LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) Airbnb owners in Lafayette will be watching the outcome of an upcoming meeting very closely.
One of their own is under fire for being in a neighborhood zoned for residential single-family homes.
Erin Bass, the co-owner of an Airbnb on Poinsette Street, sits at the heart of the issue.
On Thursday, Bass will go before the city planning committee to fight to remain open.
Bass received a letter from the Director of Development and Planning that read:
“…short-term rentals are not expressly prohibited, as they are undefined and unregulated.”
In other words, her Airbnb can continue to operate at its current address under “authorized use” permission.
“We never had a complaint. We never had a police report. In our minds, we’re not any different than a long-term rental which there are several right across the street,” Bass stated.
She believes her Airbnb brings value to the neighborhood, the local tourism industry and economy.
“First of all, we saved a historic home that was in bad disrepair.”
She says it’s in the hands of city council.
“They discussed it last summer to decide if they want to have some regulations for us; and mention us specifically, but that’s not up to us. We’re not doing anything illegal,” Bass stated.
She also worries a reversal of her approval could lead to a potential shutdown for other Airbnb’s operating within residential single-family areas.
“It would not just affect our neighborhood, but it would affect the entire city whatever they decide,” Bass added.
Andrea Czajkowski is another Airbnb owner in Lafayette.
“People aren’t coming here to party on Bourbon Street. People are coming here to visit their families,” Czajkowski noted.
Czajkowski says an Airbnb is an investment and owners treat it as such.
“I’m a little concerned that we’re putting a word out there that we don’t want visitors to come and that we don’t want to welcome them into our community,” Czajkowski stated.
The opposing property owner has 40 signatures signed on a petition against the Airbnb’s residential location.