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Coverage of BGR in local, regional, and national media

BGR In The News

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

Sep 5, 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

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

Preservation pit bull Bill Borah says new zoning code should trigger Master Plan update

Jun 24, 2015

Fortunately for New Orleans and the City Planning Commission there is a document that outlines the defects of the current Master Plan and proposes a strategy for remedying its deficiencies. The 2009 Bureau of Governmental Research (BGR) report, “In Search of the Master Plan,” is that document, and it as valid today as the day it was written.

Source: The Lens

Massive overhaul of New Orleans zoning regulations approved

May 15, 2015

The last-minute changes drew a rebuke from the Bureau of Governmental Research. The nonprofit watchdog agency’s president, Janet Howard, said the public deserved more time to read, digest and comment on the new proposals, particularly given that the ordinance has been years in the making.

Source: The Advocate

New Orleans City Council approves Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance with late-hour amendments

May 14, 2015

The surprise changes enraged many in the crowd and drew a sharp rebuke from Janet Howard, president of the Bureau of Government Research, a watchdog group. “Are these 11th hour changes good or bad? It’s impossible to know” because nobody’s had a chance to study them, Howard said.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Residents appeal to City Council for changes to new zoning law

Apr 19, 2015

The Bureau of Governmental Research is still not satisfied with a portion of the proposed law that would allow exemptions to some normal rules for “planned developments” that include “enhanced amenities,” such as open space and bike-sharing facilities, in their plans.

Source: The Advocate

New zoning for New Orleans: 4 years of contention, compromise to frame future development

Apr 15, 2015

Article 5 continues to be a bugbear for government watchdogs who see it as giving developers and city officials too much leeway to barter and trade on zoning exceptions for major projects. “This is just an invitation to a spot zone,” said Janet Howard, executive director of the watchdog organization Bureau of Governmental Research.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Critics of New Orleans’ draft zoning laws repeat calls for changes

Jan 6, 2015

Her objection echoed that of the government watchdog group Bureau of Governmental Research which called for the article to be revised or excised from the draft ordinance last fall.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

In last-ditch effort, neighborhood groups demand changes to proposed zoning law

Jan 6, 2015

The Bureau of Governmental Research also has objected to that provision, saying in a report last year that it has the “potential for undermining the rest of the CZO.”

Source: The Advocate

Letter: Article 5 needs more work

Oct 24, 2014

BGR is not opposed to including in the CZO carefully crafted provisions to allow appropriate planned developments for large sites. Rather, it is taking issue with Article 5 because it is overly broad and unnecessarily vague.

Source: The Advocate

New Orleans Draft CZO: Exceptions to the rules

Oct 23, 2014

BGR’s concern remains consistent. The group worries that there is too much wriggle room in that section, which allows city officials to grant exceptions to zoning rules if the alternative proposed offers “substantial benefit” to the city.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

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

City Council seeking comments on proposed new zoning law

Sep 17, 2014

(The city’s zoning ordinance) was called “incoherent, over-amended, outdated and vague” in a 2003 study by the Bureau of Governmental Research. “Interpreting the zoning ordinance is well beyond the reach of the typical developer, not to mention the average citizen,” the report said.

Source: The Advocate

City’s new zoning law moving toward approval

Jul 24, 2014

(The current zoning law) was called “incoherent, over-amended, outdated and vague” in an October 2003 study by the Bureau of Governmental Research. “Interpreting the zoning ordinance is well beyond the reach of the typical developer, not to mention the average citizen,” the report said.

Source: The Advocate

Proposed new zoning law draws criticism at community meeting

Oct 2, 2013

The current law governing zoning is more than four decades old and has been amended hundreds of times to address changes in the way New Orleanians live, work and play, yet it still is antiquated in some regards. It was called “incoherent, over-amended, outdated and vague” in an October 2003 study by the Bureau of Governmental Research.

Source: The Advocate

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

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

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

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