Safety, parking and noise cited as concerns over converting the single-family residential property
UPDATED June 25, 2021 at 8AM: Corrects date of meeting and vote tally.
UPDATED June 25, 2021 at 9:30PM: Corrects who voted against.
MANDEVILLE — A recently renovated home in Old Mandeville received a 3-2 approval from the City Council last night (June 24, 2021) as a short-term rental property, but only after the council reduced its occupancy restriction from 10 to six.
The property in question, located at 2032 Jefferson Street near Nuvolari’s Ristorante and the Grapeful Ape cocktail bar, had previously gained a “favorable” recommendation from the Planning & Zoning Commission in May.
Short-term rentals are defined as 30-days or less, which means the property in question — allowing up to 10 occupants as presented to the council — would likely attract groups or families attending local special events, such as weddings or other parties.
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The council expressed concerns over a range of issues, all centered around the 10-occupancy limit in the proposal — including emergency egress, parking, and noise issues — and it wasn’t long before discussion turned to reducing that number.
District III Councilwoman Jill McGuire said, “I’m just concerned about enforcement and the types of people that would be renting this… I don’t feel are coming to have a quiet little getaway with their families. I think this is geared more towards a bachelorette party, and I think that’s been a big concern for short-term rentals in general.”
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Councilman at Large Jason Zuckerman raised concerns about the 2015 International Residential Code, saying that when changing the designated use of a structure — in this case going from single-family residential to short-term rental — the request should be treated similarly to a new-construction request.
“If you were doing a new structure like this … I don’t think you could count a lot of those areas as sleeping areas… the intent of the IRC in building codes is to protect life and create for a safe occupancy,” he said.
District II Councilman Skelly Kreller also expressed concerns over the maximum occupancy, comparing the upstairs open floorpan to “more like a dormitory.”
Planning and Development Director Car Bartholomew told Zuckerman that the Fire Chief would still have to do an inspection and would consider the safety issues he had expressed.
Owners of the property Kelly and Rob Boyd addressed the council, attempting to allay concerns, indicating their plans to add additional parking, and that they had specified the 10-occupancy number only because of the way the permit process works, asking for “maximum” limits.
Bush asked Mrs. Boyd who their “ideal” renters would be, to which she replied, “The ideal would be families.”
Councilman at Large Rick Danielson brought the matter to its conclusion when he asked the Boyds, “If this were amended to six, would that still be of interest to you?”
Mr. Boyd chuckled, saying, “Actually, I’d rather it be six,” with Mrs. Boyd adding, “or less!”
The council approved an amendment offered by District I Councilwoman Rebecca Bush, limiting the occupancy to six instead of 10, before adopting the ordinance 3-2, with McGuire and Kreller voting against.