Coastal Commission Blocks Del Mar From Aggressive Vacation Rental Ordinance

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California Coastal Commission

A recent California Coastal Commission decision regarding vacation rentals in the small San Diego County town of Del Mar could spell trouble for a controversial proposed ban on short term rentals here in Malibu.

The commission at its meeting on Thursday, June 7, voted to block changes to Del Mar’s local coastal program that would have kept certain properties in the coastal city from being rented out more than 28 days per year. 

“The application submitted by the city is entirely too restrictive,” Commissioner Steve Padilla of Chula Vista said of the four-week proposed maximum.

Last month, the Malibu Planning Commission voted to propose a blanket ban on short-term vacation rentals—rentals of less than 30 days—throughout the city. If approved by city council, that proposal may not sit well with commissioners and Coastal Commission staff.

In response to Del Mar’s proposed constraints, commission staff suggested a far less restrictive ordinance, suggesting residential properties should be rented for a maximum of 180 days each year. 

Instead, the commission struck a compromise between those restrictions and commission staff’s proposal—to the tune of 100 days per year, with a minimum of three days per stay.

“We shouldn’t have to be doing this,” Chair Dayna Bochco of San Francisco admonished city administrators Thursday. “Your policy was too restrictive and your city members are saying this.”

Del Mar city officials will now go back to the drawing board and consider whether to go forward with the commission’s suggestion or seek alternatives.