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One vote shy of being veto-proof, 60-day cap on Airbnb approved

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The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved legislation limiting short-term rentals to a 60-day hard cap annually. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)
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A hard cap of 60 days annually for short-term rentals like Airbnb was approved Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors one vote shy of a veto-proof majority.

Mayor Ed Lee’s spokesperson Deirdre Hussey declined to say after the vote Tuesday whether the mayor would veto the proposal. He has 10 days to decide.

“The mayor will review the legislation when it arrives on his desk,” Hussey told the San Francisco Examiner.

SEE RELATED: Despite Airbnb overture, SF expected to approve 60-day cap on short-term rentals

Supervisor Scott Wiener casted one of the three key votes to ensure the legislation was not veto-proof, joining supervisors Malia Cohen and Katy Tang in voting against it. It is one of Wiener’s last votes as supervisor before he is sworn into office as the District 11 state Senator.

“My vote is consistent with my past positions on the issue,” Wiener said in a text message to the Examiner. “I don’t support a hard cap on hosted short-term rentals. Too many people who live in their homes rely on income from renting out a spare bedroom. A 60-day hard cap on people renting out a spare bedroom in their home will hurt a lot of people and, in my view, goes too far.”

The board voted 7-3 to approve the legislation, introduced by Board of Supervisors President London Breed on the second and final reading. Supervisor Mark Farrell was excused from the vote because he has business interests tied to the short-term rental industry.

Breed has said she introduced the legislation because the regulatory scheme is widely acknowledged as not working. There are only 1,700 short-term rentals registered with The City as required but an estimate of more than 7,000 hosts alone list properties to rent on Airbnb.

Breed said during a board committee hearing that Airbnb rentals “contribute to the changes in our communities and we need to make sure it’s managed better,” and she also defended the 60-day limit.

“It should not be more lucrative to offer an empty unit as a short-term rental than to rent it as permanent housing,” Breed said.

Meanwhile, Airbnb and San Francisco remain embroiled in a federal lawsuit after the short-term rental company sued The City earlier this year over a board adopted regulation. That regulation requires short-term rentals to only list those rentals with valid city registration numbers or pay penalties. The two sides held settlement talks Tuesday.

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