2019 Short Term Rental Study


On January 10, 2019, the City Council passed Motion M-19-6 for the City Planning Commission to conduct a public hearing and study on possibility of special programs or conditions that would allow for the issuance of two or more Residential Short Term Rental licenses to a single license holder to incentivize economic development in certain areas of the city, without imposing secondary effects relative to its residential fabric.  The CPC will consider and recommend provisions including but not limited to:

  • The creation of an Economic Development Incentive STR Zone, possibly to be created as an overlay zoning district;
  • The size of any such zone;
  • The cap on the total number of Residential STR licenses within any such zone;
  • The cap on the number of Residential STR licenses per owner within any such zone; and
  • The possibility of a “grandfather” provision to allow any existing or prior Temporary or Commercial license holders whose license lapsed during the Short Term Rental Interim Zoning District effectiveness to regain one or more licenses for use in the Economic Development Incentive STR Zone.

Study Timeline

Date Event Description
Jan 10, 2019 Council passes Motion M-19-6

On January 10, the City Council passed Motion M-19-6 for the City Planning Commission to conduct a public hearing and study on possibility of special programs or conditions that would allow for the issuance of two or more Residential Short Term Rental licenses to a single license holder to incentivize economic development in certain areas of the city, without imposing secondary effects relative to its residential fabric.  

  • The creation of an Economic Development Incentive STR Zone, possibly to be created as an overlay zoning district;
  • The size of any such zone;
  • The cap on the total number of Residential STR licenses within any such zone;
  • The cap on the number of Residential STR licenses per owner within any such zone; and
  • The possibility of a “grandfather” provision to allow any existing or prior Temporary or Commercial license holders whose license lapsed during the Short Term Rental Interim Zoning District effectiveness to regain one or more licenses for use in the Economic Development Incentive STR Zone.
Feb 26, 2019 CPC holds a public hearing to solicit comment on the study.

The City Planning Commission, in accordance with Motion M-19-6, holds a public hearing to solicit comments on the 2019 Short Term Rental Study.

Public Hearing Notice

June 11, 2019 Study Report Released Study report and written public comments released to the public.
June 17, 2019 Public Comment Deadline All written public comments due by 5pm.  Public comments will be submitted to the City Planning Commission with the study report.
June 25, 2019 CPC Public Hearing Study findings and recommendations presented to the City Planning Commission
July 15, 2019 Deadline for Submission to the City Council 

Report & Comments

JUNE 25, 2019 PUBLIC HEARING (M-19-6)

Online Public Comment

qexvivpc <sample@email.tst> 555 12th St comments at 2/18/2020 3:50:21 AM:

qexvivpc <sample@email.tst> 555 10th St comments at 2/18/2020 3:50:17 AM:

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Robert Ripley <robrip@cox.net> 2533 Burgundy St comments at 4/25/2019 11:24:09 AM:

    As a home owner with homestead exemption, licensced STR Accessory use, I believe the new residential permit requirement must permit any owner occupied, homestead exemption property up to 4-plex should be permited licensces for all units not ocuppied by the homeowner. No block face llimits should be imposed which would pit neighbor against neighbor as the market will properly determine the appropreiate number per block face.

French Quarter owner occupied, homestead exempted, property owners must be allowed 1 unit per property as a matter of compliance withe Master Zoning Plan and fairness.

Dave McDonald <DavidRMacDonald@Gmail.com> 1919 unit C Burgundy St comments at 4/17/2019 5:57:03 PM:

I wanted to thank the commission and council for working hard to refine the laws as there are some abusive capabilities in the current set. My comment as a homeowner who has STRs and lives on the property is that there should be no block face limit to these if the property is under a reasonable amount, like 5 units, especially if in a commercial zone. My experience is that if the owner is there, the disruptive behavior is curtailed if it even exists. My wife and I gave our personal cell phones to our neighbors and told them to call us at 2am if they feel disturbed by our guests. This only happened once in over a year and I personally stopped the disruptive behavior (noise) within minutes. Ironically, we had long term tenants for a year before and received more complaints from my neighbors than the short term guests. I also believe that if one has a commercial permit, then they should be allowed to continue to use it, no matter the number of STRs on their block face. It is a commercial area accustomed to the density, if not designed for it. 

Also, I can see online many STRs running over their allowed guest limit and in areas where they are not allowed, much less without permits, so an increase in enforcement must happen. I am OK with the increase in fees paid, but only if enforcement is increased proportionately.  

Thank you, 


Lloyd Kelly <LMKELLY581@yahoo.com> 7210 Arbor Dr comments at 4/15/2019 1:25:24 PM:

Dear New Orleans City Council,

As a citizen of New Orleans and a Short-Term Rental (STR) owner, I have a vested interest in how the city addresses the question of "how to cope with STR’s.?"

With all due respect, I must admonish the city council for its seemingly lazy, lackadaisical, non-visionary, pandering approach to dealing with the STR issue.

Instead of seeing the opportunity to use the industry to help build a robust affordable housing inventory, it seems that some members of the council would prefer to arbitrarily shut it down.

