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Coverage of BGR in local, regional, and national media

BGR In The News

Avondale Shipyard, public transportation seen as challenges for Jefferson

Dec 6, 2016

Finding a new use for Avondale Shipyard and improving public transportation are two of the most significant challenges that Jefferson Parish must address, President Jerry Bologna of the Jefferson Economic Development Commission President said Tuesday (Dec. 6). His comments came at a Bureau of Governmental Research breakfast in Metairie.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

BGR says City Council is bound by master plan in making land-use decisions

Oct 29, 2015

BGR sides with those seeking a strict interpretation of the master plan, noting that the City Charter states that all zoning ordinances and amendments must be consistent with the overarching document and any that aren’t “shall be null and void.”

Source: The Advocate

Critics: N.O. City Council ignoring master plan for land-use decisions; other say that’s false

Sep 4, 2015

But those supporting the master plan and the “force of law” provision included a host of neighborhood groups, civic organizations and the nonpartisan Bureau of Governmental Research.

Source: The Advocate

Our Views: New plan for growth

Oct 21, 2014

If there are any potential glitches to adoption of the ordinance, it may be in the criticisms offered by the Bureau of Governmental Research, which took issue with Article 5 of the CZO.

Source: The Advocate

Watchdog group wants zoning law tweak

Oct 14, 2014

The Bureau of Governmental Research issued a report Monday criticizing Article 5, a section of the CZO pertaining to “planned development standards.” BGR said in the report that the “broad scope” of Article 5 works against the overall goal of the CZO to provide clarity and predictability to the land use decision-making process.

Source: CityBusiness

BGR urges council to reject exceptions to zoning rules

Oct 14, 2014

The New Orleans City Council should either eliminate or substantially revise a section of the proposed new comprehensive zoning ordinance that would allow developers to receive exceptions to many regulations in exchange for providing certain benefits to the city, the Bureau of Governmental Research said in a report issued Monday.

Source: The Advocate

N.O. should use new medical complex to promote economic development, speaker says

Sep 23, 2014

Hecht and New Orleans BioInnovation Center President Aaron Miscenich were guest speakers Tuesday at a “breakfast briefing” of the Bureau of Governmental Research. They discussed the future of the health care and bioscience industries in New Orleans and statewide.

Source: The Advocate

Economic developers say New Orleans could become a medical hub but has challenges

Sep 23, 2014

“We’re sitting in the midst of one of the greatest economic development investments in New Orleans in a generation,” said Luis Zervigon, a member of the Bureau of Governmental Research board of directors, introducing a session hosted by the group.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Group says water board’s woes unlikely to improve soon

Jul 23, 2013

It’s the fifth time in the past three years that New Orleans residents have had to boil their water because of a pressure failure. Watchdog group BGR, says it’s a problem unlikely to improve anytime soon, even with significant rate increases over the next few years

Source: WWL-TV

BGR says water issues won’t be adequately addressed by millage increase

Jul 23, 2013

But the Bureau of Governmental Research takes a different spin. “The part getting the least amount of investment is the water system and that’s the part that drives everybody crazy,” said Janet Howard, with BGR.

Source: FOX 8

New Orleans needs new approach to water management

Jan 10, 2013

The Bureau of Governmental Research, a watchdog group that had birddogged the Sewerage & Water Board to improve its way of doing business, sponsored Thursday’s presentation.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Costco proposal raises questions about need for, availability of incentives in New Orleans

Nov 10, 2011

Residents of Hollygrove and neighborhoods surrounding a proposed new Costco Wholesale store on South Carrollton Avenue walked among renderings at an Oct. 20 community meeting at Xavier University like they were perusing a candy store.

Source: New Orleans City Business

Election recommendations in Orleans and St. Bernard parishes propositions: An editorial

Oct 20, 2011

As the Bureau of Governmental Research noted, the park has accomplished very little, and businesses that pay the tax haven’t benefited from it in services or infrastructure.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Public meetings start for New Orleans’ proposed comprehensive zoning ordinance

Sep 12, 2011

A 2003 study by the Bureau of Governmental Research 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.”

Source: The Times-Picayune

Master plan review reveals spending discrepancies for repairing, replacing schools

Aug 18, 2011

A group of civic, public policy and business organizations led by the Bureau of Governmental Research sharply criticized the proposed plan this month, calling for a “more utilitarian approach” with fewer “architectural dreams and luxuries.”

