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Changes coming to short-term rentals, street vending in Pacific Beach

Jaden Ballardo and Charlie Nieto reviewing the success of the council’s May 14 Graffiti Day Clean-Up.
Volunteer Jaden Ballardo and PB Town Council board member Charlie Nieto reviewing the success of the council’s May 14 Graffiti Day Clean-Up.
(Steven Mihailovich)

Community calendar created to help promote PB events

Pacific Beach residents learned the city will soon implement regulations to short-term rentals and street vendors during their Town Council’s May 18 meeting.

Linus Smith, representing City Councilmember Jennifer Campbell, announced the San Diego City Council’s passage of two ordinances regulating short-term rentals and street vendors the day before.

Smith said the council passed the Short-Term Rental Ordinance with amendments tacked onto it by the California Coastal Commission. With Mayor Todd Gloria’s signature expected, the law will come into effect at the beginning of 2023.

Under the ordinance, no more than 1 percent of the city’s total housing stock can be converted into short-term rentals. A lottery system will award permits to applicants who meet criteria that includes having no citations issued by the Development Services Department for code violations in the past two years and paying Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) while operating before the permit.

Among the commission’s conditions was a stipulation that “the permits allocated to applicants will be proportional to the amount of applications received from each community planning area,” Smith said.

That means if half of the applications for short-term vacation rentals in San Diego come from PB, half of the permits awarded must go to PB candidates.

As for the Street Vendors Ordinance, it was sent to the Coastal Commission for review.

Smith also said allocations have been made in the city’s proposed budget to hire enforcement officers for the ordinances — 16 for short-term rentals and 18 for street vendors.

“Once those ordinances come into effect, we do expect there to be proper enforcement so that these issues do finally go away for our communities,” Smith said.

The proposed budget also calls for the addition of 23 civilian positions in the police department to assist with enforcement of parking zone and 72-hour parking violations, with 20 going to the former and three to the latter. Smith said no additional personnel would be assigned to cover oversized vehicle parking enforcement.

With street parking a commodity in PB, Eve Anderson said the 23 extra police employees could easily add oversized vehicles to their portfolio.

“This is a law that’s been on the books,” Anderson said. “It’s just been ignored. Saying that you’ve got two other priorities doesn’t help. I think it can be folded in without a problem. It’ll be real obvious when they drive around and see those things that they’re not supposed to be there. Not that it requires a huge education. Two minutes and they can study the ordinance.”

Anderson said police are deploying more resources to Mission Beach and La Jolla to face mounting problems in those neighborhoods, including increased break-ins in La Jolla.

She also told those present that restaurant and bar owners at the latest Hospitality Group meeting of Discover PB, the business improvement district, expressed apprehensions over accounts that police presence in the beach area this summer would be reduced from two full beach teams of six officers each to four total officers. In addition, the police paddy wagon will be reassigned to Mission Beach.

“The bar owners in particular are really nervous,” Anderson said. “They’re trying to hire security guards and as we all know, it’s very hard to hire people. So PB may be a noisy place. We’ll know from the trash cans. We’ll see how overflowing they are.”

Anderson asked those present to report all suspicious activity to the police this summer in order to get the department’s attention.

“Please, when you see things begin to heat up in the summer, call,” she said. “Because (police resources are) based on calls for service. ... If we don’t call, we’re not going to have anything.”

Starting June 1 Pacific Beach nonprofits have a new way to share their events with their neighbors. Community members are being asked to post events on the new PB Community Calendar, designed to highlight nonprofits’ community events throughout the year.

Council member Trisha Goolsby, the initiative’s leader, said the calendar is for free and ticketed events.

“It can be a fundraiser. It can be just a meeting that you might be having. It could be a clean-up that you might be doing within your block and you’d like to just share it and maybe the neighbors would see,” Goolsby said.

The purpose is to provide residents a principal reference for finding activities that benefit the community in which they’d like to participate. Goolsby said she is actively seeking to include Mission Beach events as well.

“You can see the different ways you can get involved socially, philanthropically or by volunteering in our community, which is helpful because we really need that central hub space that gets us a rundown of everything that’s going on and then links us up to those avenues,” Goolsby said.

To submit an event for the PB Community Calendar, contact the PBTC office by email at general@pbtowncouncil.org

PBTC board member Charlie Nieto and volunteer Jaden Ballardo also recapped the council’s Graffiti Day Clean-Up on May 14. They said 86 volunteers removed 600 pre-selected graffiti tags. The annual event was on hiatus for two years due to the pandemic.

“We have a lot of people reaching out through Instagram, (saying things) like, thank you so much for cleaning up the graffiti on the fence outside my house,” Ballardo said. “We really did make an impact and people noticed.”


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