The City could issue bonds based on revenues generated by STRs to make immediate windfalls of capital available to build more affordable housing… without (I might add) putting any additional strain on the city’s tight budget

The benefits of such a program would be innumerable to the city, in terms of jobs, sales tax receipts, crime reduction and other areas.

It seems to me that the arguments opposing short-term-rentals center on 2 main points:

  1. STRs are changing the culture of New Orleans Neighborhoods
  2. STRs are creating a lack of affordable housing.
  3. Developers are buying up the city and turning them to STRs

Point 1:

Due to Hurricane Katrina, the culture of New Orleans is not changing, it has changed.

After the storm, the city’s population dropped by more than half. And while the population is up from the dark days of the storm’s aftermath, many of the people who now live in New Orleans are new transplants.

These people bring with them, diversity and new ways of doing things. And it makes a very poor argument that they should have not have a voice in how their neighborhoods are run.

The argument that people don’t know their neighbors, is weak… when I opened my STR in 2017 there were 8 vacant houses on the block, and they had been vacant since Katina. Some of them from time to time would be inhabited by vagrants. It was not unusual for me to wake up to homeless people literally shooting up drugs in front of my property… That is not happening anymore.

All the STR owners on my block know each other, at least in passing. Yes, neighborhoods are changing – but- is that necessarily a bad thing?

Point 2:

STRs are not the reason New Orleans has a lack of affordable housing. The fact is:  

  • After Katrina, the city council did not put together a comprehensive plan to address the issue of affordable housing.
  • The city council does not seem to recognize the costs involved with owning and maintaining rental properties.
  • In the ensuing years after Katrina, the city council moved very slowly to address the spate of vacant housing across the city.
  • The Dodd-Frank Act (federal banking rules put into place after the 2010 housing crisis) makes it very difficult for small developers to access the capital necessary to develop affordable housing.
  • The council has done nothing to help landlords gain access to capital or created programs aimed at improving the housing stock in the city.

While STRs have reduced the number of housing units available for market rental, the role STRs play in rental costs is negligible.

Banning or severely limiting the growth of STRs in New Orleans is not going to create additional affordable housing units. As a matter of fact, it could have the opposite effect or worse:

  • Many owners of the city’s STRs are New Orleans residents who have invested much of their net worth into their unit(s). They live here, work here and contribute to making New Orleans the great city it is.

Many of these people invested in STRs by mortgaging their properties with the expectation of repaying the loans with profits generated by the rentals and would lose the investment if the income were to suddenly stop or become limited.

This could potentially create hundreds or even thousands of additional newly vacant properties.

  • This does not consider the number of jobs that would be lost or the number of small businesses that would be affected. I personally employ at least 3 individuals on a regular part-time basis. A negative action could adversely affect 1000’s of peoples livelihoods.

Point 3:

Developers cannot purchase or rent large swaths of rental units unless the properties are available.

As a council… that fact… should tell you that you have a larger problem than STRs. The question is why are so many people vacating their properties?

If people weren’t leaving, the units necessary to run STRs would not be available.

What is the council doing to address the large number of people that are choosing to move out of the city?

That’s what is changing neighborhoods.

Thank you for the opportunity to add my voice to the solution.


  • Lloyd Kelly

Brandon <oakrhythmblues@comcast.net> 1238 Cambronne St comments at 4/12/2019 12:11:25 PM:

I stronly oppose vacation rental changes, and if changes do come I am with the group that demands people who have been licensed get grandfathered in.

It is extreamly frusterating to watch the city try and undo, and back track on the regualtions for vacation rentals that took 4 years to create.  I have one property that I do vacaiton rentals with and 3 long term tenant units as well.  Withouth my vacaiton rental extra income (after all of the work I have put into the property and our block) I will be in a much worse financial postion.   My house cleaners will have to be fired and they are very worried about that.   My maintance man will loose a ton of work and he is not happy about that.  

It is clear that the city is green lighting commercial companies to come into our city and build vacation rentals in certain area so that large corporations can come in and take the lion share of the markets money out of our city. I just can't understand why? This will allow the hotel industry to own most of the vacation rentals as well. It seems the hotel industry is the lobying effort forcing these changes under the guise of "fair housing".  There is no houseing shortage in New Orleans.  Its hard to rent long term units these days at market value.  Cheap housing is an issue because New Orleans market and economny has finally caught up with the rest of the country and people aren't happy about it.  Materials are expensive to build now, taxes are way up, cost of living is way up everywhere.   This has nothing to do with the Vacation rental market in NOLA and we all know that. 

Patrice Fisher <ecoslatinos@gmail.com> 921 Stewart Ct comments at 4/12/2019 10:19:43 AM:

I have had 2 Airbnb’s in my house for a little over a year. It has been a great secondary source of income for my family. After Katrina, my property tax tripled, my homeowners insurance increased 700% and my utilities also increased substantially. My husband and I are seniors and we probably could not afford to live in Orleans parish anymore without the income from Airbnb. My neighbors are all fine with the visitors who come to our street every week.  We have been able to improve our home, paint, remove permeable concrete and improve our gardens with the extra funds from Airbnb. Please carefully consider any changes that you might make to short term rental requirements. They provide an economic boom to our neighborhood. Thank you

Kitty <rahimblanks@gmail.com> 2423 Magnolia 22nd St comments at 4/11/2019 7:38:56 PM:

Hello my name isKitty Blanks my Airbnb help to ply bill and take care of my kids. I a single mom. That have 4 kids I take care of and apt. with out my Airbnb I lose. With rent I always have people move in and out of the apartment. Hope for me to take care of my bill. Please help me please keep my Airbnb.

