A City Council majority rejected Council President Sherri Lightner’s attempt to bar many vacation rentals, leaving those concerned by their proliferation to wait again.
San Diegans concerned about a proliferation of problem vacation rentals in their neighborhoods got a clear message Tuesday: There’s nothing the city can do to crack down on those vacation rentals with the code it now has.
The takeaway came moments after a proposal by City Council President Sherri Lightner that would have barred vacation rentals in many city neighborhoods fell flat.
Instead, vacation rental operators and opponents of them learned noise complaints are the only recourse city code officers have to combat problem short-term rentals. Those hoping for more regulations now have to trust city officials’ promises to step up enforcement and pass new rules in coming months are fulfilled despite several stalls so far.
For years, Lightner had heard complaints about unruly out-of-town visitors and year-round rentals in otherwise quiet neighborhoods. She grew frustrated as she watched repeated efforts over the last two years to pass new rules crumble.
So, on Tuesday, weeks before Lightner’s set to leave office, she tried to do something. She failed.