Chula Vista sets new rules for short-term rentals

In October, Navid Namdar found a flyer on social media promoting free entry to a Halloween party. He became enraged when he read that this would be held in his short term rental in Chula Vista.

“It was a big party with 25 to 30 people,” said Namdar, a Chula Vista resident and Airbnb operator whose property has been listed to accommodate a maximum of nine people. “There were huge loudspeakers in the yard and they were parking all over the neighborhood. It was so bad.

Fortunately, he said, he lives near the rental and was able to end the party. But he’s worried about properties where the hosts aren’t local residents.

This is just one issue the city of Chula Vista is seeking to address in a series of new rules for short-term rentals that go into effect on February 1. The ordinance aims to support good businesses, but to penalize violators.

The ordinance approved by city council last month includes the following rules:

  • Only residents of Chula Vista may operate a short term rental within the city limits;
  • A permit for each owner is authorized;
  • Residents can rent their entire main residence for up to 90 days per year or part of their residence with no time limit;
  • A minimum rental period of two nights for whole house rentals;
  • Maximum occupancy is 10 people per rental.

The permit fee will cost $ 250 for the application, $ 175 for the renewal and $ 40 for the events, according to the order.

The backyard pool at Navid Namdar’s house in Chula Vista, which he rents through Airbnb.

(Kristian Carreon / For the San Diego Union-Tribune)

Penalties for violating the order, including if occupants engage in loud and disorderly contact between 10 p.m. and 9 a.m., include fines between $ 100 and $ 2,000.

One of the concerns expressed by several neighbors and hosts was law enforcement. The city plans to keep the police as the primary agency that responds to immediate calls and to hire a code enforcement officer to follow up or respond when police are unable to do so. City staff said they did not anticipate a significant need for the code enforcement officer during off-peak hours.

“(Having a code enforcement agent) is really only designed for a few known bad actors who are causing problems,” said Aaron Davitian, a resident and host of Chula Vista.

He and Namdar, along with other local hosts, said they worked with the city to shape the ordinance. Many of their suggestions came from comments from their neighbors.

“When I spoke to some of these neighbors, I really cared about what they were going through. No one should have to live next to a hotel to party, ”said Davitian, who has been a local resident for about 18 years and lives near his short-term rental.

A city survey showed that of around 110 respondents, 57 strongly objected to the city allowing short-term rentals in their neighborhoods. The majority of the participants were local owners.

Davitian said the neighbors, some of whom have considered relocating due to harmful activities, “just want to see the results now that the ordinance has been passed, and until a code enforcement officer is in. hired, they will not see that “.

As it stands, the hosts said the ordinance helps set a framework for best practices and addresses violators with appropriate penalties. The ordinance also includes “good neighbor” rules of conduct, which require the identification of a local contact person who is always available by telephone to respond to complaints or emergencies.

The ordinance will go into effect Feb. 1, except for all permit requirements “to give current operators time to comply with permits,” according to a report from city staff. On July 1, the permit application will take effect.

Mayor Mary Casillas Salas expressed concern about a potential increase in short-term rentals and the impact this would have on the city’s housing stock.

“The pressures are real on the housing market,” she said. “We don’t have that problem now, but the Bayfront is coming, and as we see the popularity of this happening, there is going to be a time when we will have to look and look at the caps on this.”

To date, Chula Vista has a short-term rental inventory of between 300 and 500, according to city staff.

Hosts, some neighbors and local businesses on Third Avenue said they see an advantage in having a strong supply of short-term rentals with the arrival of the Bayfront Project, which includes a hotel and convention center of one. billion dollars.

“I think short term rentals are part of a great ecosystem that can feed our community with a lot of tourism money that would normally go to San Diego,” Davitian said.

After a year, the city plans to assess the ordinance and its potential impact on local industry.

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