Eleftherios Toras <entoras@gmail.com> 1124 St Charles Ave comments at 4/11/2019 10:00:53 AM:

I recently purchased a property on St Charles Avenue. It's a mixed use property that has been vacant for a year before it was sold to me. It is zoned MU-1 and is in a high traffic area near restaurants, hotels, other businesses, etc. There are three small apartments that are currently being used as STRs. These STRs make the property viable. Without them, the property doesn't make sense economically given property taxes, insurance, and the note. There is no parking, making long-term tenants difficult to accomodate. I'm for grandfathering in existing commercial STR operators. Additional restrictions such as the "one per block face" proposal will put me out of business as there is already one other STR on the block. There was a proposal that I read dated 3/22 that suggests the limitation for properties with 5 or less units but not for the large corporate developers: this seems like a clear double standard favoring large business. 

There is a commercial space downstairs that i've been trying to rent the last few months unsuccessfully despite it being beautiful and priced aggressively. I'm for lifting the ban on the first floor use in commercial areas.

As for residential (FKA temporary permits), I'm for some kind of grandfathering proposal for some period of time so that investors who poured money into a legal city program can recoup their investment. I think that there is negotiating room there, for example, in a double, allow one STR and one LTR. Or allow both to continue STRs for a time period, say 5 years, but then revert to LTR so that investors can monetize their investment in the City.

I agree that housing affordability is a problem in the city but it's my opinion that it will continue to occur with or without STRs. There are larger economic forces that are driving this, namely an old, decaying housing stock.Historic structures are expensive to maintain and restore and have been neglected for decades needing large scale renovations/repairs.

Thank you for your consideration and providing a platform for public comments.

Chris Cochran <ferrise1977@gmail.com> 5527 Willow St comments at 4/9/2019 7:59:45 PM:

STR's are a strong economic engine that many locals and businesses have benefitted from.  It should be regulated and incentivized to maximize the positive impact it does and can further have for the city.  For a city based on tourism to turn its back on the future of the industry will only show the rest of the world that we are not a viable place to invest.  

I propose grandfathering in existing residential permits and not allowing anymore, but continuing with the commercial permits as they are currently.  This is a fair way to make both sides agreeable. The Platforms are the secret to enforcement, a compromise must be met.

The city should take a viable survey of the constituents and find out how many really are against it and how many are for.  I think this number would surprise the naysayers who seem to have way too much time on their hands and are able to go to all the STR hearings at City Hall.  The rest of us have to work and can not afford that luxury.

Christopher Quast <CQUAST7@GMAIL.COM> 2621 Soniat St comments at 4/9/2019 7:41:23 AM:

I own a home in St. Roch and use it as a short-term rental. Due to the rental revenue, I am able to properly maintain and upgrade my home, which has led to me spending far more with local contractors/repairmen, etc. than I normally would. 

My cleaning staff also benefits greatly from short term rentals, and is able to make a living off them. If they are banned completely, I am not sure what they will do.

I think there is a fair solution out there, especially if the city and the STR platforms sit in a room and negotiate in good faith. The city needs the additional revenue and economic benefits, and I wouldn't mind paying a higher licensing fee to run my STR.

I worry that if STRs are banned completely, then regulation and enforcement will be impossible. I hope the city will use this as an opportunity to implement fair and balanced rules that are enfoceable. I think the city HAS to partner with the STR platforms to make any sort of compliance possible.

julienne M van vliet <juliennedesign@gmail.com> 2325 N Villere St comments at 4/6/2019 9:29:59 PM:

Short rentals have created a lot of jobs for locals in the city. Also, small businesses are doing great.

However, these type of rentals should be more regulated and not taken over whole neighborhoods. This will result in a lack of community.

Limited short rentals per block

No more than 1 or 2 permits should be given per individual

Stricter safety regulations including no more 2 persons per room

I think applying stricter rules for short-term rentals will still be could for our economy and the job market rather than banning it that will result in a higher unemployment rate and slowing down of local businesses.

I hope we can make it work!

Thank you,


Thank you 

Donald Hicks <hicksdnld@att.net> 7436 Hurst St comments at 4/4/2019 6:56:20 AM:

I think it's unfortunate that the Planning Commission does not acknowledge the finairncial impact on Tenants who no longer will be able to use Airbnb.

Those of us that have a valid lease allowing us to use a STR will suffer financially without this added income. It makes no sense that you are denying the right of tenants to supplement their income.  We are the very people who do not have the resources to buy a home.

 We provide lodging to those tourists who cannot afford the high Hotel prices but do spend money in New Orleans and pay STR taxes.

That will be lost if your regs go through. You will only add to the financial stress of tenants in New Orleans.

