BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD)- The East Baton Rouge Zoning Commission Committee on Monday (September 19) unanimously passed draft ordinances for rentals such as Airbnb’s.
This means it may not be long before short-term rentals in Baton Rouge will have to comply with new regulations.
But the measure still requires approval from the city council.
“It’s a victory, it’s the first step,” said Mary Jane Marcantel, former president for the Spanish Town civic association.
Former Spanish Town civic association President Mary Jane Marcantel has been pushing for regulations for about three years.
Marcantel says there have been a number of issues due to a lack of guidance at regarding term rentals.
She explained, “When whole houses came into Spanish Town, the quality of life was affected. By the large groups of people, the noise, the drinking, the litter.”
The regulations are as follows:
- Where the owner isn’t present would require a permit in order to operate. The owner would have ask the Planning Commission for the permit and neighbors would be allowed to testify.
- For owners-occupied rentals they don’t need a permit, but have to pay sales and occupancy taxes. They will also have to register with the city-parish.
- The city can stop short rentals if owners face violations including noise and if three violations are reported and verified within a year.
All existing short term rentals would be grandfathered in.
Not everyone is on board with the potential regulations.
“This type of regulation would hurt us,” one Airbnb owner said.
Some Airbnb owners who testified before the head of the committee labeled the regulations as ‘unnecessary.’
The Airbnb owner explained, “There’s going to be some irresponsible host of course, but for most part even those with large quantity with air bnb’s are very very responsible.”
A study from the commission indicates that there are about 460 Airbnb’s within the city-parish.
The East Baton Rouge metro council will discuss the proposed regulations next month.
If approved, the laws will go into effect nine months after the council’s deciding vote.