FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 8, 2019
Council Approves Changes to City's Short Term Rental Program
District "C" Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer
NEW ORLEANS - Today, the Council approved two ordinances authorizing amendments to the City's Short Term Rental (STR) program.
Ordinance No. 32,685 modifies the City's Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (CZO) to establish two classifications of STR permits, Residential and Commercial, along with zoning regulations for each. The most significant modification is a homestead exemption requirement for the residential permit, outlawing whole-home STR rentals in residential areas and ensuring that owners reside at the property full-time. The ordinance requires commercial STR applicants to provide a security, sanitation, and nuisance plan. Both residential and commercial STR permits must be renewed annually and are not transferrable. The ordinance also bans STRs in the French Quarter (except for Bourbon Street) and Garden District.
Ordinance No. 32,691 establishes STR owner, operator and platform permits and fees; operating regulations; and enforcement penalties. New permitting and operating fees are below:
ANNUAL PERMIT FEES
STR Owner Permit - per dwelling unit:
• Residential - Partial - $250.00
• Residential - Small - $500.00
• Residential - Large - $500.00
• Commercial - $1,000
STR Operator Permit:
• If the owner is the operator - $0.00
• For operators of 1 dwelling unit - $150.00
• For operators of 2 or more dwelling units - $1,000
STR Platform Permit: $10,000
STR Nightly Occupancy Fee - per night of occupancy per dwelling unit:
• Residential - $5.00
• Commercial - $12.00
The new regulations, permitting and fees will take effect on December 1, 2019. For an overview presentation of the changes presented at today's meeting, click here.
"Thank you to every resident, every Council and administration staff member who, for 14 months now, worked to establish these new rules. Today's milestone vote was a win for our residents and is the first step towards preserving our neighborhoods. Without proper rules and regulations for operating short term rentals, they would have continued to inundate our communities. Updating the STR regulations isn't something we took lightly. We considered a lengthy study from the City Planning Commission, held countless community meetings and public hearings, and answered hundreds of phone calls and emails before crafting equitable and sustainable legislation. I believe that this is just the beginning of a larger conversation about sustainable communities, which can only happen when we have explored every possible option of using commercial STRs to incentivize affordable housing," said District "C" Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer.
"The Council in a united front made significant strides with the new regulations to help protect our residential neighborhoods from being inundated with short term rentals. Platforms also now face tighter audit restrictions plus are required to collect and remit fees and taxes. Unfortunately, our work is not over, enforcement and funding for affordable housing measures still require our attention," said Councilmember-at-Large Helena Moreno.
"New Orleans is for New Orleanians first. Today, we reaffirmed our commitment to protecting our diverse neighborhoods from the detrimental effects of STRs. We have more work to do in leveraging STRs for affordable housing, but I'm glad we've crafted a baseline that makes good on our promise to protect our irreplaceable neighborhoods with the homestead exemption requirement. While this is far from over, it's a giant step in the right direction," said District "B" Councilmember Jay H. Banks.
"The City Council unanimously approved all of the STR ordinances and amendments today. This is an important step in the process, though we know we must remain constantly vigilant. I appreciate the work of all of my colleagues, particularly Councilmember Palmer, all Mayoral and Council staff, and the public to get us to this point," said District "A" Councilmember Joe Giarrusso. _____________________________________________________________________________________