Vilna Peters <vilnapeters@gmail.com> 2672 Touro St comments at 4/3/2019 10:50:54 AM:

Visitors come to this city to experience the New Orleans culture, that is why they want to stay in the neighborhoods. They should be given the right to choose where they want to stay.  We they hosts are representatives for this city and our communities.  We should be given the opportunity to do so and earn a living.

Theresia Wansi <etwansi@msn.com> 6239 Waldo Dr comments at 4/2/2019 5:08:03 PM:

without the short stay income i will loose my house 

Alex Papai <Apapai@live.com> 1231 Webster St comments at 4/2/2019 2:29:36 PM:

My comment seeks to communicate public support, Cultural progress and economic impact from Short Term Rentals.

The election for District C Council person between Nadine Ramsey, who authored the old short-term rental legislation, and Kristin Gisleson-Palmer, who ran on an anti STR platform, was viewed by many residents as a referendum on STR legislation.

The anti STR candidate won by ~114 votes.  The belief that the election was a referendum on STR's comes from attending the town hall meetings and other political debates in which almost all turned into a STR debate.  District C was the most concentrated STR per block, district, any the anti STR rental candidate won by less than 2 percent of the votes, meaning in the most adversely impacted district, just under half of the citizens still support or do not consider STR's a nuisance, to vote for the pro STR candidate.

Furthermore, jobs such as maids, uber and lyft drivers, airport workers, festival workers, small local businesses such as corner stores, coffee shops, grocery stores, contractors’ restaurants, you name it, have a positive impact from the increased overall guests, and increased neighborhood traffic that has resulted from STR's.

Not only do businesses benefit from having people stay in their neighborhood - we have an increase in tourists coming here as our lodging typically books out for Mardi Gras, Jazz fest, Essence fest, more lodging equates to more people coming which also help the above listed jobs and businesses.

The culture of New Orleans does not cultivate in homes as much as it does in the common meetings places where interaction of people and ideas happen: Corner Stores, Coffee Shops, Festivals, Magazine street and other shopping corridors.  Short Term Rentals feed the businesses and jobs that create the public sphere in which our culture is created. STR's help maintain and create our culture, as without tourists’ dollars to support it - our culture would not be as vibrant, accessible and profitable to citizens.

There are bad STR property owners - creating a system to punish bad actors that violate terms of the license, just like we already do for other businesses, would be an appropriate fix.  NOT banning all STR's in residential neighborhoods outright, which hurt the cultural generators, contractors, property managers, maids lyft/uber drivers and a myriad of other businesses that NO ONE in city government has even attempted to identify.

Also, the need for affordable housing can be tackled by creating incentives for developers who wish to build housing, as well as a method to combat NIMBYism so these projects don't get shut down by disgruntled neighbors.

Understanding there is people who feel strongly against this i believe a compromise in which a generous licensing limit is assigned to Short Term Rental Operators who have the Homestead exemption, so middle class citizens can continue to support neighborhoods by bolstering businesses and jobs, while bettering their own financial positions.  This would mean allowing citizens to operate several properties as short term rentals, keeping in mind a system that would encourage the operators to run professional vacation homes that do not have a bunch of drunken wild tourists and the creation of a system to eliminate those bad actors.

With allowing citizens to operate temporary licensed properties, you would accumulate a majority of stakeholder support, help better citizens businesses and the city financially.  To the benefit of anti STR candidates, as well as the city in general – you would also lay the groundwork for the removal of bad operators that cause the less than 1% of people that are responsible for Short Term Rental horror stories, and start fixing the problem of too many short term rentals by eliminating out of town investors, while generating more tax revenue for affordable housing.

Margaret Parke <maggieparke@hotmail.com> 2201 Dumaine St comments at 4/2/2019 12:46:20 PM:

I invested 575,000 dollars in 2201 Dumaine street. It was a ruin when I bought it, and I invested this large sum of money, and 2 years of my life, in the expectation that I would be able to earn a good income from Short Term Rentals. I made 2 beautiful condos and a commercial space in this building. My close neighbors have all expressed to me personally how happy they are that the building is now beautiful, and not the eye sore it was. They have all been very suportive of my Short Term Rentals, and NO ONE has complained in any way. I was beyond upset when the city changed not only this law, but others as I was doing this project, requiring me to do an additional 30,000 dollars of work in order to meet NEW city codes that were enacted AFTER I received my building permit. If you wish to encourage investment in the city, you must allow us to earn an income in proportional to the investment. I will sell my property and invest elsewhere, if I am not allowed to do earn an income that covers my investment. It was a huge part of my business plan to rent short term. I can always take my money and go to a city that is more encouraging to my investment, and advise others to do the same. Sincerely Margaret Parke, Owner SeaLargo LLC

Kevin BENNETTE <kevinbennette@sbcglobal.net> 3915 Elysian Fields Ave comments at 4/2/2019 11:41:49 AM:

STR are growing and spreading across the country, as many families find it an economic way to afford travel. Also many travelers express the thrill to stay in the local community in order to experience more of the culture of the city. This also helps local community business that otherwise may not benifit from travelers.

As a STR host it is a pleasure to talk with and meet travelers from around the world coming to our great city. And as a "super host", it implies that a host is taking care of business in a professional manner, following all the rules governing property rental.  

