With criticism mounting from short-term rental advocates, City Councilwoman Kristin Gisleson Palmer said late Monday she plans to delay a preliminary vote on changes to New Orleans' short term rental rules until January.Well I'm relieved to see that the problematic criticism mounted from the other side. I had some quibbles with Palmer's proposal myself last week but I have to say the main element of it tying most STRs in most residential areas to homestead exemption is good and should be passed if not expanded. Now "mounting criticism" has slowed even that long overdue development.
Palmer, who unveiled a package of changes that would curtail short term rentals through platforms like Airbnb and HomeAway in New Orleans last week, had initially planned to kick off the four-month process needed to put the plan into law with an initial vote on Thursday.
But in a news release late Monday night, Palmer said she would delay that step to provide more time for residents and council members to weigh in on the proposal.
No one is saying much about where and to whom the pressure is being applied although we do have our suspicions. The one-to-one affordable to STR unit requirement for large scale commercial developments might screw up the Motwani Canal Street plan that Jason Williams loves so much. Also some of the key landlord groups pushing against homestead exemption requirements are based in Cyndi Nguyen's district. And, of course, Mayor Cantrell has a long history of approving STR spot-zones for influential property owners during her time on the council. None of the above have issued a public statement to the press on Palmer's motion as far as I am aware. So we'll just have to wait and see where they show up on this stuff. In any case, the deferral on the motion is probably about more than just the holidays.
Update: You know when a newspaper website substantially rewrites its story a few hours later after publication it really should just make it separate post. It doesn't hurt anything to do that. And there's something at least a little bit dishonest about pretending a thing you already wrote never actually existed. I'm just an idiot blogger and I at least note when I update or edit a post.
Anyway the rewrite of the Advocate story linked above confirms some of my speculation.
Some council offices could raise concerns about that part of the proposal, particularly in light of plans by Sonder — a short-term rental company — to put rental units on vacant upper floors or in blighted properties on Canal Street. Both Councilman Jason Williams and Mayor LaToya Cantrell have supported that plan, and the stricter rules proposed by Palmer could potentially derail those projects