It appears likely that all short term rentals (STR) in Del Mar will soon be legalized. The City Council majority seems ready to deliver on their campaign promises to reward STR supporters with a policy that will grandfather in almost every existing STR business. Consequently, the beach community will experience greater concentration of STRs than other areas in the community. Input from the community came mostly from STR operators. The new regs will be much more favorable than the compromise proposal passed by the previous Council with only 28 days per year rentals, each of at least 7 days.


Guided by the expertise and process skills of Principal Planner Amanda Lee, the Council worked systematically to shape the contours of the new policy.  The City Attorney review of Coastal Commission approvals in 17 California cities also provided boundaries to be observed. The result is a set of specific directions for staff to fill in all of the specifics of the final product. Target time for final Council approval is December-January.


Specific directions from Council include:

  • a 5% cap on short-term rentals citywide. The current count of existing STRs within the city is 148 or 5.7%.  Currently there are 2379 hotel/guest units available within a 5-mile radius.
  • a 3-night minimum stay
  • caps to limit concentration of STRs in certain neighborhoods
  • STR operators must get a non-transferable permit
  • a 13% hotel tax charged to renters
  • options for STRs with a permanent resident and those with no owner occupancy
  • good-neighbor expectations for noise, occupancy, trash, parking

Opportunities for input from the public will be available in at least two future Council meetings.