STR also provide an economic impact for the city. It provides for the collection and submittion of fees and taxes to the city. It also provide jobs for local vendors, cleaning services, repairman, home improvement specialist, etc. And as previously mentioned, it is a tremendous boost for small community based business.

In my view, there are two strong misconceptions: (1) STR destroys the fabric of the community, (2) STR causes increased property values. Neither can be further from the truth. As mentioned previously many travelers express the joy of staying in the local community, to experience the fabric and flavor of the city. I agree that property values have increased greatly, but many factors have contributed to that. To blame it on STR is not fair.

I would like to close with an analogy: just like the affordable care act, STR may not be perfect, but let's find a way to improve it for all of us, not just end it or make it beneficial for a few.

Thank you for your consideration.

Tara Watson <twatson23@cox.net> 2301 Leonidas St comments at 4/2/2019 11:17:11 AM:

I am a 50 year old single mom of two and a retired teacher of 14 years due to physical injuries. My ex-husband and I started investing in real estate in our great city of New Orleans in 2001. We both were born and live in New Orleans and we take pride in rebuilding our city. We also have contributed to buying two duplexes after Katrina to help rebuild our neigborhoods. We depend on our rentals to accommadate our livelihood. As homeowners and taxpayers of multiple duplex properties in Orleans Parish we choose to long term rent and short term rent (airbnb). Our guest love experiencing the great in home hospitality of New Orleanians which we are known to give. The laws should be set to allow us to use our properties that we own and pay taxes on the way we choose. As long as we are not breaking any laws or lowering the value of our city please leave it alone!

Tara Davin Watson <twatson23@cox.net> 2301 & 2303 Leonidas St comments at 4/2/2019 11:06:43 AM:

I am a 50 year old single mom of two and a retired teacher of 14 years due to physical injuries. My ex-husband and I started investing in real estate in our great city of New Orleans in 2001. We both were born and live in New Orleans and we take pride in rebuilding our city. We also have contributed to buying two duplexes after Katrina to help rebuild our neigborhoods. We depend on our rentals to accommadate our livelihood. As homeowners and taxpayers of multiple duplex properties in Orleans Parish we choose to long term rent and short term rent (airbnb). Our guest love experiencing the great in home hospitality of New Orleanians which we are known to give. The laws should be set to allow us to use our properties that we own and pay taxes on the way we choose. As long as we are not breaking any laws or lowering the value of our city please leave it alone!

Phyllis Rock <phyllisrock@yahoo.com> 209 Magazine St comments at 4/2/2019 10:17:00 AM:

I love NOLA. I think it is important to share the beauty and culture of the city. We have had renters from Germany share our place with rave reviews about the city. I think it is important to keep many avenues of lodging available for visitors, please continue to allow us to share our lovely space near the French Quarter with others from around the globe.

Meghan Gallagher <meghanlsu@gmail.com> 1463 Annunciation St comments at 4/2/2019 9:52:14 AM:
I have 2 condos in the lower garden district.  It is an old home/duplex that was converted into a 4-plex in 2008.  I own 2 of the units.  One is where I mainly live and have Homestead exemption, where I am registered to vote.  I travel alot for work. I rent my property out on airbnb and vrbo for when I am not there.  I LOVE it.  It is perfect for me.  I can make some income on my home when I am out of town anyway. My neighbors/friends in the building also have their home listed on airbnb. The unit that they own was their daughter's. She was a med student at LSU and passed away when she was hit by a drunk driver while walking down the street in 2010.  They live in Lafayette, they have 5 other grown married children that also visit the home.  Obviously the condo is very sentimental, they love it.  They want to keep it, the entire family uses it.  Short term rental helps with the expenses.   It is great for us.  We love it as opposed to renting to a full time or corporate month to month tenant where we would never get to utilize our places. We love it because we love New Orleans and our New Orleans friends.  We can block our own dates for ourselves.    I have read the articles and been to a few Homeaway meetings that are trying to fight for short term rentals.  The arguments that most of the homeowners are investors from out of state is just not accurate.  The huge crowd of people in the room on a tuesday showed me that was not true.  This is extra income for local people that spend the income locally.       As for rents increasing, I see this as a good thing.  If the city is not growing it is  dying.  If rents were the same or going down...doesn't that mean the economy also is going down?  Property value increasing is a good thing.  Also we don't make a profit.  We own these properties because we love them and want to stay there.  We would probably actually make more money if we rented them out full time.   I had one unit listed to rent for about a year but I had no luck. Where I was paying the mortgage on an empty unit. Because our property is an older home there is also considerable maintenance.  We are currently at a place where we have a lot of repairs that need to be done.  Our plans are to do some improvements/upgrades while we are doing repairs.  Don't you think these are good things that make New Orleans better and prettier?  Airbnb and VRBO are helping to fund it.  We would not be able to afford these repairs without short term rental.  We have hired a local Architect and have gotten bids from local contractors.  Also helping our local community. We also have a local couple that helps with property management. Airbnb and VRBO are free advertisement for the city.  They bring in additional tourists that would easily book somewhere else.  I don't have to tell you what a positive thing tourism does for our economy.  I know that we have a shortage of hotel rooms during big events.  This helps fill that void.  It's good for New Orleans!   I don't understand why short term rental is an issue?  The only thing that I can think of is hotels that don't like the competition.  They have their lobbyists and big money to influence the laws.  Am I wrong?  I hope so. In my view the positives by far outweigh the negatives.  The negatives shown in articles I have read just aren't true in my experience and quite honestly seem very ignorant and skewed.   We have followed all the rules, paid all the fees and applied for permits.  Airbnb and VRBO are a positive thing in my situation and the people surrounding me.  Just our little home, affects multiple voters lives and income in the community.  I truly believe that short term rentals are a great and positive thing for New Orleans as a whole.  

