June 06, 2019 10:00 AM
City Council Chamber
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NEW ORLEANS - At today's regular meeting, the City Council honored the life and legacy of iconic chef and civil rights activist Leah Chase, adopted a resolution condemning Louisiana Senate Bill 184, approved an ordinance supporting the adoption of the International Fire Code, and passed a motion to incorporate recommendations and initiatives contained in the "Small Box Retail Diversity Study."
The Council also established requirements for citywide road races, approved two ordinances relative to mural permit applications, and directed the City Planning Commission (CPC) to study the establishment of a public market in the Central Business District (CBD). Additionally, the Council recognized outstanding fathers in celebration of Father's Day and heard presentations from local health advocates in acknowledgment of Global Running Day and the Finance Authority of New Orleans with updates on City projects.
Councilmember Moreno recognizing Son of a Saint Founder Sonny Lee as an exemplary father and mentor for young men in New Orleans (left) and Councilmember Giarrusso with Mark Berger and Jill Marie Kenyon who presented to the Council on Global Running Day (right)
Remembering the Life and Legacy of Culinary Icon Leah Chase
At the start of today's meeting, Councilmembers took time to share personal stories remembering the late Queen of Creole Cuisine, Mrs. Leah Chase, who passed away Saturday. In addition to establishing herself as one of the most acclaimed American chefs in history, she was also known as an influential figure in the Civil Rights movement. During a truly challenging time for our nation, she created a home for civil rights leaders on the second floor of Dooky Chase's Restaurant, serving meals to organizers during planning sessions.
Mrs. Chase also played a critical role in the rebuilding of the city following Hurricane Katrina. Her advocacy before Congress with Women of the Storm helped to fund the recovery of New Orleans and its coastline in the storm's aftermath. She was deeply committed to the betterment of New Orleans and her surrounding community, which was evident in her decades of service and charity work. Her positive impact spread even further through the charitable foundation founded by her and her husband.
"It seems impossible to capture what this truly remarkable woman gave to our city during her lifetime," said Councilmember-At-Large Helena Moreno. "She fed our bellies and our souls with food infused with love and hospitality. We lost an angel on this Earth, and she will forever hold a place in New Orleans' history. Rest in peace dear friend."
The Council presenting a proclamation to the children of Leah Chase as part of today's first special order of business in her honor
Council Condemns Louisiana Anti-Abortion Law
The Council adopted Resolution R-19-240 condemning the recent passage of Louisiana Senate Bill 184, which implements one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the country. This law effectively eliminates a constitutionally-protected right for Louisiana women, preventing access to abortion earlier than some will even know that they are pregnant. The law also provides no exceptions for rape or incest, even in the cases of pregnant juveniles, which could force continued trauma on victimized women. For these reasons and more, the Council expressed its disappointment in the State Legislature for approving this policy and advocated on behalf of a more objective and sensible approach to preserve the health and well-being of all women.
A panel of local experts and advocates discussing the crucial need for safe and legal abortion access
New Orleans to Adopt International Fire Code
The Council approved an ordinance and heard a corresponding presentation from the New Orleans Fire Department supporting the adoption of the International Fire Code (IFC). The IFC is a comprehensive, modern and up-to-date set of rules and regulations designed to safeguard the public health and safety of local communities. Founded on broad-based principles that make possible the use of new materials and new system designs, the code reflects both traditional and innovative approaches to fire prevention and protection.
Ordinance 32, 652 formally adopts the IFC and subsequently repeals the Fire Code of the City of New Orleans, bringing the city in line with the 42 states in which the IFC has been adopted or is currently in use. It also establishes a fire prevention bureau called the Fire Prevention District to implement, administer, and enforce the provisions of the code. The officers of the Fire Prevention District will be tasked with a variety of duties such as investigating the causes of fires, issuing subpoenas, conducting criminal follow-up investigations, obtaining and executing warrants, and making arrests in instances where arson has been determined.
Members of the New Orleans Fire Department presenting to the Council during today's meeting
For more information on the IFC, click here.
Implementation of Small Box Retail Diversity Study Recommendations
The Council passed Motion M-19-237 directing the CPC to consider amendments to the City's Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (CZO) to incorporate recommendations and initiatives contained in the "Small Box Retail Diversity Study," including:
- Establishing and/or defining definitions of Small Box Variety Stores, Grocery Stores, etc.
- Defining and/or updating Small Box Variety Store standards
- Indicating zoning districts where certain uses are permitted or conditional
- Establishing and/or updating the maximum total floor area for qualifying grocery stores in food desert areas
- Establishing and/or strengthening applicable site design standards to promote neighborhood compatibility
This motion represents ongoing efforts by District "E" Councilmember Cyndi Nguyen and District "C" Councilmember Kristin Palmer to assess and better deal with growing concentrations of small box stores to ensure diversity and access to healthy food options.
"Regardless of where you live or your household income, all New Orleanians deserve access to a wide selection of fresh and healthy foods to support the needs of their families," said Councilmember Nguyen. "The proliferation of small box stores has become a growing concern for our city, particularly in my district, and I remain committed to working together with my colleagues on the Council, the CPC and members of the community to find the best possible solution."
New Requirements Approved for Mural Permit Applications
The Council approved two ordinances relative to cost and permitting requirements for mural applications. Ordinances 32,667 and 32,668 establish the cost required for permit applications and remove sections of the City Code inconsistent with the CZO. Each operating permit will be effective for one year and may be renewed as long as the mural remains in compliance with CZO and Department of Safety and Permits regulations.
The Buddy Bolden "One Time in New Orleans" mural by Brandan "Bmike" Odums via goNOLA.com
Road Race Permits to Require Additional Public Notice
The Council approved Ordinance 32,677 to amend the City Code in regards to permit requirements and applicable deadlines for road races. Per the ordinance, any organization conducting a road race must first obtain a permit from the superintendent of police to use the street(s). Those permits will be only be issued after the superintendent and traffic engineer have concluded that such use will not unreasonably disrupt traffic or present safety hazards of any kind. A completed permit application for a road race five kilometers or less must be submitted no later than 45 days prior to the scheduled race date. For road races over five kilometers in length, the completed form must be submitted no later than 90 days before the scheduled race date. Additionally, any supplemental documentation required by City Hall must be submitted no later than 30 days prior.
"Road races have increasingly become an issue, particularly in my district, and the majority of complaints stem from the lack of notice," said District "D" Councilmember Jared Brossett. "This ordinance remedies that concern by ensuring residents citywide are informed of, and can plan accordingly, for upcoming races in their neighborhoods."
Council Supports Establishment of New Public Market in CBD
The Council approved Motion M-19-243 directing the CPC to study and provide recommendations for the establishment of a Public Market in certain Central Business District (CBD) open spaces, with specific consideration of Duncan Plaza. It also directs the CPC to provide desired CZO text and map amendments such as the establishment of a new open space zoning district, the addition of Public Market as a conditional use in certain open space zoning districts, and consideration of an overlay to specify certain open space zoning districts within the CBD area.
Photo of Duncan Plaza located in the CBD via the Downtown Development District