(760) 741-1200


104 W. Grand Avenue, Suite A
Escondido, California 92025

< Back to News

Del Mar's Coastal Commission Challenge Could Make Waves
By Jesse Marx, September 19, 2018

Del Mar’s feud with the California Coastal Commission over short-term vacation rentals could have significant consequences outside the region’s smallest city.

Earlier this summer, the commission rejected Del Mar’s decision to require visitors to stay in vacation rentals for a minimum of seven days and limit the total number of days that hosts can open their homes to 28 days annually.

Those rules, the commission said, were too severe. Instead, it recommended that renters be required to stay a minimum of three days and hosts keep their homes open for no more than 100 days annually.

Del Mar officials were not pleased. The city voted 3-2 behind closed doors to challenge the commission’s decision, questioning its authority and jurisdiction to require short-term vacation rental rules within residential zones. They asked the Superior Court to intervene.

As its name suggests, the Coastal Commission has significant authority over the state’s coast, extending generally 1,000 yards inland. One of its goals is maintaining public access to beaches, and so it has defended short-term vacation rentals as an affordable option for low-income visitors.

Del Mar lies completely within the state’s Coastal Zone, and the commission has an established role there.

But as Everett Delano, an attorney specializing in land use and environmental law, told me, Del Mar is simply asking a judge to determine whether the commission has overstepped its bounds in this case. Where the commission’s authority ends and the city’s authority begins is the key question, he said.

The commission has until mid-December to respond, the Coast News reported.

I also asked Erik Bruvold, CEO of the San Diego North Economic Development Council, for his thoughts on the significance of Del Mar’s petition and he said it’s likely, if the city is successful, that other neighboring coastal cities would push for more restrictive short-term vacation rental policies.

But he added: “My expectation would be … that any pressures to further short-term vacation rentals will be weighed against the financial contributions to that city’s general fund.” Carlsbad, he noted, has started tracking the amount of revenue on a per property basis — data that should help move the conversation out of the anecdotal realm.

The commission has rejected rules in cities outside Del Mar for being too onerous, and its presence continues to loom over the short-term vacation rental debate in San Diego. The commission has yet to approve the ordinance that San Diego City Council members adopted in mid-July.

Days before that vote went down, the commission suggested that it preferred a more permissive proposal put forth by the mayor.


Home | Practice Areas | Firm Background | FAQ’s | News | Resources | Attorneys | Contact | About Your Case
Law Offices of DeLano & DeLano ©2018 All Rights Reserved. Site by Sterling Productions