December 06, 2018 10:15 AM
City Council Chamber
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NEW ORLEANS - At today's regular City Council meeting, the Council welcomed local military leaders and personnel for its annual Military Day celebration, authorized a two percent sales and use tax for Drive Shack, LLC, called a special election at which voters will be asked to approve a millage to improve parks and recreational spaces, passed a text amendment and conditional use for a fast food restaurant in the Saint Charles Avenue Use Restriction Overlay District, and adopted a resolution encouraging the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) to utilize third-party support services for lower-level activities. Additionally, the Council received an invocation from Rabbi Cohn of Temple Sinai on the history of Hanukkah, and the meaning of each candle on the menorah in celebration of the Jewish holiday season.
Rabbi Cohn explaining the significance of the candles on the menorah during today's invocation
Council Holds Annual Military Appreciation Day
As the first and only special order of business today, the Council hosted nearly 200 servicemen and women in celebration of Military Day. Mayor LaToya Cantrell introduced Mayor's Military Advisory Committee (MMAC) Chairman Major General David Mize, who provided an overview of the organization's 2018 Annual Report.
Following Major General Mize's presentation, the Council heard operations updates from local senior military officials including General Bradley S. James (Marine Forces Reserve), General Rodney B. Painting (Louisiana National Guard), General Vincent B. Barker (U.S. Army Reserve), Captain Kristi Luttrell (U.S. Coast Guard and first female Captain of the Port of New Orleans), Officer Garrett Miller (U.S. Marine Corps Reserve), Colonel Michael Clancy (Army Corps of Engineers), Colonel Dan Harlow (Louisiana National Guard), Captain Anthony F. Scarpino (Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base), and more.
Presentation of the colors by the Joint Color Guard (left) and Mayor LaToya Cantrell with Major Gen. David Mize and senior military officials (right)
The presentations highlighted various support programs offered to local service members and veterans, the economic and social benefits associated with local military organizations, and the retention and growth of military bases throughout the New Orleans area. To conclude the celebration, the Council received a performance from the Marine Forces Reserve Band Quintet and presented today's guests with a proclamation in recognition of Military Day 2018.
Council President Jason Williams with former City Councilmember Jackie Clarkson (left), and the Council with senior military officials and MMAC members (right)
Sales Tax Approved for New Drive Shack Facility on Howard Avenue
The Council passed an ordinance to authorize a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement (CEA) between the City of New Orleans, the Broad Street Sports Entertainment and Dining Economic Development District and Drive Shack New Orleans, LLC relative to the collection, use, and expenditure of a two percent tax for development within the district.
The Council established the Broad Street Sports Entertainment and Dining Economic Development District earlier this year to offset development costs of the proposed Drive Shack golf-entertainment complex located in the former Times-Picayune headquarters. This measure will serve a valuable public purpose of incentivizing and supporting increased job creation, tax revenue, and economic development in District "B" and throughout the entire City of New Orleans.
A rendering of the proposed Drive Shack golf facility courtesy of Uptown Messenger
Council Adopts Resolution to Support Parks and Recreational Spaces
The Council adopted a resolution calling an election on May 4, 2019, to levy an annual ad valorem tax dedicated to improving parks and recreational spaces. The proposed tax of 6.31 mills realigns the existing mils of the Audubon Commission, the Department of Parks and Parkways and the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORDC), while adding a dedicated funding stream for City Park. The realignment would reduce Audubon's millage while redistributing to the other park agencies without increasing the overall mills.
The new millage will support the payment of debt service obligations, improve park safety and accessibility, enhance measures to capture stormwater and reduce flooding, repair and upgrade playgrounds and recreation centers, and conserve natural areas. It will also support the construction, improvement, maintenance and operation of recreational and wildlife conservation facilities in the City for a period of 20 years, beginning January 1, 2021.
Zoning Change Approved for St. Charles Avenue Overlay District
The Council approved a text amendment to the City's Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (CZO) to update regulations in the Saint Charles Avenue Use Restriction Overlay District. The approved text change provides clarity and consistency with the mapping of the district by defining the properties located within its boundaries. For more information, click here.
In addition, the Council approved a conditional use to permit a McDonald's restaurant with drive-through facilities in the Saint Charles Avenue Use Restriction Overlay District located at Louisiana Avenue and St. Charles Avenue.
A rendering of the proposed McDonald's for 3321 St. Charles Avenue via City of New Orleans
Council Recommends Third-Party Support for NOPD
The Council adopted a resolution encouraging the use of third parties or special officers to conduct lower-level activities in an effort to support the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD). This additional level of support would be warranted in the following instances when:
- It will not expose the City to increased cost or liability;
- It is expected to create efficiencies that will permit New Orleans Police Department officers to focus on more serious business, enhancing public safety efforts; and
- It will not interfere with public access to police reports.
Per the resolution, the Council encourages the NOPD to utilize third-party support or "force multipliers" to conduct activities such as traffic control and automobile accident data collection. These supplemental resources will increase efficiency and address ongoing issues with NOPD officer shortages.