Written by: Andrew Greer

As you may already know, short-term rentals (STR) in the city of San Diego were given a devastating hit on April 6th. But is it as bad as it seems?

Led by Council President Jennifer Campbell, the SD City County voted 8-1 to limit them to 1% of housing stock. So what does this mean for STRs?

  1. The total stock of STRs will be reduced from an estimated 14,700 total units to 5,400.
  2. Mission Beach inventory will have its own limits set.
  3. All STRs must have a permit issued by the City to operate a.
    • This comes with a series of requirements including but not limited to the ability to answer and respond to any issue on-site within 1 hour if a call is made.
  4. A maximum of 1 license per individual
  5. The ability for part time hosts to offer their home during busy events IE: Comicon, Pride, etc
  6. Many other items are yet to be determined as the final ordinance and guidelines are not published.

The first question is, how do you get a license for your STR? Well fortunately they have opened up a program for “Good Actors.” This would allow priority for operating STR’s to get ahead of the line.

Not to be cynical but it may be a good time to email Todd Gloria and ask for his Venmo. Or let him know how you feel about him signing this into law. In all seriousness, the system is not set into place yet and there will likely be shenanigans with some Council members friends getting a license.

What options do I have from here to get in STRs?

  1. You can always operate illegally (Remember when booze was banned…)
  2. Get lucky and get a license
  3. Look for the low-hanging fruit all around.

Although 1 is interesting, and 2 is uncertain, I think 3 is the best option for everyone to pursue. So let’s discuss what I mean here.

There are currently 19 different municipalities in San Diego County, each with their own regulations. So lets look at opportunities created by San Diego City limiting Airbnb.

National City – Located minutes from downtown and the border this community offers opportunities for investors to get in and place an STR with a view. The community is growing with lots of a new development, including Market on 8th, to drive more activity and community growth in the CIty.

Imperial Beach & Coronado – Both of these cities offer access to the coast, great restaurants and proximity to San Diego city. Each market offers a different price point and opportunity for investors. Both cities have similar STR policies only allowing STR’s in commercial zones to be used.

North County – Oceanside, Carlsbad and Encinitas offer an interesting alternative to investors as well. All are great beach cities, each has its own unique scene and vibe as well. All three are governed by regulations that require permitting and management with the city but are slightly less restrictive than the city of San Diego. Encinitas is looking to tighten up their policies before the end of year but that has not been completed yet.

By reducing the number of STRs and tightening regulations, those who get “IN” will gain tremendously from the government-imposed supply constraints.

The tide can only shift if the citizens in these communities wish for more STR units and if that is the case make it known the next time you vote, and vice versa if you prefer to have less STRs in town.

Looking to invest in STRs, build an ADU, or verify the development feasibility on your property? Reach out to me (Andrew) at www.SanDiegoDeveloper.com to see how I can help.