Gahan recommends moratorium on new apartment construction in New Albany – Evening News and Tribune

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NEW ALBANY — The New Albany City Council will consider steps to pause the development of new apartments and limit short-term rentals.

New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan is recommending that the city council consider a temporary moratorium on the construction of new multi-family apartments and the issuance of short-term rental permits.

The potential moratorium would “pump the brake” on the growth of new apartments and short-term rentals while incentivizing homeownership, according to Gahan.

The city council will discuss the proposed ordinance on Monday at a Development and Annexation Committee hearing, which will take place at 11:30 a.m. in the conference room at New Albany City Hall.

Gahan said he drafted the ordinance in response to the results of a 2023 study commissioned by the City of New Albany. The study, led by the Urban Studies Institute at the University of Louisville, identified a need for more owner-occupied single-family homes in the city.

“We know we need additional single-family owner-occupied housing,” Gahan said. “We know we’re short there, and we have a fair amount of rental properties. If you’re looking at the land usage within our city limits and slightly outside our city limits, we know that we have enough apartments.”

The moratorium would help the city review and update its comprehensive plan and zoning so it reflects the city’s current housing situation, Gahan said.

“We can make corrections because we know what our housing situation is today, and we want to make sure we’re using land properly,” he said. “This is all about land usage. So it’s a good time for us to just take a pause and take a look at how we can best use our land in the City of New Albany for the future.”

New Albany Economic Development Director Claire Johnson presented the results of the housing study at last Thursday’s city council meeting.

One of the findings was that future demand for owner-occupied homes will outpace demand for rentals “pursuant to the availability of such homes,” she said.

The study also noted the growth of short-term rentals such as Airbnbs in New Albany. The city has 104 total short-term rental units.

Gahan hopes for the city council to consider the ordinance at its next meeting. He projects that the proposed moratorium would last a year or two, but those details will be “vetted through the council committee and council discussions.”

He said the goal is to “create a plan for the future of the City of New Albany.”

“We believe that the American Dream begins with the opportunity to plant roots and purchase a home, and this study confirmed those beliefs,” the mayor said in a Wednesday news release.

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