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USNew Orleans moves closer to short-term rental restrictions

09:05  11 january  2019
09:05  11 january  2019 Source:   msn.com

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Unfortunately, legal restrictions on short - term rentals are not uniform and can be confusing. Moreover, short - term rental websites currently New Orleans has similar restrictions on the period of short - term rental use. Its local ordinance prohibits property owners from renting their homes or

NEW ORLEANS ― Invariably, someone brings up the anatomically-shaped balloons. About a year ago, a bachelorette We found signs that short - term rentals are contributing to the transformation of a handful of the city’s most distinctive neighborhoods, particularly the ones closest to the French Quarter.

New Orleans moves closer to short-term rental restrictions© The Associated Press Short term rental property owners protest outside City Hall in New Orleans, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. City Council members in New Orleans are set to discuss proposals that could sharply curtail short-term vacation-rentals of whole houses in residential neighborhoods. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

NEW ORLEANS — A prohibition on "whole-home" vacation rentals such as those arranged online by Airbnb moved closer to reality Thursday in New Orleans.

City Council members voted to advance a proposal unveiled last year by member Kristin Gisleson Palmer.

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New Orleans ' original short - term rental laws seemed at the forefront of efforts to legalize and regulate the industry back in 2016. Airbnb even negotiated elements of the regulations with the city and hailed them as a model — a tool for rule enforcement and taxes and fee collection. But opponents say the

Nearly a year after New Orleans City Council approved short - term rental regulations, the council has banned the addition and renewal of temporary short - term rental licenses throughout parts of the The council created an Interim Zoning District, where the temporary ban will apply to short - term rentals .

Homeowners in the tourism-dependent city could still rent out part of their property to vacationers — if the owner lives on the property and remains present while the short-term renters are there. But whole-house rentals of otherwise empty houses would be forbidden under the proposal, which addresses complaints that outside investors have bought up homes for vacation rentals, driving up property values and taxes and driving out full-time residents.

Thursday's vote triggers studies and hearings by the city's planning commission that could result in amendments to Palmer's measure. Final action is expected in the spring.

Opponents of the restrictions said they amount to pulling the financial rug from under people who followed the rules and invested in property in hopes of supplementing their income with tourist money. Carley Sercovich was among nearly two-dozen demonstrating outside City Hall during Thursday's council meeting, where debate on the issue lasted more than four hours. She said she's from an area that doesn't draw as many tourists as other areas.

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A New Orleans developer has come under fire for converting many of the units in two apartment buildings into short - term rentals , a move that while legal locally could run afoul of federal housing requirements.

The New Orleans City Council decided Thursday to “hit pause” on the growing prevalence of short - term rentals in the city, imposing a Imani Jacqueline Brown, a board member of Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative, holds a sign in support of restrictions on short term rentals

"So the only way that an entire neighborhood ... can get a piece of the pie when it comes to the tourism, the billions of dollars that are brought in, is to do short term rentals," she said.

Some opponents cast the issue as one of gender and racial equity. Civil rights attorney Traci Washington said the proposals will cut into her family's income.

And a young mother with a child at her side told the council she depends on income from her short-term rental property. "Women of New Orleans are dependent on the sharing economy to raise our families," she said.

But a series of residents testifying at Thursday's hours-long meeting appeared to be in favor of strong restrictions.

Among them was longtime resident Joyce Jackson, who said short-term rentals have vastly altered her street near historic Esplanade Avenue. "On my street where I live, there are just four of us old-timers left," Jackson said.

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Support the news. Cambridge Moves To Restrict Short - Term Rentals . In the absence of a state strategy to regulate short - term housing rentals , the Cambridge City Council voted Monday night to require hosts to live in the same or an adjacent building as part of a new set of rules designed to

Opponents complain that short - term strangers squeeze out long-term residents, but supporters say renting out rooms allows them to make extra income. That hearing began a process that is supposed to resolve how to handle short - term rentals in New Orleans . Blurring the lines between residential

Echoing an often repeated complaint that short-term renters are sometimes noisy and disrespectful to residents, Jackson also lamented a diminishing number of families in her neighborhood. "We also need our communities to be communities of children."

Some residents testified that they either have been evicted or expect to be as a result of landlords planning to convert affordable rental units into more lucrative vacation destinations. Andreanecia Morris of the Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance said short-term rental regulations must be addressed to address an affordable housing crisis in the city.

Council members passed a resolution calling for the planning commission to look into carving out economically moribund areas where whole-home rentals might be allowed. And members discussed a possible "grandfather" proposal allowing investors with existing licenses to keep renting properties they don't reside in. But it was unclear whether either idea would be deemed workable.

Palmer's proposal also calls for establishing categories and regulations for various sizes of buildings in commercial areas. And the planning commission is to study ways that the regulations regarding short-term rentals in commercially zoned areas could be used to encourage development of affordable housing.

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This version eliminates a quote that was mistakenly attributed to Andreanecia Morris.

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