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    Peninsula Beacon photo contest winners announced
    Jul 22, 2018 | 1540 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    PHOTO BY CHRIS MANNERINO
    PHOTO BY CHRIS MANNERINO
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    PHOTO BY RAY HITCHCOCK
    PHOTO BY RAY HITCHCOCK
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    PHOTO BY JOSH UTLEY
    PHOTO BY JOSH UTLEY
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    Amateur photographers submitted their photos to the Peninsula Beacon’s annual photo contest last month. Winners were determined by votes cast at the Peninsula Beacon's booth at the OB Street Fair. There were more than 400 votes this year. Chris Mannerino won first prize and a $100 gift certificate to Donovan’s, Ray Hitchcock earned second and two tickets on Hornblower for a whale watching tour. And Josh Utley took third and a $50 gift certificate to Nelson Photo. The Beacon congratulates the winners.
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    News and community briefs for Ocean Beach and Point Loma
    Jul 19, 2018 | 8024 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The #EyeLoveOB mural at the intersection of Newport Avenue and Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    The #EyeLoveOB mural at the intersection of Newport Avenue and Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    The Peninsula Breakers are manager Manny Faria, coaches Todd Cohen, Rich Gustafson, and Jeremy Young. Players: Anya Balderston, Reese Cohen, Jojo Collins, Claire de Merlier, Morgan Faria, Ava Gustafson, Georgia Kelly, Ella Riley, Natalie Sanchez, Claire Thurmond and Jazmine Ventura. 
    The Peninsula Breakers are manager Manny Faria, coaches Todd Cohen, Rich Gustafson, and Jeremy Young. Players: Anya Balderston, Reese Cohen, Jojo Collins, Claire de Merlier, Morgan Faria, Ava Gustafson, Georgia Kelly, Ella Riley, Natalie Sanchez, Claire Thurmond and Jazmine Ventura. 
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    Community workshop on Saratoga Avenue Park A campaign by the Ocean Beach Community Development Corporation to build a children’s playground/adult fitness station on Ocean Beach Park grass is progressing. A public workshop on the park project, which will be dedicated in honor of noted historian, teacher and volunteer Ruth Varney Held, will be Thursday, July 26, from 6 to 8 p.m. at OB Recreation Center, 4726 Santa Monica Ave. “The children’s playground is only about 9 percent of the overall park area,” said project organizer and former City Councilman Byron Wear. “The relocation of tables and barbecues actually creates a larger open space for flexible recreational activities.” Current design of Ruth Varney Held Park includes 4,362 square feet of children’s playground, 1,746 square feet of fitness area and 5,137 square feet of perimeter flood control.  An illustrative site plan for the proposed new park will be presented at the workshop. north chapel extension The last stop for worship for sailors shipping out to war since Word War II, North Chapel in Liberty Station, which was to have closed June 30, has been granted a reprieve.  “While we are still actively seeking a long-term tenant to increase the use of North Chapel, we don't yet have a lease in place,” said chapel owners Liberty Station Marketplace Investors. “So we've extended the agreement with our operator to make the chapel available for short-term rentals through the end of this year.” Owners added their long-term goal “is to find a use that both protects — and respects — the historic resource and allows for greater community enjoyment of the chapel.”  Proposed for conversion to restaurant use due to underutilization, North Chapel has been rented out for years on Sundays by two Catholic congregations for services, weddings and special events. Sculpture for Nimitz Taiji, a 14-foot-tall kinetic sculpture by Jeffrey Laudenslager, paid for and donated by Point Loma philanthropist Dorothea Laub, will soon be installed in the Nimitz Boulevard median just south of West Point Loma Boulevard.  Nonprofit PLA, which works on Peninsula beautification, has the sculpture project permit in-hand. Kinetic art is three-dimensional sculptures and figures with movable wind- or motor-driven parts, such as mobiles. “It's not a heavy piece,” said Laudensslager about Taiji, noting it comes apart in pieces and can be relatively easily installed. “It’s a serious sculpture working on the yin-yang (complimentary opposites) principle.” Added Laudenslager, “All of my sculptures have the character of movement, which tends to be slow, deliberate and very precise.” Dolphin Motel and billboard out, new hotel coming in The Dolphin Motel property at 2912 Garrison St. and the problematic billboard above it, are both proposed to be razed and replaced by the new, state-of-the art Monsaraz Hotel. “We’re waiting for the demolition permit, maybe by the end of summer,” said Point Loma Realtor Robert Tripp Jackson, who added a ceremony is planned following the property’s transformation.  