Monday, February 29, 2016

Nobody actually lives here

We are blessed to be led by such bold visionaries.
According to the recent Planning Commission study, 70 percent of the estimated 2,400-4,000 short-term rentals are now for the whole house. Eliminating short-term, whole-house rentals would go a long way toward cooling off an overheated market by making those properties available again to legitimate, longer-term tenants.

Short-term rentals used to be primarily a French Quarter problem. But just as oversized trucks pass through the Quarter with impunity, even when they take out balconies, property owners then and now rent to whomever and how many they choose. This is the pattern spreading to multiple neighborhoods.

City leadership for some time has been happy to look the other way, based on the badly mistaken notion that attracting more and more tourists is a measure of the Quarter’s good health. In fact it has undermined the Quarter’s once-unique character as a mixed-use district that compatibly accommodated both commercial and residential uses.

What ruined the Quarter as a community now threatens the whole city. Short-term rentals are spreading like kudzu, despite their obviously negative impact on the city’s livability.
They don't care. They just want the money. They want either the tax revenue they think they're going to get (but probably won't) or they want the money they themselves or their friends can make Airbnbing their investment properties. (Several councilmembers own rental property.) One thing they certainly don't care about is whether or not anybody actually lives here anymore.  Too many engaged, full time constituents who aren't super-wealthy makes for too much trouble anyway.

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