New Orleans City Council committee green lights short term rental study

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CREATIVE COMMONS/OUISHARE
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/OUISHARE

If the next round of short-term rental regulation efforts fails, New Orleans City Councilmember At-Large Stacy Head says she's "walking away."

"I'm extremely disappointed at the vitriol and emotion and lack of reason that has become the norm in this discussion," she said at today's Community Development Committee meeting. "I am not going to be party to sucking the efforts of city government and my staff away from more important tasks."

That discussion has included debate among neighborhood groups, advocates for companies like Airbnb, residents and city officials. Head and District C Councilmember Nadine Ramsey introduced a measure today asking the City Planning Commission (CPC) to study short-term rentals under their definition with the new Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance in order to better regulate them (District B Councilmember LaToya Cantrell also added her name to the motion). Head those businesses exist and thrive because of the Internet, and "government was not prepared."

"This business is not going away," Head said. "Just like with Prohibition, you can make it illegal, you can put millions of dollars we frankly don’t have into a prohibition and you can push the industry underground."

The motion requests that the CPC consider limitations for sizes, number of rooms and units for short-term rentals, or whether to even allow them, make them conditional use or a permitted use. The City Council plans to implement "permitting and enforcement" rules to work with the land-use regulation of short-term rentals, and ensure "comprehensive regulation" of short-term rentals consistent with the CZO. After its passage, the CPC will have 60 days to hold a public meeting, and it must complete its study and send its report to the City Council within 120 days.


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