San Francisco’s Airbnb-Friendly Law Closer to Reality, Despite Challenges
San Francisco moved closer to legalizing the use of homes as hotels late Thursday night when the City Planning Commission voted 4-2 to support and toughen a proposed ordinance on the controversial practice.
The vote came after a 6 1/2-hour meeting packed with scores of people whose comments demonstrated the sharp divisions among San Franciscans about the issue.
“We look forward to building on this work as we move forward through the legislative process at the Board of Supervisors,” said board President David Chiu, who spent two years crafting the proposed law to regulate short-term rentals. “I’m grateful to the Planning Department for their helpful and constructive feedback and recommendations.”
Right now, San Francisco bans almost all short-term residential rentals, but rarely clamps down on the practice, as evidenced by thousands of listings on Airbnb, VRBO and other sites. Chiu’s proposal — informally dubbed “the Airbnb law” as a nod to the runaway popularity of the San Francisco company’s hospitality website — would create a framework for tourist rentals in private homes, while mandating the creation of a city-run registry, the collection of hotel taxes and limitations on rental frequency.