PAULA R GEORGE <paulageorge8@gmail.com> 2409 St Charles Ave comments at 4/2/2019 9:24:27 AM:

I have a mayoralty permit from 2004 when I bought this home.  I took over the license from my seller who had it from the late 90's.  I have struggled with pricing competition from all these new start-ups which are undercutting the professional B & B's and are really not servicing the public.  I think there needs to be more enforcement and regulation so that illegal operators are discovered, fined and stopped.  Those legal operatore need to be "on site" innkeepers.  Many companies are transferring partial ownership in properties to individuals who will live there for free and take the homestead exemption so they qualify for newer rules.  This is totally a sham transfer but the paperwork recorded in courthouse looks legitimate.  This is a hot issue and I hope the council will be prudent in their decisions to change the laws.

Marjorie A. Wheeler <marjorieawheeler@yahoo.com> 2646 St Philip St comments at 3/18/2019 11:16:07 AM:

I own a double at 2646-48 St. Philip St., 2646 is used as a STR while 2648 is affordable housing rental.  I have owned this property since 1984. I retired from the IRS on Sept. 3, 2018.   After the previous tenant moved out, I had to do massive renovation to the 2646 side of the double.  After completing the renovation, I decided to make 2646 a STR.  In doing so, it allows for my property to be kept up and not torn down as it was with the affordable rental.  I myself maintain my own property as far as the cleaning and maintaining of it.  I am hands on and visit with guests while staying at my property to make sure that they understand and abide by the house rules.  The monies received from my STR helps to supplement my retirement income.  I hope and pray that myself and countless others who depends of this income will be grandfathered in to continue operating our STRs.  

Justin Lui <jlui21@gmail.com> 1215 N Galvez St comments at 3/17/2019 9:23:23 AM:

As a host for 7 plus years in the city of New Orleans, I am still a supporter of a restrction to the licenses. However, I have always advoated for balance between one license to multiple licenses. Prior to 2018, it was too laxed. Today in 2019? It is too stringent. I would advocate for one license per person and up to two licenses per person but at a much higher permit fee. For commercial, I would put a hard cap on three with a higher fee as well because to me, the licenses in question are corporate businesses running multiple houses. The one license helps a neighborhood maintain its identity. BUT once a neighborhood is inundated with mostly businesses, it detracts from the charm of the neighborhood even if it improves a neighborhood's blight. 

I will say that most cities from DC to Seattle have a lot of revitalization without the need of short term rentals. Again, I would set the licenses to two and would need to review the statistics for three licenses. Currently, those with more than three licenses should not be grandfathered in but their license should be allowed to exist for this year and 2020 year. After 2020, it should not be renewed. Those who persist to use a fourth license will be fined half the earnings, as an example, to discourage anyone or business with four or more permits. Note: a person who is associated individually with a license or is in an LLC cannot be part of any business group as separate from the three licensee they already own. 

Recap: Allow for two licenses per person/business. Three licenses need further study. Four or more is no bueno.

Andres Barcelo <andres.barcelo@gmail.com> 2540 Lavender St comments at 3/14/2019 6:10:12 PM:

I strongly support the grandfather clause in this study for existing Airbnb hosts like me who have followed the law and obtained permits. 

Airbnb is over half my family's income and losing it would put us in a severely tight financial situation. We also drive business to local restaurants and the brown derby corner store and other places outside of the Quarter that are almost ignored by the rest of the city. 

Gentilly has seen little to no business development and I think it has benefitted immensely from airbnb's presence in the city and the rehabilitation of homes and communities by homeowners who can afford to do so through Airbnb. 

Please don't ignore the needs of a few for the disgruntled anger of many who don't know how airbnb is supporting working families like mine, who are convinced that their rising rent is the fault of one company. Don't let the hotel lobby convince you that airbnb is destroying the fabric of communities it is in fact revitalizing. I never would have bought my home if I didn't think I could make enough income to make it worth my time to redo a house that had been on the market in disrepair for almost a year. 

We have made our neighborhood better and should not be punished for following the law and telling you we were running an airbnb. It's like a slap in the face to my family after we went through all the trouble to follow the regulations and get the proper permits. 

Because I own my home through my business, even though I live on the property, the city is threatening to shut off my water and power to my home with my two kids because you don't like the way I'm renting it out. 

That is unfair and unconstitutional. I don't come after your job, don't come after mine. Or maybe I'll make sure you don't get elected next election. 

Charles Kennedy, Jr. <Charles@kfgmail.com> 1681 Broad Pl comments at 3/14/2019 2:48:31 PM:

The CPC and the Zoning Board approved my property - a two story building fronting N. Broad St. at the corner of D'Abadie- for Short Term Rental Permits in July ,2018. However,I was not allowed to renew my Permits from 2017, because the majority of the City Council went along with the Councilman whose District my building is in because he disapproves of Short Term Rentals period. To summarize, the CPC Staff Report, noted that downstairs has always been commercial, upstairs has been residential and/or commercial -primarily and most recently commercial - since I bought the buiding in 1986. It was noted in the Report that my building in this HU-BIA District is compatible with the mixed-use character of properties along Broad St. - offices, bed & breakfast and restaurants for example .                                      

In conclusion, we never had succeess renting upstairs as residental, even with lowering - not raising the rent. We're not contributing to the City's housing crisis. And the two one-bedroom upsatirs apartments are not ' party houses' as alleghed by pundits. The building is well maintained and I've invested as much and probablly more than what I purchased it for in 1986. ' One size does not fit all. '   I would encorage the CPC to stay with it's original approval of my property.     

Heidi Diekelman <kmsoap@aol.com> 2423 Burgundy St comments at 2/26/2019 2:41:33 PM:

Esteemed Commissioners,

After fifteen years of renting on the same block in the Marigny, I am being forced out of my neighborhood due to high rents.  Landlords have no option but to raise rents because the taxes and insurance are increasing by multiples.  This is due to the rising property values brought about by STR investment.

I am fortunate in that my partner is finally in a position to purchase a home.   The process has been a real eye opener, with agents telling us how much we can raise the rent on existing tenants and how much we could profit if we used the home as a short term rental.  We finally quit looking at properties that were not part of an estate or vacant for other reasons because I did not want to be the person putting people out in the street.

 Of course, we cannot afford to stay in the Marigny, but we are staying in New Orleans.  In order to do that, we will be purchasing in a low income neighborhood.  We’re actually considered low income ourselves.  It’s a stable neighborhood with many longtime owners and tenants, much as the Marigny used to be.  The existing residents in low income neighborhoods cannot afford the type of increases that would be brought about by turning their neighborhoods into Economic Incentive Zones and, quite frankly, I don’t want to move from one hotel infested neighborhood to another.  We are investing in the economy of this neighborhood by moving there, as are many other people.  But obviously, our investment is not good enough.

I understand there may be places that want these zones.  The only way these zones would be acceptable is if they were small (precinct sized) and voted on by the people who are already invested in the neighborhoods, i.e. the people already living there.  Our neighborhoods are not piggy bank piñatas to be hit up by the wealthy.


Heidi Diekelman

Brian R Furness <brfurness@aol.com> 1031 St Ann St comments at 2/15/2019 10:30:36 AM:

Short-Term Rental Committee

New Orleans, Louisiana

February 15, 2019

Robert D Rivers, Executive Director

City Planning Commission

New Orleans, LA                                                                    EMAIL ONLY

Dear Mr. Rivers:

            Re: M-19-6 – Study on Short-Term Rentals

I write as Chair of the Short-Term Rental Committee (STRC) to share our thoughts on M-19-6, which directs that the CPC conduct a study “on the possibility of special programs or conditions … to incentivize economic development in certain areas of the City, without imposing secondary effects relative to its residential fabric…” (emphasis added)


In M-19-6, the Council directs the CPC to explore whether, and if so how, existing or moratorium-affected permit holders could use STRs could spur the creation of viable, self-sustaining residential neighborhoods … without damaging the residential fabric. These objectives are contradictory: New Orleans’ experience is that STRs — especially whole-house STRs — are antithetical to the creation of viable neighborhoods. Indeed, STRs have consistently led to neighborhood degradation. Individual investors have profited, some handsomely, but no studies show that STRs have supported consistent and comprehensive neighborhood development. Moreover, creating STR-tolerant development zones raise challenging definitional and enforcement issues.

The STRC thus questions whether STRs are an appropriate vehicle for promoting residential values and rational neighborhood development “without imposing secondary effects relative to its (a neighborhood’s) residential fabric”. We believe not, and the STRC strongly encourages that the CPC recommend against the concept of using STRs to promote neighborhood development.

STRs as a Neighborhood Development Tool

On January 10, the City Council approved M-19-6, which directs the CPC to “conduct a study on the possibility of special programs or conditions that would allow for the issuance of two or more Residential STR licenses to a single license holder to incentivize economic development in certain areas of the of City, without imposing secondary effects relative to its residential fabric.” The CPC is to “consider and recommend provisions” that include creation of an Economic Development Incentive STR Zone, its size, and limits on the number of Residential STR licenses; and the possibility of grandfathering Temporary or Commercial license holders whose licenses in the development zone were affected by the Council’s moratorium.

Experience in New Orleans and elsewhere shows that STRs are antithetical to the development and maintenance of viable residential neighborhoods. STRs have everywhere negatively affected the residential quality of life by introducing commercial uses into residential neighborhoods. The results include:

  • loss of comity and neighborhood spirit;
  • damage to the residential quality of life (noise, parking, unruly behavior, etc.);
  • rising house prices (and accordingly taxes);
  • diminishing housing affordability and availability, and
  • distortion of local business activity in ways unfriendly to — at least unsupportive of —residential development.

