NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The issue of regulating short-term rentals is now coming before the Gretna City Council. The council proposed an ordinance, but many say there needs to be more discussion.
Gretna Councilman Mike Hinyub said it started when he was simply scrolling through Air BnB listings and noticed some were in his district.
“It’s something we absolutely have to have, but it’s something that absolutely has to be regulated,” said Hinyub.
He said he began collaborating on an ordinance to bring before the council, not so much to bring revenue to the city, but to be pre-emptive about something that seems inevitable.
“It’s not a business we feel we have to go after, I think it’s a business we feel we have to regulate and control because our concern in a city like this is the neighborhood integrity,” said Hinyub.
The opinions on short-term rentals across Gretna are varied. Bryan Duplantier owns a local insurance agency. He said in the building he operates out of, he could see how an attached wing could work well for a rental but admits he’s split on the issue.
“This might work because its commercial, we have a lot of traffic along the street here, restaurants, and that’s fine, but if you were two blocks over in a fully residential area, you have children, you look at things differently, and I think it’s a concern,” said Duplantier.
A couple streets over, Andrew Wombacher said he recently opened up a part of his home.
“So far it’s been awesome. Everyone we’ve had has been great, quiet. I think most people come down here because it’s off the beaten path, it’s away from New Orleans,” said Wombacher.
Wombacher said they recently moved from New Orleans, where the New Orleans City Council has taken steps to completely overhaul short-term rentals. While Wombacher has no problem with the Gretna regulating them, he said the ordinance needs revision and points to a section requiring renters to remit $10 per night per stay to the city.
“I think maybe there’s misconception from city how much people are making on these air bnbs. We’re not living in Treme. We’re living in Gretna. Sometimes we’re only charging $50 a night,” said Wombacher.
Hinyub said revision is exactly what the proposed ordinance needs, wanting input from citizens with varying views.
“I want to hear, and the rest of the council wants to hear how everyone feels about it,” said Hinyub.
As of now, short-term rentals in Gretna are subject to fines, depending on zoning violations.
Hinyub said they plan to hold a public hearing on the ordinance sometime in November.