In The News › Bevy of meetings ahead on city’s new zoning regime

Jul 7, 2010

Source: The Times-Picayune

Filed under: Orleans Parish, Planning Issues

Bevy of meetings ahead on city’s new zoning regime

Current ordinance deemed ‘incoherent’

Wednesday, July 07, 2010
By Bruce Eggler
The Times-Picayune

Having held a citywide meeting in late June to introduce the principles to be used in creating New Orleans’ new zoning ordinance, the City Planning Commission and its consultants next week will begin a series of meetings for residents and property owners in the city’s 13 planning districts.

The new comprehensive zoning ordinance, or CZO, is intended to give legal force to the land-use principles and guidelines laid out in the city’s new master plan, which still awaits final council action.

There has long been widespread agreement that the city needs a new zoning ordinance.

A 2003 study by the Bureau of Governmental Research, an independent watchdog group, said the current CZO, written about 40 years ago and since amended hundreds of times, is “incoherent, overamended, outdated and vague,” and that “interpreting (it) is well beyond the reach of the typical developer, not to mention the average citizen.”

Zoning governs development on private property, saying where buildings can be built, how they can be used, how large they can be and, to some extent, what they will look like. It also can control the size and location of signs and can set requirements for parking, landscaping and stormwater management.

The new law is being created primarily by consultants led by the Chicago planning firm Camiros Ltd., which is being paid about $600,000. That is in addition to the $2 million paid to the Boston planning firm Goody Clancy to create the master plan.

The law will incorporate a system of “place-based” zoning based on the idea that New Orleans comprises eight basic types of land: the historic core such as the French Quarter and Treme, the Central Business District, “urban neighborhoods” developed in the 19th century and early 20th century, post-World War II suburban-style neighborhoods, rural areas such as Lower Coast Algiers, open recreational spaces such as large chunks of eastern New Orleans, industrial and employment centers such as the port and the New Orleans Regional Business Park, and “destination places” such as universities, cultural centers and major retail corridors.

The consultants plan to have a first draft of the new law and a zoning map, showing how all land in the city will be zoned, ready for the commission and the public to review by September. After another round of district meetings, the consultants hope to have revised versions of the CZO and the map ready by the end of the year. Those could be the final drafts before the documents go to the City Council for review, or planners could decide that another round of district meetings and more drafts are necessary.

Here is the schedule of the first round of planning district meetings:

District 1 (Central Business District, Warehouse District and French Quarter): July 15, 6:30 p.m., at the National World War II Museum, 945 Magazine St.

District 2 (Central City and Garden District): Monday, 6:30 p.m., at the Dryades YMCA, 2220 O.C. Haley Blvd.

District 3 (Uptown and Carrollton): Monday, 6:30 p.m., at the Jewish Community Center, 5342 St. Charles Ave.

District 4 (Mid-City): July 20, 6:30 p.m., at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 1222 N. Dorgenois St.

District 5 (Lakeview and City Park area): July 19, 6:30 p.m., at St Dominic School, 6326 Memphis St.

District 6 (Gentilly): July 19, 6:30 p.m., at Southern University at New Orleans, 6400 Press Drive.

District 7 (Marigny, Bywater, St. Roch and Desire): July 15, 6:30 p.m., at Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, 2515 Franklin Ave.

District 8 (Lower 9th Ward): July 21, 6:30 p.m., at M.L. King Charter School, 1617 Caffin Ave.

Districts 9, 10 and 11 (eastern New Orleans): July 21, 6:30 p.m., at Lake Forest Charter School, 12000 Hayne Blvd.

Districts 12 and 13 (Algiers): July 20, 6:30 p.m., at the Behrman Center, 2529 Gen. Meyer Ave.

More information is available at or by calling the planning commission at 504.658.7033.

Jul 7, 2010

Source: The Times-Picayune

Filed under: Orleans Parish, Planning Issues

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