Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Airnb Wins in San Francisco Vote

San Francisco voters handed a victory Tuesday to Airbnb and city residents who want to turn their homes into vacation rentals. Proposition F, a measure that would have drastically curbed short-term rentals, lost by 55 percent to 45 percent, with all precincts reporting and most mail ballots counted. “Voters stood up for working families’ right to share their homes and opposed an extreme, hotel-industry-backed measure,” Airbnb spokesman Christopher Nulty said in a statement.

SF Chronicle explains:
Prop. F sought to limit vacation rentals to 75 days a year; beef up enforcement and penalties; and establish big payoffs for neighbors and others who successfully sued violators. The measure’s backers, a coalition of housing activists, landlords, neighborhood groups and hotel workers’ unions, said the city’s existing regulations for short-term rentals, enacted in February, are toothless. They noted that only about 700 of Airbnb’s thousands of hosts complied with a requirement to register their homes as temporary rentals.
This is a pretty impressive victory in the People's Republic of San Francisco, where lefties have generally been successful in  stopping change, progress and innovation. It's the new techies who are changing the voter demographic.

To be sure, this isn't a complete libertarian victory. It does seem to limit options on the way landlords can draw up their leases, but it is certainly much better than the draconian restrictions called for in Proposition F.


1 comment:

  1. Most of the results of the San Francisco election were a repudiation of the Progressive wing of San Francisco's politics and a vote of confidence for Ed Lee and his reasonable proposals. I was particularly excited about Prop I failing, which would have placed a moratorium on housing development in the Mission District and thus would have exacerbated the problem of obscenely high rents in San Francisco. The NIMBYs from Marin County down to Los Gatos have done much to make the Bay Area an unbearably expensive place to live, promoting zoning policies that favor office development and heavily restricts housing development. As a young software engineer, I hope the NIMBYism recedes so that I have some hope of staying in this area, but I won't hold my breath.

    Please don't get me wrong; Ed Lee is not a libertarian. However, compared to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Ed Lee is quite reasonable and is willing to challenge the NIMBYism promoted for so long in San Francisco. Hopefully this trend of reasonable policies over NIMBYism and misguided left-wing activism will continue under four more years of Ed Lee.