In response to a court ruling finding that New Orleans’ requirement that the holder of a residential short-term rental (“RSTR”) license hold a homestead exemption violated the Constitution’s Commerce Clause, the New Orleans City Planning Commission is making recommendations for changes to the RSTR regulations. In particular, on January 27, 2023, the City Planning Commission adopted recommendations that there be only one RSTR license issued per person, that only one RSTR could be licensed per block face (with a possible process for an exemption to be determined), that the maximum number of guests in an RSTR be reduced from ten to six, and that the maximum number of bedrooms in an RSTR be reduced from five to three. The issue will be considered by the New Orleans City Council before the court-imposed March 31, 2023, deadline.
In response to publicity that the 53 affordable housing units planned for the old Brown’s Dairy plant (1300 Baronne Street) were instead allegedly sold to a commercial short-term rental operator, the New Orleans City Council adopted a resolution on February 2, 2023, that created an Interim Zoning District (“IZD”) entitled “Preserving Residential Character Interim Zoning District”, which would cover areas of Central City, the Lower Garden District, and the Irish Channel. The IZD would temporarily prohibit the issuance of new commercial STR licenses in lots zoned HU-MU (Neighborhood Mixed-Use District), MU-1 (Medium Intensity Mixed-Use District), and MU-2 (High Intensity Mixed District) pending a public hearing before the City Planning Commission to amend the current short term rental regulations. Existing licenses may be renewed and an appeal of the IZD is permitted for new license applicants. By law, an IZD is a temporary measure to be effective for a maximum of one year, with subsequent extensions possible.
The City Council also created a city-wide IZD known as the “Bed and Breakfast Interim Zoning District”, which causes all bed and breakfast uses, whether principal or accessory, to be conditional uses in zoning districts where such uses are currently permitted. This legislation was passed to anticipate any persons now prohibited from applying for a short-term rental license from seeking to circumvent regulations by applying for a bed and breakfast license.