In January, the Peninsula Community Planning Board unanimously endorsed a developer’s plan to demolish the motel’s four existing buildings and convert the parcel into a new 49,150-square-foot, 92-unit, three-story boutique hotel. OB winery wins gold in NYC The heart of Midtown Manhattan is where the upstart San Diego winery Gianni Buonomo Vintners, won over the judges to earn a 94-point rating and a Gold Medal in the New York International Wine Competition. The winning wine was their 2014 Maestrale, a Meritage/Bordeaux-style blend of Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. “Ocean Beach is a universe away from New York City. To think that our little beach winery is winning awards on the international wine stage in New York is very cool,” said Keith Rolle, owner of Gianni Buonomo Vintners, at 4836 Newport Ave. “It’s all about the grapes. Great wine comes from great grapes.” There were more than 1,400 entries from 24 countries in this eighth-annual event. Both award-winning wines are currently available for tasting at the winery. They can be purchased in the tasting room or online. Airport launches online parking reservation system The San Diego Airport launched a new parking reservation system on the heels of opening the Terminal 2 Parking Plaza last month. Reservations may be made at reservations.san.org. A special parking rate of $17/day (regularly $32/day) is available in the Terminal 2 Parking Plaza and $15/day (regularly $20/day) in the Long Term Lot for a limited time. Peninsula Breakers win District Championship After numerous heartbreaking losses in tournament semi-finals, the Peninsula Breakers went into the South San Diego District tournament with no expectations. In their first game, they started firing on all cylinders, and held their opponent to a shutout, in their second game they were trailing in the last inning by three runs only to score four runs to win the game and put them in the semi-finals. In the semi finals, they found themselves behind by five runs in the last inning, only to score six runs in the bottom of the inning for a walk-off win, which then put them into the championship game. In the final, the Peninsula players would find themselves down by five runs in the last inning only to win in dramatic fashion yet once again to become the South San Diego District champions. Going undefeated in the district tournament is unheard of in Peninsula Breakers history. The last time was possibly in 2008. This group of 12U Silver All-Stars has achieved something special together and although things didn’t work out at the state championships in Lancaster, the players, coaches, and parents will remember this amazing undefeated run to the South San Diego District Championship. Point Loma Pirates in final The Point Loma Pirates beat Team Dyna, 13-3, in the semi-finals of the San Diego Adult Baseball League at Helix High School. For the Pirates, A.J. Rodrigues went 4-for-4, and Eric Murphy pitched six innings while allowing two runs. The final game will pair the Pirates (13-2) against the San Diego Marlins (12-4) and will take place at 3:30 p.m. on July 29 at Southwestern College. Any players 25 and older who wish to continue playing baseball, should contact Bahi Z. at 619-726-8955. Movies at The Wine Pub The Wine Pub, at 2907 Shelter Island Drive, turns its patio into a gourmet outdoor movie theater for its annual Sit-In Cinema on Saturday, July 28, from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Film fans can expect a custom menu of movie munchies, choice of wine or beer from its locally renowned drink menu and the option to bring a four-legged friend to keep the “night at home” theme, but with table service.   This year’s chosen film, “Sideways,” tells of two friends touring the vineyards of Santa Barbara. The film, known for skyrocketing the popularity of pinot noir, follows actors Paul Giamati and Thomas Haden Church through wine country while the pair struggle to maintain their friendship after a series of life-changing events occur. Attendees are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets and pillows for a cozy evening on the patio. Tickets are $20 per person, which includes entry and a $10 credit towards gourmet movie munchies, drinks or anything from The Wine Pub’s menu. RSVP with The Wine Pub at 619-758-9325, or info@thewinepubsd.com.  