SF supes postpone controversial vote on changing Airbnb law

Natasha Dangond/Special to the S.F. ExaminerSupervisor David Campos is shown during a Monday rally for short-term rental reform.

Natasha Dangond/Special to the S.F. ExaminerSupervisor David Campos is shown during a Monday rally for short-term rental reform.

San Francisco’s Airbnb debate continues to rage on after the Board of Supervisors postponed a vote Tuesday on dueling proposals to amend the existing short-term rental law.

Supervisor Mark Farrell, who has proposed one measure along with Mayor Ed Lee, requested the continuance for what he called more time to discuss a possible compromise.

Meanwhile Supervisor David Campos, who has proposed a competing measure, called on the board to vote and not delay.

But in the end the board voted 7-4 to postpone a decision on the two proposals until July 14. Campos, along with supervisors Eric Mar, John Avalos and Jane Kim opposed the delay.

But Farrell said the delay was would allow the board to try and reach a “consensus where possible and to avoid a complicated measure being decided at the ballot.”

A group called ShareBetter SF is collecting signatures to place the measure on the November ballot. Co-founder of ShareBetter SF Dale Carlson said that they have collected close to 10,000 signatures and expect to qualify by the deadline of July 7. They need 9,700 valid signatures to qualify. Once submitted, Carlson said the measure cannot be removed from the ballot. However, he noted that in the past some measures have been “orphaned,” in other words, active campaigns weren’t run for them.

Campos said that postponing the vote only benefited Airbnb. “The last thing that we need in this building is to give the lobbyists of Airbnb more time to do what they have been doing in this building for the last couple of years.”

Campos spoke to the adverse impacts of improperly regulated short-term rentals, saying it is taking up vital housing units for long term tenants during a housing crisis.

His colleagues were quick to defend themselves.

“Frankly, I don’t care what Airbnb needs or wants. I don’t care what its lobbyists need or want,” Supervisor Scott Wiener said. “What I care is about what my constituents need and want.”

Wiener said that Campos’ restriction of 60-days for the number of stays a host can book per year goes too far for people who are relying on short-term rentals to be able to afford to live in San Francisco. Farrell’s proposal is 120 days. Campos’ proposal also requires hosting platforms to verify that a residential unit is registered with The City prior to listing. “I am eager to find a real solution,’ Supervisor Julie Christensen said. “I am just troubled by aspects of both proposals and hopeful that we can iron out those issues and come to something that we can actually feel will work.”

The board had legalized short term rentals beginning Feb 1. But shortly thereafter it was concluded a failed law with low registration of short term rental hosts and unenforceability.

The mayor’s proposed budget includes $800,000 for a short-term rental office dedicated to registering those to engage in the practice staffed by six city workers.

Bay Area NewsDavid CamposevictionsGovernment & PoliticshousingPolitics

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

City Administrator Naomi Kelly said Wednesday that the allegations against her husband were “based on the word of a liar.” (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City Administrator Naomi Kelly takes leave after feds charge husband

High-ranking official under scrutiny over 2016 China trip

High school seniors Shayla and Kayla Bryant receive guidance from 100% College Prep around college admissions. (Courtesy photo)
High school seniors juggling college applications and distance learning

In a final year of high school spent largely online, seniors are… Continue reading

Lyft, owner of the Bay Wheels bikeshare program, stands to receive more than $300,000 in a legal settlement with The City. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Supervisors to weigh $330,000 settlement with Lyft over bikeshare dispute

If approved, deal would resolve an 18-month long legal battle over San Francisco’s e-bike market

The J Church train could begin running again later this month on at least part of its surface route. (Mira Laing/Special to S.F. Examiner)
First Muni trains will return to service Dec. 19

Three additional bus routes coming back online in January

Stanford defensive end Thomas Booker recently was one of Pac-12’s Football Players of the Week. <ins>(Pac-12 Screenshot)</ins>
College Football Preview: Oregon at Cal, Stanford at Washington

Cal plays final home game, Stanford plays second of three road games to end regular season

Most Read