May 05, 2011
City Council Chamber
City Council May 5, 2011 Regular Meeting Summary
New Orleans, LA - May 5, 2011 - Today, Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu appeared before the City Council to acknowledge his appreciation for the working partnership forged between the two branches of government during his first year in office.
New Council President Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson led the Council's recognition and praise for the patriotic and courageous work of the United States Navy, as Navy Week 2011 begins.
The Council, by motion, requested the creation of Historic Preservation Review Committees to reinforce efforts to restore and retain the character of the City and directed the City Planning Commission to hold a Public Hearing to consider tighter alcohol beverage license requirements in the Central Business District.
The Council passed resolutions, urging extension of state tax credits for rehabilitation of historic, vacant and blighted homes; supporting the communities recently impacted by the tornadoes in the Southeast; and calling for the repeal of the Louisiana Science Education Act.
The Council presented proclamations recognizing the 25th anniversary of the Southern Oaks Plantation, a long-time New Orleans business and congratulated the Edith Sampson Park five and six-year-old boys Biddy Basketball Championship Team.
Supported Recent Tornado Affected Communities in the Southeast
The Council passed Resolution R-11-206, co-authored by Councilmembers Gisleson Palmer, Clarkson, Fielkow, Guidry, Head, Hedge-Morrell and Johnson, offering condolences and support to those affected by the more than 150 recent tornadoes in the Southeast United States. The tornados directly resulted in over 350 deaths, thousands of injuries and the destruction of tens of thousands of homes.
District "C" Councilmember Palmer said, "The tragedy that resulted from last week's tornadoes is one that this City understands all too well. The City Council extends heartfelt sympathy to the families that lost loved ones, homes and cherished possessions. We offer our support with the recovery and rebuilding of your communities."
Mayor Landrieu Praised Council-Administration Partnership
This morning, Mayor Mitch Landrieu appeared before the City Council to thank them for their intense level of cooperation that they have displayed over the last year. He acknowledged that the two branches of government had forged an important partnership that the public can finally hold accountable. In particular, the Mayor recognized new Council President Clarkson and Vice-President Fielkow for their leadership. Mayor Landrieu also encouraged Councilmembers to continue the governing partnership by joining him weekly in Baton Rouge during the State Legislative Session.
Council President Clarkson, "Thank you Mr. Mayor for your presence here today and for your support of our legislative work. The Council knows that, as you expressed, our being part of your leadership team is critical to the future of our city."
Council Vice-President Fielkow, "We know that we face great challenges ahead. But, I see more optimism for the future of this City than there has ever been in its history. The Council is appreciative of your efforts and we will continue to embrace our partnership. Together, unafraid, we will do what is in the best interest of New Orleans and its citizens."
Urged Historic Home Rehabilitation State Tax Credit ExtensionThe Council passed Resolution R-11-202, authored by Councilmember Johnson, supporting Senate Bill 63 by Senator Edwin Murray requesting the extension and amendment of homeowner tax credits for rehabilitation of historic properties. The extension continues the tax credit program which restores and preserves the historic architecture of the many private homes damaged in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The tax credit program amendment increases the percentage of rehabilitation costs allowed for vacant and blighted properties.
District "E" Councilmember Johnson said,"The preservation of historic housing stock is extremely important to the preservation of our city's culture and traditions. This legislation is vitally important to the future of New Orleans. It allows homeowners additional time to rehabilitate hurricane damaged homes and creates incentive for potential homeownership and reinvestment by applying these tax credits to vacant and blighted properties."
Recognized Patriotic and Courageous Service of the U.S. Navy
At the request of Council President Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson, U.S. Naval Officers presented before the City Council signaling the start of New Orleans Navy Week 2011. Among those Naval Officers receiving the Council's proclamation were, Principal Deputy to the Under Secretary of the Navy, Mark Gorenflo; Commanding Officer, Navy Recruiting District, Cdr. David Weller; and, OIC New Orleans Navy Week, Cdr. John Filostrat. New Orleans Navy Week 2011 is scheduled May 5th through May 13th and is one of the Navy's most prominent outreach activities. The Council's proclamation cited the numerous community and economic contributions of the U.S. Navy to New Orleans.
Council President Clarkson said, "We are proud to host the U.S. Navy today to celebrate Navy Week. New Orleans has always been proud of its Naval History, which started here in the late 1800s. They were the beginning of our City and State becoming one of the most formidable military areas in the country. In addition to their heroic leadership in keeping America free, they have also been our City's largest economic impact. We are immensely grateful to the men and women laying down their lives to fight for our freedom."
