New Orleans City Council OKs Short-Term Rentals

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The New Orleans City Council has passed an ordinance allowing short-term rentals, like Airbnb.

         Multiple media outlets report Thursday's vote was 6-1 with Councilman Jared Brossett casting the lone dissenting vote.

         The preliminary vote came after a nearly three hour meeting before a standing-room only crowd. The ordinance will be voted on at a later date to become a law.

         Supporters say short-term rentals allow homeowners to generate additional income. Those opposed say the spread of tourism to residential areas hurts the quality of life.

         Councilman Jason Williams says the panel has ensured that an already bad situation will not get worse. He says the city has put in place "the most robust set of restrictions on Airbnb."

 

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         Earlier on Thursday, October 20, 2016, Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced a package of proposed reforms to be presented to the New Orleans City Council aimed at regulating, taxing and enforcing short term rentals (STRs) in the City of New Orleans. In response to residents’ concerns, full-time, whole-home short term rentals in residential districts will be prohibited.

         “There is great consensus that coming up with regulations for short term rentals that are enforceable and protect the integrity of our neighborhoods is much better than the status quo,” said Mayor Landrieu. “We must update City laws to meet today’s reality, protect consumers and generate sufficient City revenue to pay for both enforcement and the services required to support additional visitors in the New Orleans market. This compromise balances the economic opportunity created by short term rentals with the need to maintain the integrity of our neighborhoods and protect the supply of long-term rental housing stock and affordability across our city.”

         The package of reforms presented by the Landrieu administration would prohibit full-time, whole-home rentals in residential districts.

         The package includes strict regulations, time limits and permit fees for non-owner-occupied rentals in residential districts.

         The proposal includes three types of legally permitted STRs:

 

• Accessory: allows permanent resident to rent out spare bedrooms, or property owner occupant to rent half a double on full-time basis, homestead exemption required, STR License required.

• Temporary: allows property owner to rent their dwelling as a STR on a temporary basis for up to 90 days per calendar year, up to 5 bedrooms, STR License required.

• Commercial: allows property owner to operate STR as a commercial use in commercial and mixed use districts, up to 5 bedrooms, STR License required.

 

         All types of STRs are banned within the Vieux Carré with the exception of the Vieux Carré Entertainment District which are allowed by right as a commercial permit.

         Mayor Landrieu said, “Most of us agree that full-time rentals in non-owner-occupied homes in residential districts are impacting neighborhoods so we must limit and enforce it. This proposed package of reforms specifically addresses this so we can protect the character of New Orleans' neighborhoods. We strongly feel that as a consequence of this package, we will likely reduce the number of short term rentals in our city.”

         The key to making this work effectively is the participation of Airbnb and other short term rental industry platforms, City reps said. If this framework is put in place, they said, the major platforms have agreed to voluntarily collect taxes on behalf of STR permit holders, pay a fee into the City’s Neighborhood Housing Improvement Fund (NHIF) for affordable housing, provide certain pass-through data to the City on a quarterly basis and include the names and addresses of operators. This industry participation is critical to establishing regulations on short term rentals that are workable, equitable and enforceable, City reps said.

         City reps said the proposed compromise framework will:

 

• Ensure the safety of visitors;

• Protect neighborhood character and minimize impacts to residential areas;

• Enable economic opportunities;

• Create equitable regulations for the hospitality industry;

• Create regulations based on best practices that respond to the unique circumstances here;

• Generate revenue for the City;

• Facilitate public notice and information;

• Allow short term rentals based on their impact;

• Respond to the unique impacts of each short term rental type to minimize nuisances;

• Propose enforceable regulations;

• Prioritize compliance and enforcement; and

• Implement a system where problem operators would not vest property rights.

 

         View Mayor Landrieu’s amendments here

 

 

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