City takes ‘meaningful step’ toward regulating short-term rentals

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – It looks certain that short-term rental companies such as Airbnb, HomeAway and VRBO will be legal in New Orleans in  the near future. However, residents who opt to host travelers in their homes will be under intense regulation, including specialized taxation. Details will be worked out in two weeks at the next council meeting.

The big headline from today’s meeting is that there is still a full ban on all short-term rentals in the French Quarter, with the exception of a very small part of Bourbon Street.

Questions continue to swirl regarding full-home rentals, with many concerned residents citing overcrowding, noise and damaging quality of life issues.

Councilmember at Large Stacy Head called today’s vote a “meaningful step.”

From New Orleans City Council Meeting News Summary:

“Today, the Council voted six to one to pass the amended Zoning Docket 61/16, the City Planning Commission’s recommendations for regulating Short Term Rentals in the City of New Orleans. Zoning Docket 61/16 is the next step in a lengthy process the Council, Mayor and CPC have undertaken to examine the regulation of Short Term Rentals citywide.

In August 2015, the Council asked the CPC to conduct a comprehensive study of Short Term Rentals, including an examination of national best practices and recommendations for regulations in New Orleans. The Short Term Rental Study was approved by the CPC in January 2016 and transmitted to the Council. At the request of Mayor Landrieu, the Council then directed the CPC to consider text amendments to the City’s Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (CZO) to reflect the CPC staff’s regulatory recommendations from the study, via Motion M-16-166.

According to the City’s Home Rule Charter, the City Council must “refer all proposed zoning ordinances and amendments to the Commission for its recommendations,” and Zoning Docket 61/16 contains the CPC’s recommended zoning amendments to regulate Short Term Rentals in response to the Council’s referral in M-16-166.

Now that the Council has approved Zoning Docket 61/16 by motion, an ordinance to amend the CZO will need to be drafted by the Law Department, introduced, and voted on by the Council at a future date. Additionally, and at the Council’s urging, an ordinance setting the enforcement mechanisms for the short term rental regulations contemplated in the adopted land use motion was introduced on first-reading by the Mayoral Administration.”

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