In The News › Neighborhood meetings planned to determine future policies

Sep 17, 2008

Source: WDSU

Filed under: Orleans Parish, Planning Issues

Neighborhood meetings planned to determine future policies

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WDSU.com

New Orleans Starts On Final Development Plan Related To Story
Neighborhood Meetings Planned
To Determine Future Policies

NEW ORLEANS —Officials with the city of New Orleans have launched what they called the final step in coming up with a
comprehensive plan that will serve as a blueprint —enforced by law —for redevelopment after Hurricane Katrina.

Over the next few weeks, neighborhood meetings will be held to determine future development policies for
various parts of the city. Mayor Ray Nagin said the plan will not cut out any current part of New Orleans.

Nagin said that, for the first time, it creates a level playing field for everyone.

“This comprehensive zoning ordinance puts everything into law so that anyone who wants to do anything in
our city knows exactly what the rules of the game are and that we can be a model for future cities,” Nagin
said.

If voters approve a city charter change on Nov. 4, the plan will carry the force of law and govern zoning
ordinances —taking much of that power away from the City Council.

The city’s new master plan will be a living document.

It can be changed from time to time as circumstances warrant, but it will always require citizens to have a
voice in how it impacts their neighborhood in terms of housing and city services.

“They can also decide if they want two parks instead of three parks, if they want walkways or bicycle paths,”
Council President Jackie Clarkson said. “They can also decide if they want to bring businesses into their
neighborhoods, if so, what services they need most.”

The plan envisions creating main streets in some neighborhoods as there were in times past.

On Nov. 4, citizens will get a chance to vote on amending the city charter requiring that the city, businesses
and citizens follow the plan in every area of city growth or change.

“Basically, what the charter amendment does, it defines in general terms what should be in the master plan,
defines how a master plan is adopted and how it is amended,” said Janest Howard of the Bureau of
Governmental Research. “It also gives it the force of law. What that means isn’t that the plan is the law, what
it says is that when government takes action, when individuals take action those actions have to conform to
the master plan.”

It also means the city’s new comprehensive zoning ordinance must comply with the master plan and that
people can no longer petition the council for changes that would result in spot zoning contrary to the city’s
new plan.

The charter change will also require that no zoning changes can occur in any neighborhood without input
from the people who live there.

Officials said the goal is to preserve the historical integrity of New Orleans, while encouraging firm rules to
attract residents back, along with new business.

A series of public meetings to hear what changes citizens want or don’t want in their neighborhoods begins
later this month.

The first citywide forum, titled the “City’s Official Master Plan: Creating A Vision For New Orleans Future,”
will be held Saturday, Sept. 27, from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Xavier University in the William McCaffrey
Ballroom.

Sep 17, 2008

Source: WDSU

Filed under: Orleans Parish, Planning Issues

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