Group protests SF supervisor's home sharing legislation


"We use the income we get from hosting through AirBnB to pay our property taxes," said Holly Carver.

Carver says renting to visitors helps defray costs. But apartment manager Jim Hersch sees a downside.

"If one of these visitors trashes an apartment, who's at fault on it?" he asked. "Certainly, it falls on my shoulder.

"This is a back door smash and grab attempt to rezone every residential neighborhood in San Francisco in the dead of the night," said San Francisco housing activist Calvin Welch.

Welch heads a group which opposes a proposed bill by Supervisor David Chiu that would regulate the renting of rooms and apartments to travelers using websites such as Airbnb.

Under Chiu's plan, a unit could only be rented by a primary resident, who has to register with the city. Chiu's aide Judson True says there are other conditions.

"They can only do it for a certain amount of time of year and you have to register it with the city," True said.

Opponents, on the other hand, want home sharers to get zoning variances through already established procedures before they can rent. If the supervisors pass Chiu's bill, they're threatening to go to the voters.

Supporters of home sharing countered Tuesday by waging their own rally at San Francisco's Civic Center.

Zoe Brock says her renters also helped the city's economy

"They explored the local community and they spent hundreds and thousands of dollars in the Mission, shopping at local boutiques, getting their haircuts at local barbershops," she said.

Brock lives in a second floor flat in the city's Mission District.

"They get full use of the kitchen, lots of people cook," she said.

Last year alone, Brock hosted 30 visitors in her two bedroom apartment. They stayed from a week to a month or more.

Brock says the short term renters help pay her bills in an expensive city; a city where many visitors can't afford a hotel. So they stayed there. She adds that her guests gave her five star reviews.

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