Eric Bay, president of the Alliance for Neighborhood Prosperity, a local group short-term rental supporters, said in an interview Wednesday that he's concerned the council is acting at the behest of a small group of New Orleans residents opposed to short-term rentals. He estimates that as many as 1,000 permits renewals will be denied when they expire between May and August.Don't worry, I'm sure he'll get there eventually.
"To have this knee-jerk reaction without properly studying real-time, independent data and statistics is simply bad policy, and a blatant attempt to appease a vocal minority," Bay said. He also said he's concerned the city hasn't properly warned short-term rental operators, saying, "the city is not informing license-holders that actions are being taken against their right and privilege."
Anyway, we're coming off a municipal election where voters consistently said affordable housing was at or near the top of their list of concerns. A majority of the new council believes, at least for now, that the impetus to tighten STR regulations was part of the mandate that won them their seats. But maybe if ANP continues to hammer at this "vocal minority" characterization all summer, eventually some of these elected people will start to buy it.
Also, Jared Brossett has been a reliable anti-STR vote in the past. Seems like his addition would cement the "veto-proof majority" brought up here. Where is he on this motion?
According to a City Council agenda released ahead of their Thursday (May 24) meeting, Councilwoman Kristin Gisleson Palmer has already convinced three of her fellow council members to co-author the proposal, indicating their support. Those four council members -- Palmer, Jason Williams, Joe Giarrusso and Jay Banks -- constitute the majority needed for approval of the ordinance.
One additional vote will make a veto-proof majority, though Mayor LaToya Cantrell hasn't weighed in on the matter.