Vanguard Productions presents ‘Annie’ Vanguard Productions will present “Annie” at Westminster Theatre in Westminster Presbyterian Church at 3598 Talbot St. on July 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, and 29. Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. Purchase Tickets at vanguardsd.org. Call the box office for information at 619-224-6263. Winner of seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, “Annie” should be on your July to-do list. No matter how many times you’ve seen it before, you will laugh, cheer and weep through the music and antics of this little girl and a dozen of her fellow orphans as they dance, sing and play tricks on the orphan manager, Ms. Hannigan.  OB photographer show at Historical Society The Ocean Beach Historical Society will present Randy Dible, local surf photographer, 7 p.m. Thursday, July 19, at Water’s Edge Faith Community, 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd. Dible has been shooting ocean-theme images for more than three decades.  Dible grew up in Mission Beach in the ’70s and ’80s, and now resides in Ocean Beach. He frequently travels to Hawaii, Mexico and other exotic surf destinations. His images have been published in Surfer, Surfing, Surfer’s Journal, Ocean Magazine and other periodicals worldwide. For more information, visit obhistory.org. Pizza & Beerfest to take over Liberty Station On Saturday, July 21, the inaugural San Diego Pizza & Beerfest will take over NTC Park in Liberty Station, offering more than 100 craft beers, as well as live music and more than 15 area restaurants serving signature pizza slices. For more information, visit sandiego-beerfestival.com.
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    Hot days, cool beaches – Locals losing their exclusive summertime spots in Point Loma and Ocean Beach
    by THOMAS MELVILLE
    Jul 19, 2018 | 1106 views | 1 1 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    During the oppressive heatwave a couple weeks ago, beachgoers filled nearly every inch of sand at No Surf Beach at Sunset Cliffs. / THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
    During the oppressive heatwave a couple weeks ago, beachgoers filled nearly every inch of sand at No Surf Beach at Sunset Cliffs. / THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
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    Emily, who’s from Indiana, and here visiting a friend in Ocean Beach, takes her first leap off The Arch. / THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
    Emily, who’s from Indiana, and here visiting a friend in Ocean Beach, takes her first leap off The Arch. / THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
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    The pocket beach at the end of Santa Cruz Avenue in Ocean Beach. /  THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
    The pocket beach at the end of Santa Cruz Avenue in Ocean Beach. / THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
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    An empty Garbage Beach on a Sunday morning. /  THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
    An empty Garbage Beach on a Sunday morning. / THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
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    People climb down the rope to Garbage Beach on a recent Sunday. /  THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
    People climb down the rope to Garbage Beach on a recent Sunday. / THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
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    Shelby (on the right), who grew up on Orchard Avenue, prefers the pocket beach at the end of Santa Cruz Avenue. /  THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
    Shelby (on the right), who grew up on Orchard Avenue, prefers the pocket beach at the end of Santa Cruz Avenue. / THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
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    People climbing up and down from No surf Beach on the dangerous trail. /  THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
    People climbing up and down from No surf Beach on the dangerous trail. / THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
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    More youngsters jumping off The Arch last Sunday at Sunset Cliffs. /  THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
