Del Mar's Coastal Commission Challenge Could Make Waves
Jesse Marx, September 19, 2018
Mars feud with the California Coastal Commission over
short-term vacation rentals could have significant consequences
outside the regions smallest city.
this summer, the commission rejected Del Mars 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.
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.
Mar officials were not pleased. The city voted 3-2 behind
closed doors to challenge the commissions decision,
questioning its authority and jurisdiction to require short-term
vacation rental rules within residential zones. They asked
the Superior Court to intervene.
its name suggests, the Coastal Commission has significant
authority over the states 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.
Mar lies completely within the states Coastal Zone,
and the commission has an established role there.
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 commissions authority ends and
the citys authority begins is the key question, he said.
commission has until mid-December to respond, the Coast News
also asked Erik Bruvold, CEO of the San Diego North Economic
Development Council, for his thoughts on the significance
of Del Mars petition and he said its likely, if
the city is successful, that other neighboring coastal cities
would push for more restrictive short-term vacation rental
he added: My expectation would be
that any pressures
to further short-term vacation rentals will be weighed against
the financial contributions to that citys 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.
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.
before that vote went down, the commission suggested that
it preferred a more permissive proposal put forth by the mayor.