Is Solana Beach Making the Right Move for California Timeshares?

Solana Beach could become the first city on the California coast to ban the development of California timeshare resorts. While I understand their objective of protecting their tourism dollars, I personally don’t think banning timeshare condos and timeshare resorts is the answer.

The problem has arisen because some Solana Beach residents and business people view the conversion of coastal hotel properties into timeshare resorts as “privatizing” beachside property that should be available to tourists. The San Diego Union Tribune says that the Solana Beach city council has been considering this move for more than a year.

On December 12, the council approved a ban that includes three types of property within the commercially zoned areas of Solana Beach: condo-hotels or condotels; fractional ownerships, including traditional timeshare real estate; and any other timeshare arrangement for property ownership not covered by the first two. Some existing timeshare real estate in Solana Beach is to be excluded because it is considered to have ownership through non-conforming use agreements.

While timeshare real estate and condotels sound to most of us like they should be good for tourism, the Solana Beach city commission’s concern is that some condotels cost as much as $600 per night, a price they consider to be out of the range of many tourists. Yet as one Solana Beach property owner says, “Why would you want to make a financially reasonable way to own property in our very desirous town unattainable to many? By outlawing this form of ownership you would be needlessly shutting out opportunity to many.”

The city is expected to formally approve the ban in its next meeting, which would then make it effective 30 days after the approval.

Overall, this question has been raised in many locations. Do timeshare owners spend less money than hotel guests spend in the local restaurants and at area attractions because they tend to stay on property at the resort, using eat-in kitchens and other timeshare resort facilities? Or, because they save money in the long run on their vacation costs, do timeshare owners have more money to splurge on dining out, recreational activities, shopping, and themed attractions?

I’d love to hear your take on the situation. If you’d like to share your thoughts, be sure to post your comments here on the blog.

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