    More youngsters jumping off The Arch last Sunday at Sunset Cliffs. / THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
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    A surfer prepares to head into the water at a small hidden beach at Sunset Cliffs. /  THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
    A surfer prepares to head into the water at a small hidden beach at Sunset Cliffs. / THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
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    There was a huge crowd at No Surf Beach at Sunset Cliffs two weeks ago during the heatwave. /  THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
    There was a huge crowd at No Surf Beach at Sunset Cliffs two weeks ago during the heatwave. / THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
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    The ways down to No Surf Beach are harrowing. Steep sandstone grooves with jagged edges and narrow ledges, and ominous rocks looming 50 feet below, keep most curious onlookers from attempting the trail down. To access Garbage Beach, which is a long and narrow sandy strip nestled under 80-foot-high bluffs, one has to negotiate an extremely steep and slippery trail along a broken drainage trough and then use a fixed rope for the last 10 feet. “Look at that beach, it looks awesome. How do you get down there?” is what’s often overheard from visitors to Sunset Cliffs as they stop to peer over the bluff. Locals love to hear that. Because the beach is awesome, and getting down to it is a dangerous trek, which means fewer interlopers, no rules, and more freedom. It’s worth it. Like New Break Beach to the south, and the pocket beaches to the north in OB, and Kellogg’s Beach on the bay side, the fewer visitors who know where they are, and how to get there, gives locals exclusivity and makes these beautiful beaches a favored destination. But unfortunately for locals, the word is out. “I like the quiet and I like the privacy,” said Shelby, a millennial, who grew up on Orchard Avenue and frequents the pocket beach at the end of Santa Cruz Avenue. Last weekend, with heat and humidity soaring, the beach at Santa Cruz, and its sister beach off Bermuda Avenue, were lightly attended, which suited Shelby just fine. “Nobody owns the beach, everyone is welcome,” she said. “But be respectful. Clean up after yourself and don’t be rude. These little beaches can get overrun with people. I think social media is one of the main reasons.” That same sentiment was expressed by Stephen, a La Jolla resident who has been coming to Ocean Beach for 20 years. On Sunday, he and his girlfriend were hiking through the ravine south of Garbage Beach to a secret spot below Point Loma Nazarene University that’s only accessible during low tide. “I want to show people these hidden hikes and beaches, but I don’t want them to end up crowded. It’s a conundrum,” he said. “No Surf Beach and Garbage Beach never used to be crowded, but now, especially in the summer, the millennials have taken them over.” He also blames social media for bringing out more beachgoers. “Now everyone knows where they are and how to get down to them. Years ago, I don’t remember these beaches even having names. Then they named them, and everyone found them.” Jumping off The Arch at Pappy’s Point has been a rite of passage for locals for generations. It still is. But they have a lot of company. Last weekend, dozens of teenagers gathered to watch and film video of their friends taking the 35-foot plunge off The Arch. “I used to jump off The Arch when I was younger, but it got too crowded, and that brought out the police and people started getting tickets,” said Shelby. “Social media has exposed everything.” During the heatwave two weeks ago, Ocean Beach resident Sarah and her three friends, who were visiting from out of town, took turns jumping off The Arch. Why take that chance of receiving an expensive ticket, or even worse, of getting hurt? “It’s sick. It’s an incredible adrenaline rush,” she said. “When my friends visit me, I bring them here to jump.” Her friend Emily, from Indiana, said she wanted to test her boundaries. “It’s about making every day an adventure,” she said. “When you jump and you’re in the air, it’s sweet – just remember to close your mouth before you hit the water.” But smile for the Instagram post.
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    No Surf Local
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    July 19, 2018
    Please remove these photos as it only brings more tourists and injures more of the public trying to access these dangerous beaches, rip currents and unstable cliffs. Saved a girl last week! Thanks!
