community.
We must continue to fight for our local control and for taking all our residential neighborhoods back for our residents. The Alliance represents pro-STR business interests, not those of us just trying to live here. It is the Alliance, not the city, that has been litigious, generating all these cases and attendant costs, losing two of three.

We are on the road to a successful outcome for Del Mar. We will win this fight for the soul of our community!

 

 

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