Source: CityBusiness

New Lawless High promised on old 9th Ward site

Aug 8, 2011

It was clear from Monday’s press conference that White is already making his pitch to the BESE and Orleans Parish School Boards. The votes were originally scheduled for late summer, but last week, think tank, the Bureau of Governmental Research, asked them to delay the votes because their research showed what they perceive as problems with the funding and scope of the schools included in the plan.

Source: WWLTV

Review New Orleans school master plan: An editorial

Aug 5, 2011

A group of business and nonprofit leaders is questioning whether the current plan accomplishes that purpose. They say the roughly $2 billion in federal funds earmarked to fix city schools should be enough to put every student in a new or renovated classroom. That may mean eliminating architectural luxuries that have characterized new schools built since the flood.

Source: The Times-Picayune

A new set of zoning rules for New Orleans: An editorial

Aug 3, 2011

New Orleans’ zoning laws have long been a mess. The Bureau of Governmental Research said in 2003 that the 40-year-old document was “incoherent, overamended, outdated and vague” and virtually impossible for the average citizen to figure out.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Business, nonprofit leaders voice concerns about New Orleans schools master plan

Aug 2, 2011

A group of New Orleans business and nonprofit leaders is calling for city and state education officials to head “back to the drawing board” on plans for spending what’s left of about $2 billion in federal aid earmarked for rebuilding the city’s public schools.

Source: The Times-Picayune

New Orleans business, civic groups say school master plan should go ‘back to drawing board’

Aug 1, 2011

“The amended plan would create gross inequity in the quality of school facilities across the city. Some school facilities would be built at a cost that far exceeds national norms. Others would get nothing, even where repairs are urgently needed,” states the letter signed representatives of the Bureau for Governmental Research, the Business Council of New Orleans, the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, the New Orleans Regional Black Chamber of Commerce, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana, Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans, Common Good and the Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives at Tulane University.

Source: The Newsroom, CityBusiness Blog

Draft of revised New Orleans zoning law is online

Aug 1, 2011

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.”

Source: The Times-Picayune

Common neighborhood troubles still hold up recovery after storms

Aug 24, 2010

Experts cautioned that, even with billions of dollars in aid expected to flow to the city, New Orleans wouldn’t get enough to properly rebuild every section of town — or to keep rebuilt facilities in good shape.

“Unless the city’s plan addresses the mismatch between the city’s footprint and its population by initially directing development into more compact areas, the outcome will be random, scattered development in a sea of blight,” the nonprofit Bureau of Governmental Research wrote in December 2005.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Sunday Edition: Changing New Orleans’ infrastructure

Aug 15, 2010

The Bureau of Governmental Research has put out a new report addressing the infrastructure needs of the city of New Orleans and recommendations for how to budget for improvements that need to be made. Dennis sits down with Janet Howard, the CEO of the Bureau of Governmental Research, to discuss the findings.

Source: WWLTV

Editorial: The underpinnings of a city

Aug 14, 2010

New Orleans, at age 292, has far more creaky infrastructure than any agency can afford to fix, according to a new report from the Bureau of Governmental Research. “The Price of Civilization” defines the problem in detail, although researchers say their tally of capital needs is not complete.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Report says city lacking badly in resources to prevent flooding from rains

Aug 12, 2010

A new study by the independent Bureau of Governmental Research suggests there are “startling gaps” in the city’s ability to prevent the type of flooding seen in parts of New Orleans, Wednesday morning.

Source: WWLTV

Recent Flooding Underscores Need For Drainage Upgrades

Aug 12, 2010

A report released Wednesday from the Bureau of Governmental Research indicated that the city needs billions to upgrade its badly impaired infrastructure.

Source: WDSU.com

BGR issues warning on N.O. capital needs

Aug 12, 2010

While much attention has been paid recently to a projected $67.5 million shortfall in New Orleans’ 2010 operating budget, the Bureau of Governmental Research has been focusing on a shortfall of billions of dollars in the city’s ability to address its infrastructure needs.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Bevy of meetings ahead on city’s new zoning regime

Jul 7, 2010

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.”

Source: The Times-Picayune

Master plan going back to council

Jun 24, 2010

The commission flatly rejected one of the council’s most far-reaching suggestions: to “remove all topics not related to the physical growth of the city,” the basic subject of the master plan. Removing such unrelated material has been advocated by the Bureau of Governmental Research, but the commission said it considers including discussions of other issues appropriate.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Early drafts show master plan is a work in progress

Apr 26, 2010

Earlier this month, the Bureau of Governmental Research issued a report criticizing the latest draft of the New Orleans Master Plan and Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance, saying it “does not live up to its mission in key areas” and “still falls short of the requirements for a good master plan.”

