July 25, 2013
City Council Chamber
City Council July 25, 2013 Regular Meeting Summary
Thursday, July 25, 2013 - New Orleans, LA - At today's regular City Council Meeting, the Council passed ordinances establishing rules and regulations for mobile food vending in the City and authorizing a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between the City and the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to ensure that the City has animal control services, particularly during an emergency.
In other business, the Council received a presentation on the Own the Crescent organization and its efforts to support homeownership in the City. The Council also congratulated Ron Maestri on his appointment as head baseball coach at the University of New Orleans.
LASPCAEntered Into Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
The Council adopted Ordinance Calendar No. 29,639, authored by Councilmember Guidry, authorizing the Mayor to enter into a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement (CEA) with the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (LA/SPCA) to ensure that the City has animal control services, particularly during an emergency. A Louisiana non-profit, the LA/SPCA is qualified to provide effective animal control services, which the City is required by law to maintain.
The CEA, which is effective until the end of 2014, requires the LA/SPCA to provide a wide range of services including: providing shelter and care for stray animals, performing vaccinations, and responding to citizen complaints regarding stray or abused animals. The City will provide funding to ensure that the LA/SPCA can carry out these services to the best of its ability and make sure that all of the animals in the City are properly cared for.
District "A" Councilmember Guidry said, "We are proud to support the efforts of the LA/SPCA and all the outstanding work they do to protect our citizens and the animals in our City. The Society is providing the City with a vital public service, and I know they will continue their high quality work in the years to come."
Received Presentation on Own the Crescent Homeownership Campaign
The Council received a presentation from members and representatives of Own the Crescent, a one-stop resource for homebuyers in the New Orleans area, summarizing the group's development, goals, and public outreach efforts. Own the Crescent is a year-long campaign developed by the Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance as a response to the dramatic drop in the housing market as a result of the damage inflicted by Hurricane Katrina.
A partnership of for-profit and not-for-profit housing developers, homebuyer education agencies, and realtors, Own the Crescent is committed to bringing the housing market in New Orleans back to its full potential by promoting the accessibility and benefits of homeownership. The campaign has been promoted to the public through billboards, pamphlets, and a toll free "Own Dat" information hotline for prospective homebuyers.
District "C" Councilmember Gisleson Palmer said, "This collaboration between non-profit and for-profit organizations provides critical support and resources to potential homebuyers, ultimately helping to revitalize the local housing market. We are excited by the progress that Own the Crescent has made and look forward to seeing this partnership continue to help our citizens navigate the homeownership process."
Congratulated Ron Maestri as New UNO Head Baseball Coach
The Council congratulated Ron Maestri on his appointment as the University of New Orleans' (UNO) new head baseball coach. Maestri, who coached the UNO baseball team from 1972-1985 and served as athletic director at UNO from 1979-2000, was responsible for guiding his team to the 1984 Division I College World Series, the first Louisiana team to do so.
Under Maestri's tenure as head baseball coach, UNO never had a losing season. As a tribute to Maestri's impressive coaching record, a school best 67.7 winning percentage, UNO named its baseball field in his honor. For the past eight years Maestri has served as Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of the New Orleans Zephyrs. Coach Maestri will retake the field for the first time on February 14, 2014, against LSU coach Paul Mainieri.
Council President Clarkson said, "This UNO legend will take the Privateers to the top of the Southland Conference! As a founder of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, Coach Maestri will continue to bring sports activities to our City and high school athletes to the opportunities that will be afforded them."
Updated City Rules and Regulations for Mobile Food Vendors
The Council adopted Ordinance Calendar No. 29,620, co-sponsored by Councilmembers Head and Cantrell, amending the City Code to include new divisions governing mobile food vending which address all mobile food vendor types, including mobile food trucks, stationary vendors, ice cream vendors, and foot, pushcart or animal-drawn food vendors.
The laws governing mobile food vendors in New Orleans were originally adopted in 1956 and have remained largely unchanged since that time. The Council recognizes the necessity of updating the laws to keep pace with the rapidly expanding food truck industry and to mitigate against potential traffic, public health and safety concerns.
The Ordinance provides for several critical updates to the City's current law, including an increase in the maximum number of permits issued and expansion of the area within which mobile food vending is allowed. Additionally, the Ordinance creates a mobile vending franchise agreement option which requires application for a specific location on defined days/times and evaluation of traffic and public safety impacts, and will permit operation in previously prohibited areas, such as the Central Business District. All mobile vending franchise agreements must be reviewed and approved by the City Council.
The Ordinance also outlines the following for each mobile food vendor type:
Council Vice President Head said, "I am happy that after a year of work on this issue, the Council has passed an ordinance that provides better regulation of mobile food vending - regulation that will improve the way existing food truck operators can conduct their business, open the door for more culinary entrepreneurs to start a business in New Orleans, and allow for more residents and visitors, especially in some of our underserved communities, to enjoy our City's famous food and culture. Though arduous, the process of crafting this legislation has been enjoyable as I've had the opportunity to work with representatives from all corners of the food industry, the administration and many different City departments to confect a comprehensive reform package."
- Permit/franchise application, issuance and renewal processes, notification requirements and fees, fines and forfeitures, and limits on the number of permits issued (100 for mobile food vendors, 25 for ice cream vendors and 50 for foot, pushcart or animal-drawn food vendors)
- Zoning Districts within which permits and franchises are authorized for use and those within which they are not authorized for use, specifically the French Quarter
- Rules, regulations and requirements relative to proximity to intersections, traffic control signs and driveways, hours of operation, commercial general liability insurance and vehicle insurance coverage, vehicle dimensions, trash and debris management, vehicle and driver registration
- Invalidity of permits and franchises during special events, including Mardi Gras and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival