Help Needed: Final Council Vote on Short Term Rentals on Thursday

On Thursday, December 1, the City Council is scheduled to vote on the regulations, for Short Term Rentals city-wide. These cover issues from permits to enforcement. Now, with over 4,500 AirBnB listings alone (not including HomeAway, Flipkey, Craigslist, almost 75% are for whole-home rentals. In spite of strong opposition from the Garden Distirct Association and many other neighborhoods, City Council passed a motion in October to legalize three types of STRs. This week, they will vote on the clarifying ordinances these types:

  • Accessory short term rentals allow property owners to rent out spare bedrooms in the homes they reside in, or the other half on a full-time basis. Proof of Homestead Exemption is required; Louisiana property owners are only allowed to have a Homestead Exemption on one residence.
  • Temporary short term rentals allow property owners to rent their entire dwelling, up to five bedrooms, on a temporary basis days per calendar year.
  • Commercial short term rentals allow property owners in commercial and mixed-use zoning districts, to rent their properties bedrooms or less, year round.

Additionally, the Council voted to maintain the French Quarter’s prohibition of STRs with the exception of the 200-700 blocks of Street, in efforts to encourage use of vacant upper floors on that stretch.

Redefining Whole Home Rentals

The original City Planning Short Term Rental Study outlined a fourth type: Principal Residential. These year-round STRs allow homes to be rented out in residentially zoned areas and require no owner on site. Considered to be the most destabilizing to New neighborhoods, the City Planning Commission has twice voted to remove this type from the package of STR recommendations reasons, which the City Council voted to uphold.

However, when the Council last voted on the issue, last minute amendments redefined one of the STR types. The Temporary Short Rental category, previously capped at 30 days per year, was increased to an allowable 90 days per year. What was originally created accommodate the decades-long practice of renting out homes for Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest now allows for renting out one’s property 45 weekends a year. As no one actually resides in those homes from Monday through Thursday, they are vacant during the week they represent another full time loss of a dwelling unit and neighbor.

In the end, amendments intended to protect neighborhoods from multiple listing investors, such as homestead exemptions or density were stripped. The Council’s reasoning for this was based on the platforms’ willingness to share data about its hosts, a provision essential to realistic enforcement. Our concern remains that by allowing the platforms to craft their own regulations, these property be enshrined in perpetuity through grandfather clauses. Essentially, our neighborhoods could be stuck with thousands of STRs, City Administration decide to re-evaluate these regulations.

It’s vital that we as a city leave ourselves room to reverse course in the event that the promised benefits and promised enforcement For that reason, we have continued to work with several Council members in hopes of encouraging them to include a severability include language to prohibit licensed and permitted properties to gain a vested (grandfathered) interest that may allow them to continue perpetuity, to have strong mandatory Agreement with the platforms, all platforms, before allowing the permits or legislation to be.

We have continued to fight for additional protections for the Garden District and other tourist destination neighborhoods because detriment to those neighborhoods who already shoulder the burden of large tourist impacts will again bear the biggest and fastest legislation. The city’s own tourism numbers show that 5 million people visit the Garden District each year. We believe that this neighborhood apart and, thus, it deserves extra protection from the commercialization of our residential neighborhood. Treme and Marigny are hard hit as well.


We know we have tapped you over and over, but one last push before the vote is important. If you can, please make a call or the City Council members asking them for additional protections such as insisting on the limiting number allowed per square requirement for a conditional use process (this will allow public input) for all permits within the boundaries. Insist on strong prohibit a vested property interest in order to protect our neighborhood on a long term basis. Finally, if you can come to the meeting on Thursday, please do. We do not have any specific time that this might be scheduled, but we will keep you posted more.



Councilmember At Large Jason Williams – (504) 658-1070
Councilmember At Large Stacy Head – (504) 658-1060
Councilmember District A Susan Guidry – (504) 658-1010
Councilmember District B LaToya Cantrell – (504) 658-1020
Councilmember District C Nadine Ramsey – (504) 658-1030
Councilmember Distirct D Jared Brossett – (504) 658 1040
Councilmember Distirct E James Gray – (504) 658-1050