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Posted on: July 25, 2023

Council approves guiding principles for short-term rentals

vacation rentals sign

The City Council on July 24 approved 11 principles to guide the development of policies for short-term rentals.

The guiding principles stem from existing goals and policies set in Del Mar's Community Plan and Local Coastal Program. 

As the City moves toward preparing a short-term rental ordinance, Councilmembers agreed that regulations should: 

1. Honor existing policies in the Del Mar Community Plan;

2. Maintain the residential character of neighborhoods in residential zones; 

3. Honor the tradition of vacation rentals during the summers, holidays and horse racing seasons;

4. Ensure protection of public health, safety and general welfare;

5. Ensure the City’s natural resources will be preserved and protected;

6. Ensure short-term rentals will not overburden public improvements, facilities and services;

7. Seek to minimize adverse impacts to adjacent private properties and the surrounding neighborhood;

8. Consider the distribution and concentration of STRs throughout the community;

9. Be easy to understand and implement;

10. Communicate expectations for civil conduct in line with “good neighbor” policies; and

11. Establish enforcement protocols to ensure that the regulation of short-term rentals is, at a minimum, revenue-neutral to the City.

Earlier, on July 10, an analysis presented to the City Council identified 116 units, or 4.5 percent of the total dwelling units in Del Mar, as advertised for rent on a daily basis.

Short-term rentals are rentals of a dwelling unit for 30 days or less. 

Looking ahead to City Council meetings in September:

  • On Sept. 5, staff is expected to present data from June 2023 that the Council had asked to be added to the overall data set. During that meeting, the City Attorney is scheduled to report upon relevant California Coastal Commission actions and court decisions; and
  • On Sept. 18, a staff presentation will cover the short-term rental policies of other, selected cities. Staff will seek the City Council's direction on the desired policy and regulatory framework.

Later steps include preparation of a draft ordinance and Local Coastal Program Amendment with associated environmental review, a Planning Commission hearing to provide a recommendation on the draft ordinance, City Council meetings for ordinance introduction and adoption and, finally, certification by the Coastal Commission.

Public participation is encouraged at all meetings and during environmental review.

The City Council has identified setting policies for short-term rentals as a priority for 2023-24.

Watch meeting 

Open staff report

Open presentation

Related story: Council reviews data and process for short-term rentals (July 11, 2023)

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