    San Diego named most scenic West Coast city in Expedia poll
    by CYNTHIA ROBERTSON
    Jul 18, 2018 | 3380 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Couples watch the day end at Sunset Cliffs. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Couples watch the day end at Sunset Cliffs. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    San Diego is known as America’s Finest City, but what exactly makes it the finest? The climate is often the answer, which does ring true. A poll by Expedia.com asked more than 1,000 Americans to name the most scenic West Coast cities. San Diego won the top spot. Lily Rogers, writer of “21 of the Most Scenic West Coast Cities,” an article for the Expedia Viewfinder blog, explained that she had pulled from two questions on the survey for her article. First, the people were asked which region of the country they most wanted to visit. The majority chose the West Coast. Second, an open-ended question was included asking them which destination on the West Coast was the most beautiful. San Diego in general was named most often, with some answers calling out particular places like Del Mar. The questions on the survey implied that the people had been to their suggested location before. Other areas such as Sunset Cliffs or La Jolla were not specifically called out by those polled, explained Rogers. “San Diego County houses so much beautiful coastline, visitors can tailor their experience to their likes. That’s one of the things that make it so special,” said Rogers, herself a San Diego resident. Rogers has many favorite places along the coast, including Harbor Island. “The view of the skyline and the sailboats bobbing in the water shows San Diego in its prettiest light. It’s so quintessentially San Diego – a beautiful space reaching right down to the water,” Rogers said. Having Sunday brunch at the Bali Hai on Shelter Island is a San Diego must for Rogers. “Those views of the bay from the huge display windows are unforgettable,” she said. Rogers’ other favorite San Diego coastal scenery icons include the vantage point from Centennial Park in Coronado, sunsets at the Ocean Beach Pier, and La Jolla Shores. Edna Gutierrez, public relations manager at San Diego Tourism Authority is not at all surprised by the poll’s results. “With 70 miles of breathtaking beaches, the question is ‘why not San Diego?’” she said. “The diversity of San Diego’s offerings is what sets it apart from other destinations and this is not the first honor San Diego has garnered.” Gutierrez explained that in March of this year, Family Vacation Critic named Coronado as one of the Best Beaches for Families in 2018. In October 2017, San Diego ranked No. 1 for Best Beach Destination and Year Round Perfect Weather, according to the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine’s “America’s Favorite Cities” issue. In that same month, Conde Nast Traveler reader’s choice awards ranked San Diego in the Top 10 Best Big Cities in the U.S. Just a month earlier, Sunset.com had listed San Diego as No. 1 in its list of 20 Best California Beach Vacation Spots. “Word of mouth is very powerful, but also the San Diego Tourism Authority’s marketing initiatives and programs position San Diego as an ultimate destination,” Gutierrez said. “The San Diego brand story is now being told across multiple media plant-rooms, channels, storytellers and influencers around the world,” she said. Gutierrez explained that potential travelers need tangible reasons and iconic imagery that clearly communicate why San Diego is a must-see destination. “For these long-haul markets, we promote San Diego as California’s Beach City,” said Gutierrez. But what ultimately garners San Diego the top spot for the most scenic city on the West Coast? Gutierrez stated that it was the people who help make San Diego iconic. “There is a symbiotic relationship between those who live and work here, and those who visit. San Diegans are the ultimate face of San Diego and maintaining that friendly vibe will ensure visitors want to come back,” Gutierrez said. For Rogers, that friendly vibe in SoCal culture is perfectly embodied at the Ocean Beach Pier. “You’ll likely see in one snapshot: hula hoopers and skateboarders in their swim suits, beach cruisers, buskers, surfers, colorful beach umbrellas, strolling beachgoers enjoying frozen yogurt, open-air bars, and fishers on the pier,” Rogers said.
