NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – A temporary ban on new commercial short-term rentals is now in effect.

Just a few months after the New Orleans City Council passed new rules for residential short-term rentals, the council is now focusing on commercial short-term rentals.

Council members voted Thursday to create an interim zoning district (IZD), which means the city will not be accepting new applications or issuing new permits for commercial short-term rentals and other similar types of lodging in the near future.

“So, I’m really excited about this because this gives our [City Planning Commission] an opportunity to come up with new rules in this new landscape New Orleans is facing with the proliferation of not only residential short-term rentals but commercial short-term rentals,” Councilwoman Lesli Harris said.

Even some who operate residential short-term rentals agree this is the right move. 

“[I] realize there’s been a proliferation of hotels trying to come in and other short-term rentals, so I agree that the city had to have more different rules and regulations,” residential short-term rental operator Angie Blalock said.

Meanwhile, the start date of the first lottery for residential short-term rental permits is set for August, pending litigation.

Although, residential short-term rental operators are hoping the council will consider pushing back that date to December.

“It would allow the safety and permits, short-term rental administration to be able to process all the people who won the lottery,” Blalock explained. “That’s just on the city’s advantage. On our advantage, it would help us not to have to cancel the existing reservations.”

Harris says there’s always room for consideration.

“I’m open to that feedback. I think other council members are too, but we, again, need to really just reign in what we’re doing as far as short-term rentals overall,” Harris said.

The City Planning Commission will report back to the council in September with their recommendations on commercial short-term rentals, and the city council will proceed from there. 

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