Source: CityBusiness

New Orleans’ Master Plan

Apr 19, 2010

The Bureau of Governmental Research (BGR), a local nonprofit think tank, has followed the planning process since its inception and released several reports assessing various drafts of the plan. BGR’s latest report, “A Need for Clarity,” concludes that the most recent draft “still falls short of the requirements for a good master plan.”

Source: Gambit

Finish line nearing for N.O. master plan

Apr 8, 2010

Janet Howard, president of the Bureau of Governmental Research, said the latest version of the plan corrects some of the problems the bureau found in an earlier draft last year. But in an analysis posted Wednesday on its Web site, www.bgr.org, the bureau said the current version still “does not provide sufficient guidance on the physical development of the city,” is confusingly organized and hard to use, and “strays from its mission by covering an array” of unrelated issues.

Source: The Times-Picayune

BGR says N.O. master plan still falls short

Apr 7, 2010

While the nonprofit Bureau of Governmental Research says the latest draft of the master plan has “limited improvements” over the previous draft, it says the draft still “falls short of the requirements for a good master plan.”

Source: CityBusiness

New Orleans master plan gets final public meeting Wednesday night

Apr 6, 2010

The Bureau of Governmental Research is expected to issue a report Wednesday on the document approved by the planning commission and now before the council. The bureau last year released a highly critical assessment of a preliminary draft of the plan, saying it did “not provide an effective guide for shaping the future physical presence of the city” and failed to “prioritize goals and policies in any meaningful way.”

Source: The Times-Picayune

COMMENTARY: Master plan adds bureaucracy to planning process

Nov 9, 2009

I have a dog. He’s a pretty good dog. He’s a good companion; he’s friendly. But he’s a pretty lousy watchdog.

Source: New Orleans CityBusiness

Vote on city’s master plan is delayed for a month

Oct 27, 2009

When members of the New Orleans City Planning Commission decided Tuesday to postpone for a month their scheduled vote on the city’s proposed master plan, they were worried how City Council members might respond.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Get It Done Right

Oct 26, 2009

One thing that cannot be disputed about the latest draft of the city’s proposed Master Plan is that it’s a monster-sized document. The plan comprises three volumes and hundreds of pages. As experts and citizens consider the efficacy of the plan, a threshold issue is: How long should the deliberative process take? Earlier this month, the nonprofit Bureau of Governmental Research (BGR), a local government watchdog, released a study criticizing the plan and suggested that the process be slowed down so shortcomings in the current draft can be corrected. “At this point, it is more important to get it right than to get it done quickly,” BGR concluded. We agree — up to a point.

Source: The Gambit

Master plan critics call for clarity in standards

Oct 26, 2009

A philosophical clash over the city’s master plan is surfacing among authors of the plan’s current draft and those who helped craft the 2008 city charter amendment that gives the plan legal force.

Source: New Orleans CityBusiness

Planning Pains: Firm, critics at odds over N.O. master plan

Oct 16, 2009

The legal power afforded to the city’s master plan is driving a gap between expectations and what planners say is reality in New Orleans.

Source: New Orleans CityBusiness

Finish New Orleans’ master plan before holding hearings: an editorial

Oct 14, 2009

New Orleanians can’t express informed opinions on the city’s proposed master plan if they haven’t seen the entire document.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Urban planner knocks proposed master plan

Oct 14, 2009

A nationally known urban planner hired by the Bureau of Governmental Research panned New Orleans’ proposed master plan Tuesday, saying the latest draft would be the longest master plan in America yet would fail to provide basic guidance on land-use issues.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Group critical of proposed N.O. master plan

Oct 14, 2009

New Orleans residents got their first chance to sound off on the first draft of the city’s new master plan.

Source: WWLTV

BGR consultant pans master plan draft

Oct 13, 2009

The city’s draft master plan is “so deficient that it would be a mistake to adopt it.”

Source: New Orleans CityBusiness

Master plan meeting delay being sought

Oct 13, 2009

A government watchdog group on Monday called on the City Planning Commission to postpone public meetings on New Orleans’ master plan, including two this week, until the entire document is available for review.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Panel deadlocks on New Orleans master plan bill

Jun 11, 2009

The Bureau of Governmental Research, a non-partisan, issues research organization in New Orleans, called Murray’s bill an “affront to the home rule charter” of the city.

