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— “It all comes back to the mayor,” Pennell says. “He wants the TOT because the City’s broke.”

Councilman Faulconer’s approach to solving the problems caused by vacation rentals is to go after them for nuisance violations.

“One of the tools that has been used successfully recently is the CAPP program [Community Assisted Party Program] and the administrative fines program,” Faulconer says. “That really gets to the heart of it if somebody is not doing what they’re supposed to. There’s now a new tool for the police to use.”

The administrative fines program allows police officers to issue $1000 citations to residents or landlords for loud noise and parties. CAPP enables police to designate a house as a problem, allowing officers who respond to a call to that house to take a zero-tolerance approach, citing or arresting violators.

There are 39 “capped” houses in the 92109 zip code, but CAPP data does not include information on whether a house is a vacation rental.

“I believe one of the administrative fines that they’ve issued to someone for being too noisy was to a vacation rental home,” Faulconer says. “From my standpoint, I want to make sure that we’re protecting the quality of life for neighbors and for people who are visiting alike.”

Residents say there are a number of problems with Faulconer’s approach. First, it allows vacation rentals to exist in single-unit residential zones. Second, it deals only with noise and loud parties. Third, it puts the burden of enforcement on the neighbors. Last, responding to noise complaints is a low priority for police officers.

Penny Campbell has called police numerous times to complain about the noise coming from the vacation rental at 4135 Cass Street.

Originally a three-bedroom, one-bathroom house, the now–four-bedroom, four-bathroom house sleeps up to 12 people and rents for $3900 to $4700 a week during the summer months.

“It can take anywhere between two to seven hours” for police to respond to a noise complaint, Campbell says. “One time the police didn’t drive by until a quarter to seven in the morning, when the problem was occurring at one or two in the morning. By the time the police come by, it’s a totally different scenario because the response time is so long. One of my major issues, you have no recourse. You can call that number all night long, and no one is going to show.”

There are at least seven vacation rentals in a three-block radius of Campbell’s house, where she lives with her husband and two young children. She says she was recently asked if her seven-year-old daughter’s Brownie troop could have a sleepover in her backyard, but she had to say no because of the frequent late-night gatherings by the vacationers next door.

“My issues have always been the profanity, the noise, and the hours,” she says. “There’s also an uncomfortability. I don’t know who these people are that are next door.”

Because of the documented complaints, Campbell, Beckett, and Pennell say, owners and property managers in their areas are now renting to more families, which generally aren’t disruptive, but all three are still demanding that the City get to work preserving its single-family neighborhoods. Beckett points out that there are plenty of vacation rentals in properly zoned areas, such as Mission Beach and along Ocean Boulevard in Pacific Beach.

“We’ve argued that these are illegal in the RS zones, and they tell us there’s no ordinance preventing them,” Beckett says. “If that’s the case, let’s write an ordinance and fix the problem.”

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Comments

electric_fish Aug. 13, 2008 @ 9:37 p.m.

blah blah, ban.

here is the way you get the police to respond to noise. Call from several numbers (home, cell, friends cell, neighbors phone). If they receive 3 or more calls then it becomes a priority.

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LAL Aug. 13, 2008 @ 3:10 p.m.

Come on San Diego, Let's Vote this Permanent Alcohol Ban down again. The City Council was offered a Holiday only ban and is going straight to taking away our Freedom to enjoy our beaches, bays and parks the way we want. We all pay taxes for these "public spaces" and should be able to have a beer at the park while I wax my car in the summer, while I play volley ball or horse shoes at the beach or after a ride on my jet ski at the bay. Enough is enough! VOTE No on Prop D - Stop the Permanent Alcohol Ban in San Diego.

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a2zresource Aug. 16, 2008 @ 1:12 p.m.

I am wondering how a local ordinance to ban or restrict a home business such as a vacation rental is reconciled with existing state law on supporting the need for more "microenterprises" for spurring economic growth (see http://www.microbiz.org/ for CAMEO: California Association for MicroEnterprise Oppourtunity, complete with California State Assembly whitepapers...)

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rootcanal Aug. 27, 2008 @ 10:40 a.m.

I don't have a problem with vacation rentals so long as guests are quiet and respectful.

My family and I rent vacation homes a few times a year and we really enjoy it. It's better for our family to be in a home with a kitchen and more space, than being in a hotel or at a resort.

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john61nine Sept. 18, 2008 @ 10:55 a.m.

no one is allowed to have fun anymore, misery loves company.

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