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Planning Commission Recommends a 120 Night Per Year Hosting Cap On SF Airbnb Rentals

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— San Francisco's Planning Commission listened to hours of public comment on regulations regarding short-term rentals Thursday afternoon. The commissioners have recommended putting a cap on hosting to 120 nights a year in an amendment proposed by Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor Mark Farrell.

In all, three amendments were presented to the commissioners from several supervisors and Mayor Lee, but everyone seemed to agree that the priority should be on creating a law that is without a doubt enforceable.

Supervisor Mark Farrell said the goal is to make sure the city isn't shorted on hotel tax funds and to preserve affordable housing.

Ian Lewis with the Hotel Workers Union Local 2 said that with an extra 5,000 units being posted on San Francisco with Airbnb alone, not enough has been done.

"Short term rentals have caused the greatest destruction of affordable housing in over a century. Not since the great earthquake and fire have we seen this many units taken off the market," he said.

That figure was one that David Owen with Airbnb called "arbitrary".

"Trying to paint this picture that 5,000 units are being taken off the market is hyperbole and it's dangerous hyperbole," Owen said.

The so-called Airbnb law as it exists is only three months old, but landlords, some city officials and other critics have called it useless.

The planning commission is also talking over the option of creating an office to regulate the short-term rentals to ensure the city isn't missing out on tax revenue.

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