The Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance, the same one that sent New Orleans residents reeling at public hearings throughout the last few months, is up for a vote this Friday, October 24.
The CZO, which was unanimously approved by the City Planning Commission in September despite public outcry, makes it way to the Council Chambers this week as members prepare their votes towards adoption. Last amended in 2010, the City’s Home Rule Charter dictates that a CZO must be approved and in accordance with the Master Plan. Needless to say, this thing has been in the works for a long time.
While the CPC was quick to adopt the ordinance as recommended by planning advisors, the public has been quick and eager to point out the document’s faults with regard to building and activity regulations across the city. As the ordinance made its way through public hearings in September and early October, citizens called great attention to the disparity between neighborhood wants and development plans, including building height limits, regulations regarding music in restaurants, and hotel designations.
At large looms the issue of preservation in the face of progress. Neighbors are wary of development allowances that would threaten the “character of their neighborhood,” but most agree that the CZO should promote developments that will lead to increased amenities for residents in the way of food hubs and health clinics in already underserved areas. Representatives from NOLA’s urban farm contingent expressed concern for new rules regarding the distance between chicken coops and property lines, which would prohibit them from keeping fowl in urban areas and bar them from positive community engagement. The group offered its own amendments to the ordinance, but I have been unable to confirm if they have been incorporated.
The document is available for public review in a series of PDFs through the City of New Orleans’s website, and residents still have the option to submit written comment prior to the vote.
Where do you stand on the issue? Let us know in the comments.