At the regular meeting on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017, District “B” Councilmember LaToya Cantrell put forth a Motion, which was approved by the Council, to make the first change to short-term rental (STR) regulations since they were adopted in April of this year.
Motion M-17-557 requests the City Planning Commission (CPC) consider increased restrictions for commercial STRs in Historic Urban Non-Residential HU-B1 and HU-MU Zoning Districts. More specifically, it requests a change to the use permissions from outright permitted to conditional use in those two districts.
“While tourism is an extremely important part of the fabric of our city, I do not believe it should be prioritized at the expense of our people,” said District “B” Councilmember Cantrell. “This is an extremely complex issue, and it’s going to take a lot more hard work, but I am committed to bringing together city government and the residents who live in these neighborhoods to find a solution that serves all of us. This represents an important first step in assessing the current STR laws, and making the necessary adjustments for the long-term sustainability of New Orleans.”
The motion presented by Councilmember Cantrell represents part of a compromise in the long-standing STR-related zoning dispute regarding the former Zara’s grocery on Prytania Street. In listening to resident concerns, Cantrell proposed the following three-part solution for that property: rezone the former Zara’s grocery on Prytania Street to neighborhood business; propose a change to the mixed-use zoning to make STRs a “conditional” use, requiring specific City Council approval; and rezone the building again from neighborhood business to mixed-use, granting the sale of alcohol once the STRs have been restricted.
Both neighborhood residents and the City Council overwhelmingly praised Councilmember Cantrell for her work on this issue, with her motion containing the initial neighborhood business rezoning passing 7-0. The matter will now go on to the CPC for further deliberation and will likely be heard at its meeting on January 9, 2018.