Earlier this year the City Council clarified our Community Plan and City Regulations to say that Short Term Rentals (STRs) of less than 30 days are not allowed in the residential neighborhoods of Del Mar. They voted 4 to 1 for a compromise solution that would allow each property in Del Mar to be rented for up to 28 days per year with rental periods of no less than 7 days.
The proponents of Short Term Rentals (STRs) are becoming increasingly vocal as the Council proceeds with the code changes required to adopt this 28 / 7 framework.
We support their right to express opinions and voice objections—this is certainly democracy at work.
What should not be overlooked, however, is that a strong majority of voters in our most recent election clearly favored the Council candidates who promised explicitly to protect the residential character of our neighborhoods from unauthorized commercial activity. The growing problem of short term rental business incursions into neighborhoods all over town was voiced in every candidate forum and was featured in the campaign literature of the winning candidates. The Council is doing exactly what it promised voters—that is also democracy at work.
Homeowners who pay for their homes, pay for upkeep, and pay taxes have a right to be protected from a business use that was never allowed in their residential zone. It is becoming impossible to enjoy quiet neighborhood life when active hotel-like behaviors become more and more common. As one homeowner put it, “my neighbor is profiting from my misery.” In a small community which depends on its stakeholders to nurture our quality of life, including our civic life, we must insist that commercial activity be limited to commercial zones.
We are not the only city up and down the coast trying to wrestle this problem into resolution. We can be proud that our City Council is being resolute in protecting the character of our town.
Note: See STR article on here.