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Monday, June 14, 2010

Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance

1st Citywide Meeting
on Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance
Saturday, June 26, 2010
8:30 AM to Noon
at Dillard University – Albert Dent Hall
2601 Gentilly Blvd.

Dear Citizen Planner:

You, your neighbors, friends and associates are invited to join in the initial meeting of the planning process to get citizen input on the revision of the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (CZO).

On Saturday, June 26, 2010 at Dillard University’s, Albert Dent Hall (Gymnasium), the City Planning Commission will host a citywide gathering to explain and get input on the zoning principles, which will be used in crafting the Zoning Ordinance that locks in the Land Use elements of the Master Plan (“New Orleans 2030: A Plan for the 21st Century”). The Citywide Forum will begin at 8:30 AM and will wrap-up around noon. Please RSVP by e-mailing “”. We also encourage you to help us spread the word to your e-mail network.

Camiros, the lead consultant on the zoning effort, will explain the process and provide information on their “Place Based” approach to developing the CZO. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and give input on the approach and to fully understand how the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance will impact your neighborhood.

Background Information
In the city of New Orleans, the physical development of land is controlled by zoning or the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (CZO). Zoning is a key tool for implementing many of the policies of the new Master Plan. It establishes rules for determining where new development can be located and how it should be designed. It establishes where buildings can be placed on lots. It controls the height and size of buildings. Zoning establishes rules for determining how existing homes, businesses and other building can be enlarged or altered. It establishes the density of our neighborhoods. But, zoning does not control all aspects of our built environment, such as the details of building construction, or building maintenance.

Zoning in New Orleans today is a patchwork of rules that, while well intended when written, are not well suited to maintaining desired types of existing development or attracting appropriate types of redevelopment. Often, there is a disconnect between what people want to build and what can be built. This is, in part, because our present zoning ordinance was designed to encourage a rather uniform pattern of development. Many of its districts contain regulations that do not fit the development that presently exists or is desired.

While the zoning ordinance has undergone substantial amendment over the years to encourage desirable development patterns, these changes have made the ordinance very complex, confusing and hard to use. With the anticipated adoption of the Master Plan, the CPC is now focused on developing a new CZO that will be user-friendly, consistent and predictable in its application; it must be easily understood by the citizens and business community alike.

The Process
During the coming months, citizens of New Orleans will have the opportunity to consider and discuss elements of the Zoning Ordinance for recommendation to the City Planning Commission, and City Council. A schedule of Planning District Meetings will soon be announced.

Thank you!
The New Orleans Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance Team

For more information, go to the project website

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