Testimony on the impact of economic development-spurred renovation shows that individual investors have profited, but there is no evidence that neighborhoods have benefitted systematically from the introduction of STRs.   

Moreover, using STRs to “incentivize economic development” has difficult definitional and operational issues. Issues[1] that should be addressed include:

  1. Development Zone – Neighborhood Development. The CPC must consider whether STRs would actually promote systematic development in established low-income residential neighborhoods (as Federal Opportunity Zone tax benefits aim to do). Given that whole-house STRs are generally antithetical to the development of viable residential neighborhoods, it is hard to envision a rationale for using STRs as tool for developing established but low income neighborhoods. Particularly important in this conclusion is the potential increase in property values and rents that diminish both the availability and affordability of property included in the zone.
  2. Development Zone – Blight Remediation. Some have suggested that STRs could incentivize blight remediation in districts characterized by high levels of blighted housing and/or vacant properties. Clearly, the CPC would have to define both “blight” and “blighted zones.” Significant issues include whether blight-linked incentives for STRs would really increase rehabilitation and investment or only diminish the prospects for non-STR residential investment. Would other incentives and programs accomplish the same objectives without negatively affecting the “residential fabric”?
  3. Development Zone - Size. We see significant challenges in defining the boundaries of any potential STR-tolerant zone. Blight-linked zones would presumably flow from a definition of blight: any such zone would have to include significant proportions of blighted properties deemed likely to benefit from STRs and structured so as to avoid damaging the “residential fabric” of adjacent neighborhoods. Development districts, defined by income levels or other factors, would be difficult to define and could open enormous areas of the City to STR proliferation with consequent damage to residential neighborhoods — see for instance the “Opportunity Zones” map in the February 10 New Orleans Advocate. Any study must strongly oppose applying a zone definition to single properties, wherever located. Spot-zoning is seldom an acceptable practice and which, as recent cases indicate, is being used to convert properties from residential to commercial to subvert current STR rules.
  4. Grandfathering – How Much Benefit? The study is to encompass the possibility of grandfathering non-resident whole-house moratorium-affected “Temporary” or “Commercial” permits in development zones. The size of the development zone is crucial to the potential impact. Thus, the study must provide an estimate of the potential numbers and location of properties possibly benefitted so as to estimate the potential impact.
  5. Grandfathering – Fairness. Grandfathering some properties/owners raises obvious questions of fairness: “why benefit this property/property owner and not all who ‘played by the rules’?” Even in blighted or neighborhood development districts, criteria should be applied to “grandfathering” applicants. The criteria should include limiting eligibility only to those (1) who invested during the period during which whole-house STRs were permitted, and (2) who demonstrated adhesion to the rules governing the operation of STRs, including the 90-day limitation, posting and temporary permitting, insurance, no neighbor complaints, and payment of all taxes and fees.
  6. Impact Remediation – Time Limits. Public and other comment has suggested that the impact of STRs on the residential fabric could be reduced if the benefit were limited to five or some number of years. Besides raising questions of economic feasibility — is five years sufficient time to spur investment or recover renovation costs? —, the study must consider the impact on the fabric of the surrounding residential neighborhood. Enforcement is complicated.
  7. Impact Remediation – Density. Motion-19-6 includes studying the possibility of capping the numbers of whole-house STRs permitted to each individual property owner eligible to take advantage of the incentives envisioned. Limiting the participation of individual property owners is complex, given the prevalence of LLCs and other devices and high loophole opportunities. In any case, the problem is not ownership but the location and density of STRs. Preferable would be density limitations (e.g., one or two per blockface), which would better work to limit the impact on neighborhoods (recall the “neighborhood fabric” admonition) and are more easily enforceable, as demonstrated by existing restrictions on bars and B&Bs.
  8. Development Zone – Community Input. STRs have proven to be highly controversial in many neighborhoods. Residents’ views should be considered. Thus, the study should recommend how best to obtain property owner/resident input into any development zone creation and rules, and how best to incorporate that input into decisions to create a zone.
  9. Enforcement. Allowing STRs for development or blight remediation would require complex rules and zoning arrangements that would complicate enforcement, and ignore common sense and previous CPC studies that recommended that STR regimes be simplified to the extent possible.

And finally, the CPC would have to consider and opine on the extent to which using STRs to promote development and/or remediate blight would, in fact, accomplish either. Would the economic incentives to a very limited class of investors be sufficient to induce substantial direct investment? Recall, in this connection, that the Council directed the study be limited those holding Residential permits anywhere in the City to have one or more unoccupied whole-house rentals in designated “development zones” and the grandfathering of those that held “Temporary” permits and had followed the rules. And moreover, would any benefit from using STRs in this fashion outweigh the negative impact of STRs on the “residential fabric” and on the enforcement structure?

The STRC believes not, and that the CPC should conclude that STRs are neither an appropriate nor an effective tool for promoting development or remediating blight.

Respectfully submitted,

Brian R. Furness

Chair, Short-Term Rental Committee

Cc:       The Honorable Members of the City Council

            The Honorable LaToya Cantrell, Mayor of New Orleans

            STRC (bcc)

[1] Numbering is only for identification and is not intended to indicate priority.