California has had more than its fair share of housing mandates, but who is benefiting from the mandates – residents or investors? Current and future housing projects which are granted state mandated density bonus’ need to be protected as strictly housing with no allowance for short-term-vacation rentals (STVR), especially in a transit corridor, and half a mile distance to a transit stop/station and/or half a mile distance to a transit corridor.
I took part in a developer/community meeting last week regarding a proposed project with a density bonus on Coast Hwy. which is a transit corridor. In this case, the developer is requesting a density bonus’ due to the addition of a couple of affordable housing units in the project. When asked if the units (any in the project) could be used as short-term rentals, he shared, “All of our projects have a Right to Lease provision in our CC&Rs. And that the right to lease states respective condominiums shall not be leased for transient uses.” Sounds great right? Well, in the same document it states, “The provision shall be superseded by and upon the adoption by the City of any City-wide short term rental ordinance.” So effectively, since Oceanside does not have a ban on short-term vacation rentals in a transit corridor, these units, including the affordable units can all become short-term vacation rentals which do absolutely nothing to help us meet our climate action goals or housing mandates. Vacationers do not take public transit; they normally show up with multiple cars with out-of-state license plates, large numbers of people and a STVR takes much needed housing off the market.
Any developer requesting State Mandated Density Bonus’ should be required to deed restrict the property against using any of the units for short-term-vacation rentals. Why wouldn’t they want to do that you ask? Well, it’s easier to sell condos that have the flexibility of making more money for investors than for housing alone. When developers are short on parking in Oceanside, they merely remove a “bedroom” in the plans and add an “office” where the bedroom was as our policy requires a certain amount of parking for bedrooms and not offices.
If our city council really cares about housing, they will create policy that addresses the problem including language that any “residential” project requesting density bonus must deed restrict the units against being used as STVR’s or modify our Short-Term-Vacation Rental Ordinance.
Requesting a change in the CC&R’s is not good enough. Why? All it takes is a vote of the current HOA Board to change the CC&R’s talk about the fox guarding the hen house!
Write the council firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them the jig is up. Deed restrict projects that request density bonus’!
Shari Mackin, former Deputy Mayor