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An Airbnb Crackdown Won't Be on SF's Ballot After All
Scott Lucas | Photo: Courtesy TechCrunch | July 7, 2014
Housing activists declare that they'll work towards legislation instead.
San Francisco won't be voting this November on a policy that would have tightened the screws on Airbnb. That's according to TechCrunch, which is reporting that the backers of the proposal will now work instead towards a legislative outcome. Though they allegedly gathered enough signatures to place the measure on a local ballot, the backers prefer to play the inside game for now, leaving open the possibility of placing a measure on the November 2015 ballot.
Former planning commission member Douglas Engmann and housing activist Calvin Welch issued a statement this afternoon which said, in part, "Our campaign will meet with both Supervisors and the Mayor to seek comprehensive and enforceable legislation" rather than continuing to seek a change at the ballot box.
Airbnb, which is headquartered in San Francisco, has operated in a state of legal uncertainty for the past six years. A proposal by Board of Supervisors President David Chiu has offered legislation that would restrict Airbnb use to 90 days a year. However, some activists and policy makers believe that his proposal does not go far enough in restricting the supply of units on Airbnb, which some critics charge have kept apartments off the rental market. Not having to face a vote in the fall is a victory for the company, which has sought to gain regulatory and legal approval from cities, including San Francisco and New York, as it moves towards a rumored IPO.