The Chula Vista City Council unanimously voted in favor to back the Port of San Diego in their ongoing dispute with the Hertz Corporation, Enterprise Rent-a-car and to a degree the San Diego International Airport, all of which are tenants of the Port. The car rental giants and the Airport had previously entered a lawsuit to prevent the Port from charging a $3.50 rental fee per vehicle. They claimed the fee was unlawful and required a two-thirds approval by voters.
The goal of fee was levied in order to generate roughly $5 million a year to fund a $40 million, 1600 space parking structure. The parking structure is to be built in conjunction with a new convention center, hotel, shopping center and other amenities. Enterprise and Hertz contests the new building will not benefit their customers but rather the Port itself. Hertz even went as far as saying their customers will not be using the parking structure even after it has been built citing the parking structure is less than 10 miles away from the airport.
The Airport Authority is opposing the fee to maintain what it says is its legal right to challenge future fees the Port Authority places on airport transportation vendors. Airport spokesperson released a statement that the airport "does not object to the imposition of the fee on rental car transactions occurring off airport property. The Port's fee on an on-airport transportation mode is unprecedented and should include input from the Airport Authority." A similar car rental fee scheme to fund a parking structure was collected from 1999 to 2006 for a $29 million building in downtown San Diego. The timeline for completion for the parking structure is 2022 if there are no delays.