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San Jose May Regulate Airbnb, Too

Scott Lucas | November 20, 2014 | Story Real Estate

Nobody tell Dianne Feinstein, but San Francisco’s recent legalization of Airbnb appears to have set a precedent that at least one other Bay Area city is following. The San Jose city council is considering legislation that would regulate the sharing economy service along similar lines to the controversial David Chiu-sponsored law that was signed into law last month. The city council is expected to vote on the proposal on December 9.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, the South Bay city is considering capping Airbnb rentals at 90 days per year, and requiring that hosts pay the city’s 10 percent hotel tax. Both provisions are in line with San Francisco’s new regulatory model.

The city says that it estimates 400 homes have made themselves available for rent on Airbnb, though the Mercury puts that number at closer to 1,000. City officials have also said that during public comment hearings, residents have been in favor of some of manner of regulation, but that few, if any, have called for an outright ban on Airbnb.

In many ways, San Jose’s housing situation is similar to San Francisco’s. Affordability crunch? Yup. Rent control ordinance? Almost identical to the one in SF. The city even just passed a housing impact fee that’s similar to how San Francisco charges market-rate developers a fee to fund below-rate housing.

So why all the Sturmndrang about Airbnb in San Francisco, but the relative lack of contention in the South Bay? We give up. It must be Dianne Feinstein.

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