Master Plan Amendments : UPDATE

Saturday, July 15, 2017

On July 7th, Louisiana Landmarks Society released our list of the eight worst proposed Master Plan Amendments and several speakers helped us deliver these in person at last Monday’s (July 10) Committee of the Whole meeting. Thank you to everyone who wrote emails and to those who joined us at City Council Chambers for this very important matter! Our points were often met with counter-points, some points just entered into record, and some of our concerns have changed.

 

Four of our eight issues were highlighted in July 11th Times Picayune reportingChanges are coming for the New Orleans Master Plan: 4 amendments to watch.

 

There are a number of good amendments, such as Parks For All’s proposal that would establish a policy the green space in parks should not be converted to intensive, specialized or commercial uses. The CPC recommended that the Council incorporate this “no loss” of green space policy into the Master Plan. PFA is urging the Council to add a requirement that such changes to green space go through the conditional use process. PFA’s proposal that entities such as Audubon and City Parks, NORD and Parkways prepare master plans and that the City have a Parks and Recreation Master plan were also recommended by the CPC. Parks for All’s proposed amendments also include a provision for full funding of our parks and recreation agencies, including a comprehensive millage.

 

For more information take a look at the Committee for a Better New Orleans’ Guide to the Master Plan Chapter 7 (Parks and greenspace) summary for other positive proposals, such as Save Our Urban Landscape’s proposal to plant a huge number of trees.

 

Here is an update on where we are with the Master Plan Amendments we focused on, and next steps. 

Next steps on this journey include asking for meetings with individual councilmembers to provide us the opportunity to ask questions and share information in the hopes of gaining council members’ support so the aforementioned amendments will be contested and sent back to CPC for more work.

 

At the July 27 City Council Meeting any uncontested Master Plan Amendments will be voted on and become law. It is our understanding that any councilmember can contest an amendment but will still need a simple majority vote to send anything back to the City Planning Commission.

To review the Master Plan Amendments working document, please use the links, below:

FUTURE LAND USE MAP 

Information on the Council process can be found on their website: nolacitycouncil.com. CLICK HERE FOR CALENDAR ORDINANCES

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What can you do? Continue writing emails to the City Council to voice your concern on these and any amendments you have issues with, and attend the July 27 City Council meeting, where we understand public comments will be heard.

They need to hear from you!

 

Councilmember At Large Jay Williams - jarwilliams@nola.gov

Councilmember At Large Stacy Head  -  shead@nola.gov

Councilmember District A Susan Guidry  -  sgguidry@nola.gov

Councilmember District B LaToya Cantrell -  lcantrell@nola.gov

Councilmember District C Nadine Ramsey -  nmramsey@nola.gov

Councilmember Distirct D Jared Brossett -  jcbrossett@nola.gov

Councilmember Distirct E James Gray -  jagray@nola.gov

CC: rdrivers@nola.gov, pcramer@nola.gov, cpcinfo@nola.gov, info@louisianalandmarks.org

 

(Sample email)

 

Dear Councilmember,

I am writing to submit my comments on the proposed Master Plan Amendments and respectfully request that you contest the following and send them back to the City Planning Commission for more work. To pass these amendments in the current form is a disservice to the citizens of New Orleans.

 

  • Keep tout ensemble in the Master Plan.
  • Provide a clear definition for the term “culture-serving businesses and facilities” for the proposed amendment to Chapter 14’s Residential Historic Core category. The language is too vague and the potential impact too difficult to determine.
  • Do not remove time limits for legal non-conforming uses in Chapter 6 as this has the potential to bring commercial uses to unintended areas.
  • Keep the mandatory review process and schedule for CPC map amendments and Future Land Use Map changes. Removing this process would violate the city charter (section 5-404.4).
  • Keep the Mixed Use Low density designation for the Future Land Use Map as changing it would encourage demolition of historic housing, possibly of entire blocks to make land available for new developments.
  • Keep density limitations in place – remove Text Amendments 05-04 and 05-05, protect our historic neighborhoods from overdevelopment, and provide transportation, infrastructure, tax and development incentives for under-utilized areas.
  • Chapter 6: Keep the Historic Preservation chapter focused on Historic Preservation. Develop a Historic Preservation Plan to protect the historic architecture, historic districts, and the scale and character of historic neighborhoods for the City of New Orleans.

Thank you.

 

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Also special thanks for the contributions to the Master Plan Amendments worst of list and updates from Vieux Carré Property Owners, Residents and Associates (VCPORA) and the Preservation Resource Center (PRC). We certainly can’t do all of this alone and most certainly are grateful to the members and leaders of our preservation community!