Requested Creation of Historic Preservation Review CommitteesThe Council passed Motion M-11-200, co-authored by Councilmembers Head and Guidry, requesting the creation of Historic Preservation Review Committees to determine the appropriateness of establishing or expanding the Historic District Landmark Commission (HDLC) governance. Among the areas being considered are the expansion of the Lower Garden District, historic district designation boundaries to include the length of Jackson Avenue to the back side of properties fronting Carondelet Street, the Pontchartrain Expressway and the River; the creation of a Mid-City Historic District, including National Historic Registry boundaries of Mid City and Parkview except the area bounded by Moss St. and Orleans and Carrollton Avenue; and a Central City Historic District. Each committee would have seven members to be appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the Council. Committee members would be selected from each of the respective designated neighborhoods.
District "B" Councilmember Head said, "We are beginning a discussion about HDLC governance expansion in parts of districts A and B. Our historic neighborhoods are our greatest economic development tool. My hope is that expanded HDLC coverage will help preserve and protect these neighborhoods."
District "A" Councilmember Guidry said, "Historic preservation is the foundation of our culture and inextricably tied to the economy of the City. These committees will determine whether and to what extent a local historic designation will benefit Mid-City."
Directed City Planning Hold Hearing to Consider Tighter ABO License Requirement in the CBD
The Council passed Motion M-11-201, authored by Councilmember Head, directing the City Planning Commission to conduct a public hearing to consider amending the City's Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance to establish a new Interim Zoning District (IZD) in the Central Business District (CBD). This IZD would prohibit the transfer of ABO licenses from building to building within the CBD without adherence to the conditional use process.
District "B" Councilmember Head said, "My goal is the health and smart growth of the Central Business District. Our objective with this IZD is to disallow ABO transfers from building to building as a matter of right. Such transfers are not allowed in any other areas of the city. I see no reason that the CBD should allow them."
Called For Repeal of Louisiana Science Education Act
The Council passed Resolution R-11-207, co-authored by Councilmembers Gisleson Palmer, Clarkson, Fielkow, Guidry, Head, Hedge-Morrell and Johnson, supporting Louisiana State Senate Bill 70 authored by Senator Karen Carter Peterson repealing the Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA). The LSEA permits the introduction of non-scientific materials into school curriculums, including materials not approved by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. This act undermines the teaching of the scientific theory of evolution in the Louisiana public school science curriculum. This theory of evolution is a widely and commonly accepted scientific study and the basis for biology, medicine, biochemistry, agriculture, ecology and other scientific studies.
District "C" Councilmember Gisleson Palmer said, "The Louisiana Science Education Act inhibits science focused students of all ages and inadequately prepares them for jobs in the science field. With the New Orleans Medical Corridor poised for tremendous growth, this law also profoundly impacts our ability to fill jobs in the cutting-edge science fields with students educated in our state's public schools."
Recognized Southern Oaks Plantation on 25th Anniversary
Southern Oaks Plantation owners, Bobby and Sue Asaro, appeared before the Council to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of Southern Oaks Plantation. For the past 25 years, Southern Oaks Plantation has been a committed member of the New Orleans business community. Generations of New Orleans families and community leaders have gathered together in the elegant reception hall making memories and conducting business.
District "D" Councilmember Hedge-Morrell said, "I am pleased to honor these two hard working New Orleans natives on 25 years of success. On behalf of the City Council, I extend our sincere appreciation for the contributions you have made as leaders of the New Orleans business community."
Congratulated Edith Sampson Park Biddy Basketball Championship TeamThe Council presented proclamations to the five and six-year-old boy's biddy basketball championship team from Edith Sampson Park. The eleven-member championship team was led by Coach Terrence Crawford, Sr. and Park Director Dwana Caliste. Sampson Park is a New Orleans Recreation Department Park that serves youth in the Desire, Gordon Park and Abundance Square neighborhoods in the City's Upper Ninth Ward.
District "E" Councilmember Johnson said, "The City Council congratulates the Sampson Park 5 and 6-year-old biddy basketball championship team for their hard work, dedication and perseverance. I am thrilled to celebrate this triumph with you today and urge you to continue this momentum of commitment and team work to all of your future endeavors."