Clock is ticking for New Orleans council to decide on short-term rental regulation

Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 4:46 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The future of short-term rentals (STR) in New Orleans was up for debate yet again at a New Orleans City Council meeting Tuesday (March 14).

Council members have until the end of the month to decide whether to pass an ordinance that would require a homeowner, operator, or tenant to live on-site at all residential STRs. At a special meeting on March 2, the council voted to limit short-term rental properties to one per square block across the city.

Dozens of STR operators argued before a council committee that the law needs more enforcement, not regulation.

“I want to do like my parents. I want to stay here until I die, but I want to be able to stay in this city in the house that I worked to build for her,” said one resident who told the committee she might have to sell her house if the regulations are voted into place.

A representative for Algiers Point said, “For me, this is not a financial issue. This is a quality-of-life issue for my neighborhood.”

The Department of Safety and Permits detailed how new short-term rental permits could be handed out in a lottery system, which was strongly opposed.

“I am so anti-lottery. I can’t even begin to tell you how bad of an idea I think that is,” said one speaker during public comment.


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Common ground was found in cracking down on illegal short-term rental owners and operators, but Mark Schettler, who works with the non-profit Shift Change, alleged that some claiming to be permitted STR operators were lying to the council.

“I’ve got an update for y’all on the March 2 meeting,” said Schettler. “Of 19 of the self-identified STR operators, nine either do not hold valid licenses or flat-out misled y’all in their comments.”

He went on to say Tuesday’s meeting “looks even worse so far,” with 14 out of 23 self-identified STR operators allegedly misleading the committee.

No decision was made Tuesday.

“Obviously we’re still in listening mode and nothing will be decided today, but I think you want to make sure you have the appropriate forum where people can be heard,” said councilman Joseph Giarrusso III.

Airbnb hosts plan to hold a press conference Wednesday to share more of their concerns about the proposed rules.

City council members are expected to consider the rental application ordinance at their next meeting on March 23, but they have until the end of the month to agree on all parts of STR regulation.

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