April 05, 2018 10:00 AM
Scheduled, 10 a.m., Council Chamber
City Council Meeting News Summary April 5, 2018
NEW ORLEANS - At today's regular New Orleans City Council meeting, the Council renamed a portion of Press Street as Homer Plessy Way, amended the City Code regarding the installation of driveways and sidewalks, adopted a resolution opposing Senate Bill 462, and authorized a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement (CEA) with University of New Orleans (UNO) to examine areas affected by severe flooding. Additionally, the Council authorized a CEA with the Trust for Public Land for the development of a public information portal, introduced an ordinance to raise the citation threshold for booting cars, and heard special presentations celebrating the accomplishment of human rights activist Larry Bagneris, Jr. and the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act.
Council Renames Portion of Press Street in Honor of Homer Plessy
The Council unanimously voted to approve Ordinance No. 32,206 to rename a portion of Press Street, between Chartres Street and St. Claude Avenue as Homer Plessy Way, in honor of the New Orleans native who challenged the status quo of a racially segregated South. Homer Adolph Plessy, well-known as the plaintiff in the historic Plessy v. Ferguson United States Supreme Court case, fought segregation by refusing to ride in a Jim Crow streetcar designated for black passengers. The Supreme Court Decision upheld racial segregation and established the doctrine of "separate but equal."
With this dedication, the entire City of New Orleans and the millions of visitors who travel to this popular area of the city each year will remember Homer Plessy and his instrumental role as a civil rights pioneer.
Resolution Adopted Opposing Senate Bill 462
The Council adopted Resolution R-18-112 opposing Senate Bill 462 and any state law that strips zoning power from municipalities and parishes. In certain instances, the state government would preempt the Council's ability to promote the future development of affordable housing.
New Orleans is currently experiencing a shortage of affordable housing options for low and moderate income families due to significant statewide cuts to federal housing programs. In order to combat the current crisis, municipal intervention by the Council has become increasingly necessary. The Council hopes to combat this issue and produce economically integrated housing developments through the implementation of policies and zoning laws. The provisions listed in Senate Bill 462 would greatly hinder the Council, and other Louisiana municipalities, in accomplishing this goal.
"This resolution goes way beyond the issue of affordable housing," said Councilmember-At-Large Jason Williams. "We know what's best for the people of our city because we are amongst them every day. It's imperative that city officials are able to make decisions on behalf of their constituents without being held hostage by state lawmakers."
Council Authorizes CEA with UNO to Mitigate Citywide Flood Damages
The Council approved a CEA between the Mayor, the City and UNO to understand areas affected by severe flooding, conduct outreach to property owners, and provide educational training opportunities. This partnership will enhance the understanding and scope of properties affected by severe flooding to more effectively execute flood mitigation planning and project delivery citywide.
As part of the CEA, UNO will conduct outreach to property owners who have experienced repetitive flood losses, and provide educational opportunities for local university students in floodplain management, urban planning, computer science and data collection methods.
Parking Citation Ordinance Introduced to Raise Threshold for Booting Cars
The Council introduced a parking citation ordinance authored by District "D" Councilmember Jared Brossett that proposes an increase in the City's threshold for booting cars. Ordinance No. 32,237, a joint effort by Councilmember Brossett and State Senator J.P. Morrell, would amend the City Code to raise the threshold for booting or "immobilizing" a vehicle due to unpaid parking citations from one to three.
"While New Orleans does rely heavily on traffic citations to pay for government services, the current cost burden on residents has proven unsustainable," said Councilmember Brossett. "This policy has been allowed to go on in New Orleans for far too long, and I'm proud to take this step with my former colleague Senator Morrell to remedy the situation."