NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The New Orleans City Council is pressing pause on new commercial short-term rentals as the City Planning Commission conducts a study on how they should be regulated.

Meanwhile, a federal judge will soon rule on the regulations the council made for residential short-term rentals.

“When we passed the residential rules, we saw an uptick in the development of commercial STRs and commercial STR applications, particularly in mixed-use zoning in and around neighborhoods,” New Orleans City Councilwoman Lesli Harris said.

Short-term rental owner Nancy Dupuy attended Thursday’s council meeting in hopes of getting approved for a conditional-use permit to operate an Uptown bed and breakfast.

“The approval of this property would help us to offset our costs and to continue to keep our low-income housing because eventually it’s going to come to where we cannot afford to do affordable housing,” Dupuy explained.

Dupuy and others say their commercial properties are one way they invest in the city.

“This property becoming a bed and breakfast, in my opinion, is a win-win for the city, a win-win for our rental programs, and also for our visitors who come into the town,” Dupuy said.

Ultimately, the council moved forward with the citywide pause and denied Dupuy’s request.

“In District B, it’s largely mixed-use, so what I’m hearing from my constituents is that until we can figure out this regime of STRs, we need to press pause,” Harris said.

Under the interim zoning district, commercial short-term rental operators can still renew their licenses.

There is no timeline for when the City Planning Commission will complete its study and make recommendations.

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