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    City Council approves short-term vacation rental regulations
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Jul 17, 2018 | 19683 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Council members Barbara Bry and Lorie Zapf, representing Council Districts 1 and 2, both hardest hit by the preponderance of short-term vacation rentals, held a well-attended press conference in the backyard of a private home in Crown Point on Friday, July 13. They talked about what they liked, and didn’t like, about the mayor’s proposal attempting a compromise between the rental industry and distraught homeowners claiming their quality of life is being diminished by short-term rentals catering to tourists despite the objections of long-term residents. / Photo by Dave Schwab
    Council members Barbara Bry and Lorie Zapf, representing Council Districts 1 and 2, both hardest hit by the preponderance of short-term vacation rentals, held a well-attended press conference in the backyard of a private home in Crown Point on Friday, July 13. They talked about what they liked, and didn’t like, about the mayor’s proposal attempting a compromise between the rental industry and distraught homeowners claiming their quality of life is being diminished by short-term rentals catering to tourists despite the objections of long-term residents. / Photo by Dave Schwab
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    On Monday, July 16, San Diego City Council nixed Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s short-term vacation rental proposal by a 6-3 tally, then voted 6-3 for a more-restrictive proposal favoring residents and allowing primary-residence-only rentals with a six-month maximum. The landmark counterproposal was co-authored by Council members Barbara Bry of District 1 and Lorie Zapf of District 2, whose coastal districts have a preponderance of short-term rentals. Dissenting votes were cast by Council members Scott Sherman, Chris Cate and David Alvarez. A “carve-out” of Mission Beach in the mayor’s proposal was defeated. Existing Mission Beach rentals will also not be grandfathered into the city’s new ordinance. Mission Beach has the highest number of short-term rentals — upwards of 40 percent — along the beachfront. A cornerstone of Faulconer’s proposal, the so-called “plus one” provision allowing people to rent out their own residence, and one additional place, was also denied. In its place was inserted a condition allowing one more additional dwelling unit on the same parcel as the owner’s primary residence. The City Council, however, left the door open for future discussion of granny flats and duplexes possibly qualifying as short-term rentals. Under the new ordinance, short-term rentals will have to have licenses that will be non-transferable. In the aftermath of the City Council vote, some speculated its net effect will be to end renting out of all second homes or investment properties as short-term vacation rentals. Both votes came after five hours of public testimony for and against Faulconer’s proposal. The City Council deadlocked after similarly long public debate on short-term rentals last December.  Those favoring stricter regulations were elated, especially its originators. “The primary-only solution puts San Diegans first and protects our housing stock from investors while preserving the roots of the home sharing economy,” said Bry. Noting the other California cities, including San Francisco, Pasadena and Hermosa Beach, have passed similar regulations to reign-in short-term rentals, Bry added, “We have the obligation to preserve our housing stock prioritizing housing San Diegans.” “I wasn’t elected to serve the interests of out-of-town investors, I was elected to serve the needs of my constituents,” said Zapf. “This makes the most sense for our communities. “This is not the perfect solution, but I have been working on this for the last four years, and the City Council must provide some relief for the residents in my district. This final plan will fund enforcement to penalize bad actors, so we can preserve the quality of life in our neighborhoods,” she said. District 3 Councilmember Chris Ward, whose stance on rentals changed since December, said the vote “demonstrates a clear commitment to prioritizing the needs of our neighborhoods” characterizing it as “a starting point” that “leaves the window open” to possible future amendments. Faulconer was conciliatory following the vote. “I introduced my compromise proposal to help the City Council find enough common ground so they could pass comprehensive short-term rental laws, and with the additional amendments made today, we’ve finally achieved that goal,” he said. “The most important thing is that we have an established set of rules that protect neighborhood quality of life through increased oversight and enforcement. I want to thank the City Council for working collaboratively with my office to get this across the finish line.” The HomeAway/VRBO platform was displeased by the Council outcome issuing the following statement, “HomeAway is extremely disappointed in the City Council’s decision to ignore the mayor’s compromise and effectively ban short-term rentals in the City of San Diego. This outcome will not only negatively impact the local economy but will deny many San Diegans their private property rights. We plan to evaluate next steps in the coming days to determine an appropriate path forward.” At least one Peninsulan was pleased by the vote. “I think the City Council got this one right,” said David Dick, a Peninsula Community Planning Board member. “Absent-owner, short-term rentals are inconsistent with the rights of property owners who have purchased properties in communities and neighborhoods. “I share the concern that the ordinance may not withstand a legal challenge. And I’m sure the interests aligned with Airbnb and VRBO will put up a substantial, well-funded fight. But that’s a battle for another day. For now, the City Council is on the right track,” Dick said. District 7 Councilmember Sherman hinted the short-term rental battle may not be over. “This is not a compromise,” Sherman said. “We’re abusing our discretion by restricting property rights, punishing people who can least afford it. What’s next? Banning dogs barking next door, or month-to-month rents?”
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    News
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    The Peninsula Beacon, July 5th, 2018