Del Mar extends forbearance period for short-term rentals


Those who have a history of renting their homes to vacationers in Del Mar's residential neighborhoods can continue to do so, at least until the legal wrangling over the rules for short-term rentals can be settled, the City Council has decided.

On a unanimous vote at its meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 4, the council decided to extend its "forbearance period" for certain short-term rentals for another six months.

The decision means that those who have rented their homes out to visitors since before an April 4, 2016 moratorium on new short-term rentals can continue to do so for the time being.

Last year, after much deliberation, the council determined that under existing city law, short-term rentals are only allowed in commercial areas. The council passed an ordinance limiting short-term rentals in residential neighborhoods to a minimum of seven days, with a maximum of 28 days per year.

When the California Coastal Commission weighed in on the change, the panel attempted to loosen the restrictions -- allowing a minimum three-day stay with a maximum of 100 rental days per year . The Del Mar council then voted in July to file a court action challenging the commission's ability to regulate Del Mar's short-term rental properties. That action is still pending.

The issue has split property owners and residents into two camps -- those who believe short-term rentals should be allowed with no restrictions, and those who feel that such rentals are out of character in residential neighborhoods.