Proposed short-term lease regulations to go through city-parish code enforcement

    While remaining tight-lipped on when an ordinance could be headed to the Metro Council, Councilwoman Tara Wicker says responsibility for permits and the regulation of short-term lease properties, like Airbnb, will fall to those working in city-parish code enforcement.

    While acknowledging that division struggles with manpower, Wicker told the Press Club of Baton Rouge this afternoon that local government must work to ensure the office has the necessary resources to enforce short-term rental regulations.

    As part of the ordinance, the council member said she’s considering language that would require anyone wanting to rent out rooms or an entire house to pay a $500 annual fee.

    After Spanish Town Civic Association members raised concerns over a draft of the ordinance last month, Wicker elected to table the issue through the summer to allow for more community feedback. Rather than a series of regulations, as originally planned, Wicker now expects to introduce a single, comprehensive ordinance that not only would apply parishwide but would also make short-term leased properties subject to the parish’s hotel occupancy tax.

    Read a recent Business Report story on the concerns Spanish Town residents have over short-term rentals in their neighborhood, and read Publisher Rolfe McCollister’s take on the situation.

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