A sign of the times: Stop STVR banner gets out the message about saving neighborhoods to Interstate 5 traffic


Mini-hotels are illegal;

OK home-sharing, swapping


Join us, contact City Hall,

display a yard sign


Local planning groups,

councils all backing SSDN


Municipal Code is clear:

See the code, analysis





Momentum keeps building

From Anaheim, to Clairemont, to the U.S. Senate, government is taking action to protect neighborhoods from undisguised commercial operations. Is San Diego about to step up?

Thought for the day:

58 percent of short-term vacation rentals in Laguna Beach have out-of-town landlords, says Ann Larson, assistant director of community development for the city. "We’re a world-renowned destination. We could fill up every single house with tourists. You’re constantly having people come and go who you don’t know. You don’t have that connection of having neighbors who know you. You can’t regulate that. You can’t condition that. The only way you can regulate it, is by not allowing short-term lodging.” See how Laguna Beach is responding.

News and events

City Attorney Memo:

Existing Municipal Code bars from residential zones uses that provide lodging primarily to visitors, tourists. Why not enforce this already? See Dec. 21 memo.



Join, support SSDN.

Neighborhoods are for neighbors.

Save San Diego Neighborhoods is a true "grassroots" group begun by concerned citizens after the Pacific Beach Planning Group passed recommendations to regulate short-term vacation rentals on March 3, 2015. We are a 401-C non-profit organization.

We are close to getting STR enforcement, but your help is urgently needed

San Diego City Council

Tuesday, Nov. 1, 10 a.m.

Golden Hall

202 C Street, San Diego

Lightner proposal simply enforces current City

Municipal Code


In her farewell appearance to the Community Planners Committee (CPC) on Oct. 25, outgoing San Diego City Council President Sherri Lightner outlined her vacation rental proposal. Made up of the chairs from neighborhood community advisory boards from across the City, the CPC last year voted overwhelmingly to support enforcement against the explosion of vacation rentals in residential neighborhoods. Lightner told them her proposal would help make that happen.


"Just to clarify," she told the planners, "STR and STVR are a type of visitor accommodation. Given that STR are a visitor accommodation, there clearly are areas where they are permitted and where they are not permitted. The Municipal Code already regulates that. Where STR are permitted is determined by the zoning of your property. We are going to protect the sanctity of single-family neighborhoods where STR are not allowed."


Please attend Tuesday's meeting at 10 a.m. at Golden Hall.

Please attend a City Council hearing on Tuesday and write to your representative

We said change was coming. Here it is. City Council, Code Compliance and the City Attorney's office are poised to affirm what we have said for years:


"Given the use characteristics of STRs and STVRs, they fall under Visitor Accommodations, Commercial Services Use Category, and are not permitted in Residential Zones ...."


Part of the advance documents for Tuesday's meeting, this affirms that short term rentals are a commercial use and NOT permitted in residential zones. Tuesday's meeting is not about changing the Municipal Code - only enforcing it.


On Tuesday, November 1, at 10 a.m., the City Council will meet on Short-Term Vacation Rentals in Residential Zones. Council President Sherri Lightner is partnering with Councilmember Lorie Zapf and the City Attorney to bring a proposal regarding this issue to the City Council. The meeting agenda and supporting documents are posted on the City's website. They show that the focus of the meeting on Tuesday will be on tweaking language the City Attorney feels is needed for stronger enforcement.


As you can imagine, the pressure from Airbnb and vacation rental operators - who stand to lose millions from this long-overdue enforcement - is ramping up. They packed the Oct. 25th meeting of the Community Planners Committee, where Lightner previewed her proposal. They also, as Lightner said, are communicating false statements about the proposal to their group.


We need you - NOW - to stand up for the tens of thousands of San Diego homeowners who bought their homes based on a simple promise from the City - that they were buying their home in a residential neighborhood.


Write your City Council member now. Email addresses and mail addresses are below. Tell them you want your neighborhood protected from commercial uses. A sample letter is below.


Then, please attend the Nov. 1 City Council meeting at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at Golden Hall to show your support. Plan to arrive early. Seats will be at a premium, even at Golden Hall.


Save San Diego Neighborhoods has argued relentlessly for this action to be taken by the City. Now, after more than 9 years of struggle, it is within reach. It is your turn. Please help make this happen.


Email your San Diego representative














Additionally, when sending an email to Lorie Zapf always CC Liezl Mangonon and James McGuirk, two of Ms. Zapf's assistants:





The address for City Hall is:

City Administration Building

202 C Street

San Diego, CA 92101

A sample letter


Dear Councilmember XX:


For almost a decade, homeowners and local government panels have asked that the San Diego Municipal Code be enforced regarding illegal short-term vacation rentals operating in residential zones. We are extremely pleased that City Council President Sherri Lightner and District 2 Council Member Lorie Zapf are bringing to the Council a proposal that affirms whole-house STVR are not permitted in residential zones under the current San Diego Municipal Code. We urge immediate enforcement against these illegal commercial operations.


We also urge you to remember the tens of thousands of San Diego homeowners who bought their homes - the biggest purchase of their lives and the foundation of their family life - based on the City's zoning promise that they were buying in a residential neighborhood. The illegal commercial use of homes for whole-house vacation rentals is destroying our neighborhoods, contributing to the affordable housing crisis in San Diego, and severely impacting the right of residents to enjoy a peaceful environment in their homes

STR code enforcement overdue


On Tuesday, San Diego will discuss enforcement of illegal short-term vacation rentals. This action is long overdue. But, let’s be clear what is - and is not - being considered.


This is about enforcing the EXISTING Municipal Code, on whose reliance San Diegans bought homes in residential zones. The minor changes proposed – eliminating the word “primarily” and adding the definition for “visitors and tourists” to conform with the definition of “transient” in the Municipal Code - have no effect on the ordinance. They only address City Attorney Jan Goldsmith’s perceived need to facilitate enforcement.


These changes do not ban homesharing to the extent they are permitted under the SDMC now. This enforcement is directed at unsupervised mini-hotels where owners are absent. These commercial uses in residential neighborhoods are prohibited by the SDMC because they destroy neighborhoods.

864 Grand Avenue, PMB 526, San Diego CA   92109