STRs

 Dear Councilmembers,
I wanted to give you my input once last time on STRs and thank you for your interest in hearing from everyone.
• I am in favor of limited owner-occupied or one listing STRs by on-site renters (with written approval of the owner) capped at 4 per calendar year for owner-occupied listings and 2 per year for one listings for on-site renters.
• I believe that STRS can be linked to property tax records,  especially to homestead exemptions. I believe penalties for multiple listings should result in massive fines to discourage scofflaws.That money should be set aside for a off-site (not at CH!) STR center for managing inspections and regulation to be housed. Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative may be a good location for this; I have no relationship to them, but think they could manage this well. This should be a public office and have a system for managing complaints against STRS including using affidavit system similar to taxi complaints.
• I am not in favor of whole house STRs under any circumstance.
• I do not believe that any neighborhood- including the Quarter or the CBD- should have any version of different allowances for the number of STRs than any other. I live in the Quarter and have friends that live in the CBD and we all deserve protection. The population of my area has risen in the last 15 years and is a world-class example of “mixed-use” done right. Allowing any version of unlimited STRS is death to any neighborhood held dear. It ain’t all rich folks and second homes. Please do away with unlimited STRS in commercial “zones.”
•I believe that this city could influence STR sites like airbnb to pin abutting neighbor reviews to the main page of any  legal hosting listing to encourage good neighbor STRs.
• To paraphrase Abigail Adams, I’d like you to consider the small hotels. I live across from one of these in the Quarter and it is  a great neighbor. Not only do they maintain their property very well, they are generous to their neighbors and offer 24/7 “eyes on the street” They need to be encouraged to remain by limiting any STRS within some distance of their site. Their hotels should also be allowed to be listed on any NOLa-managed STR site without needing to be licensed as such. The skyscraper hotels are bad for neighborhoods and for crime levels, (and for jobs, having worked in a few!) Limit any more of those in favor of small hotels in neighborhoods on main streets.
• I believe that every neighborhood organization should map their area and find 1-2 areas for zoning of boarding houses for long-term visitors. These folks often become permanent residents.
• The city should incentivize these efforts with small business assistance, business prep and tax forgiveness.
•A new program to incentivize residential rental should begin to encourage long-term leases (3 years or more).
 • Areas long undervalued should be given tax incentives and construction loans to add more affordable residential units, directed to certain sectors like the upper floors on Canal street for service industry workers.
• The issue that has risen with STRs points to the issue with rentals and renter rights in all versions of contracts and needs to be undertaken by a regional task force designed and led by this Council.
Thank you for your efforts.
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About DW

New Orleans resident, writer, activist. Public market consultant.

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