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Board denies appeal, short-term rental in Lafayette can continue to operate

Four hours of discussions led the board to deny the appeal.
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Posted at 11:18 PM, Apr 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-09 00:18:45-04

A home in Lafayette can continue to operate as a short-term rental after the Board for Zoning Adjustments denied an appeal made by neighbors.

Neighbors of the home on Poinsetta Street were hoping to overturn a 2020 decision by Mary Sliman, Director of Development and Planning.

The board had three options – to approve the appeal, deny the appeal, or defer the topic.

There was a 50/50 split between people who want this short-term rental to stop and people that operate Airbnbs and support it.

Those that argued the board should accept the appeal mentioned that they didn’t feel safe having people coming in and out of these short-term rentals and that a business shouldn’t be run in a residential area.

Meanwhile, some that argued for the board to deny the appeal and allow the home on Poinsetta Street to continue functioning as a short-term rental said that having their guests stay in these areas allows them to connect more with the Cajun culture.

The meeting held Thursday night was to determine whether or not the director had made a decision erroneously.

Gordon Schoeffler, who wanted to void the 2020 decision, said the way the code is being interpreted isn’t good for neighbors.

“Skeet shooting ranges, alligator farms, nudist colonies. None of that is expressly prohibited in our code. Under this rationale from the director, it can pop up right next door my home,” he said.

Meanwhile attorney Gary McGoffin, who represents the couple that owns the Poinsetta Street property, said the director made a decision having all elements present. The home was purchased by Erin and Mike Bass in 2015.

“The question is whether the action was taken without reasoning,” he said. "What you’ve seen tonight, is that the administrator, I’m sorry, the director had several good reasons.”

People in the neighborhood said that they take pride in having generations of their family live there and they don’t feel safe having short-term renters coming in and out of their community. However, people that support the Airbnb way of traveling say that immersion into communities the whole point of a short-term rental.

READ MORE: Short-term rental in Lafayette in jeopardy

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