Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Sharing Economy Opens a Debate with San Diego Housing Rentals

It isn’t hard to find examples how new technology is disrupting traditional methods of conducting business when these examples are right in your backyard. Homeowners are renting their beach abodes for extra money but putting pressure on local communities that lack parking and resources. Recent meetings with The Smart Growth and Land Use Committee offers opportunities to take public testimony and listen to reports to get a better grasp of how the sharing economy works. 

The problem is not yet a huge one but certainly could get bigger in the future as the sharing economy grows. Getting a handle on it now makes sense. There are around 1,800 registered owners of rental properties but 3,100 properties available for rent (as cited by Fox 5). This means that officials are unaware of how many people are renting homes and whether or not they are complying with regulations.

These rental arrangements are growing in other areas beyond the posh beach communities. Trendy neighborhoods such as East Village, Little Italy and South Park also have their own short-term rental options (as cited by 10 News). It is likely that other communities may have an interest in getting their houses on the market as well.

San Diego is a vacation destination and certainly will have more incentives for homeowners to engage in short-term renting while year round residents feel overwhelmed by the fluctuating traffic. San Diego should not rush to come to grips looming issues in order to set the right tone for other popular resort cities across the country.

As new technology changes the market government must catch up and implement new rules, regulations, and processes to ensure public interest is protected. As government adjusts and changes to meet these new demands government will likely adjust local ordinance, laws, and processes to better manage the situation. The same process will occur throughout the country in other major cities. 

The problems experience in San Diego are not unique as all governments must come to new ways of handling changing trends. There are many legal challenges associated with house renting in the sharing economy and how U.S. policymakers can regulate micro-entreprenuers (Burnette, 2015). These processes will be worked out over time but will come with some turmoil.

At present it is important to hear both sides of the argument and available data to ensure that a solid grasp of the situation is at hand. The changes, legislation and solutions should fit within San Diego’s long-term strategic plan. It is often beneficial to see what other cities and states are doing and adjust those policies to what works best locally. Keeping information available and the public informed of changes is beneficial for community based compliance.

Burnett, J. (2015). When people become businesses. Capitol Ideas, 28 (2). 

Crowds expected at council hearing on vacation rentals (April 22, 2015). Retrieved
San Diego City Council to debate divisive vacation rental issue (April 22, 2015). Retrieved


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