Source: The Times-Picayune

EDITORIAL: Legislators should not dilute the will of New Orleans’ voters

Jun 10, 2009

New Orleans voters last fall approved a process to create a city master plan and opted to give the finished product the force of law.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Former mayor throws support behind master plan bill

Jun 9, 2009

The Bureau of Governmental Research, a nonprofit policy analysis group, says Murray’s bill conflicts with New Orleans’ home rule charter, which gives the city authority to make its own laws. In November, New Orleans voters approved an amendment to the charter to give the master plan the force of law once the plan is adopted.

Source: New Orleans CityBusiness

BGR: Legislature should reject bills requiring second citizen approval of N.O. master plan

Jun 9, 2009

The Bureau of Governmental Research is urging the Louisiana Legislature to reject three bills that would require voter approval of the city’s not-yet-written master plan before the plan could take effect.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Report: N.O. subsidized units up 21 percent

May 15, 2009

The nonprofit research organization’s report, “The House that Uncle Sam Built: The Continued Expansion of Subsidized Housing in New Orleans,” found that the number of subsidized units in New Orleans jumped from 19,865 in 2005 to 23,999 in 2009, a 21 percent increase.

Source: New Orleans CityBusiness

Rate of housing aid up in N.O.

May 14, 2009

Group warns trend puts stress on city

Source: The Times-Picayune

Master plan given force of law

Nov 5, 2008

New Orleans voters narrowly agreed Tuesday to amend the City Charter to give the city’s forthcoming master plan the force of law, meaning that all zoning and land-use decisions will have to conform to the plan.

Source: Times-Picayune

Jefferson gets word bouquet from Nagin

Nov 1, 2008

As he seeks a 10th term from the 2nd District, U.S. Rep. William Jefferson has yet to draw an endorsement from a single local elected official. But it seems he can count on Mayor Ray Nagin’s vote Tuesday.

Source: Times-Picayune

Endorsement: Charter Amendment on Planning

Oct 31, 2008

This newspaper makes the following recommendations for the Nov. 4 ballot.

Source: Times-Picayune

New Orleans Voters to Decide Power Behind Plan

Oct 27, 2008

New Orleans voters will decide Nov. 4 whether to amend the City Charter to give the city’s forthcoming master plan the force of law, meaning that all zoning and land-use decisions would have to conform to the plan.

Source: Times-Picayune

Voters enjoy historic opportunity to direct New Orleans’ future

Oct 15, 2008

On Tuesday, November 4, New Orleans residents going to the polls will do more than elect the next president.

Source: PRC Preservation in Print

Forum to focus on City’s Master Plan

Sep 22, 2008

New Orleans residents who helped create a plethora of plans for rebuilding the city after Hurricane Katrina are being asked to go back to the drawing boards one more time.

Source: Times-Picayune

Neighborhood meetings planned to determine future policies

Sep 17, 2008

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.

Source: WDSU

Law Professor’s Expertise Helps New Orleans, ABA

Sep 11, 2008

The City of New Orleans and the American Bar Association (ABA) have adopted two major planning and land-use projects of Daniel R. Mandelker, J.D., the Howard A. Stamper Professor of Law. The projects are designed to help ensure sound land-use management.

Source: Washington University in St. Louis Record

Master plan idea voted onto ballot

Jul 11, 2008

The New Orleans City Council voted 7-0 on Thursday to submit to voters a City Charter amendment that would substantially revamp the way the city handles zoning and land-use regulation.

Source: Times-Picayune

Zoning process revamp watered down

Jul 8, 2008

When the New Orleans City Council decides Thursday whether to call a fall election on a proposed City Charter amendment revamping the way the city makes land-use decisions, the proposal will be far less sweeping than the version introduced last month by council President Jackie Clarkson.

Source: Times-Picayune

Proposed charter changes pull council’s planning power

Jun 18, 2008

Real estate developers and city planning officials — often on opposing sides of the fence when it comes to zoning law — agree land use reform will benefit those enforcing the rules and those subject to them.

Source: New Orleans CityBusiness

N.O. urged to revamp land use policies

Aug 4, 2006

A New Orleans governmental watchdog group Thursday proposed revising the City Charter to limit the City Council’s role in land-use decisions, increase neighborhoods’ voice in such actions and create a city master plan with the force of law.

Source: Times-Picayune

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