Regular Meeting

January 16, 2020 10:00 AM

City Council Chamber

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Council Meeting News Summary
January 16, 2020
NEW ORLEANS  - At today's regular meeting, the City Council established the 2020 Mardi Gras schedule, directed the City Planning Commission (CPC) to study Outdoor Live Entertainment regulations, passed a series of tax measures including the implementation of a Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) program, approved a street rededication in honor of Andre Cailloux, and re-established the Ferry Advisory Committee for an additional year.
Additionally, the Council welcomed local teens for a presentation on their participation in the Allen Ray Bolin Trial Advocacy Workshop. The program was launched in 2018 to prepare high school students for future careers in criminal justice by teaching them how to prosecute cases and represent persons accused of crimes in active trial settings.
Councilmembers with Allen Ray Bolin Trial Advocacy Workshop high school students
CPC to Further Study Outdoor Live Entertainment Regulations
The Council approved Motion M-20-5 directing the CPC to conduct a study on Outdoor Live Entertainment regulations, including review and analysis of laws in similar cities to guide potential amendments. In reviewing two recent zoning dockets (ZD 070/19 & ZD 080/19) that attempted to define, provide use standards for, and clarify existing ambiguities around live outdoor entertainment, the Council felt future exploration of a revised policy was needed.
The Council has asked the CPC to more comprehensively analyze the City's existing definitions and use standards to determine what (if any) modifications are needed to reduce any unintended negative effects of outdoor live entertainment on the cultural and residential fabric of the city. The Council also asks the CPC to study other cities across the country, including San Francisco, Seattle, Austin and Nashville, all of which have successfully developed and implemented similar policies.
Street Rededication to Honor Civil War Hero Andre Callioux
The Council approved Ordinance 32,879 to rededicate the triangle of ground bounded by North Dorgenois Street, Bell Street, and Bayou Road, as "Andre Cailloux Park." Captain Andre Cailloux was one of the first black officers in the Union Army to be killed in combat during the American Civil War. His legacy will continue to live on in the City of New Orleans through this portion of the roadway renamed in his honor.
Mural painting of Andre Cailloux at Southern Rep Theatre courtesy of Curbed NOLA
Council Approves Series of Citywide Tax Measures
The Council approved a legislative grouping ( Motion M-20-7 , Ordinance 32,882 & Resolution R-20-10 ) regarding Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (CZO) map amendments based upon recommendations contained in the 2019 "New Orleans Inclusionary Housing Study," the implementation of a Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) program, and procedural requirements for the Mayor's Restoration Tax Abatement Committee.
Motion M-20-7 directs the CPC to consider amending the CZO based upon recommendations contained in the 2019 " New Orleans Inclusionary Housing Study ." The City commissioned HR&A Advisors Inc. to conduct the study, in which they found three geographic areas economically feasible for specific affordability requirements. The approved motion will allow further study to help the City map where the mandatory inclusionary zoning districts apply.
Ordinance 32,882 authorizes the Mayor to enter into a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement (CEA) between the City and the Finance Authority of New Orleans (FANO) to facilitate the implementation and administration of a Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) program. This program will serve as part of an endeavor to improve neighborhoods through various initiatives, such as providing incentives for the development of affordable housing. 
Resolution R-20-10 updates the Restoration Tax Abatement Program to allow for an additional five-year RTA renewal for Inclusionary Zoning developments. The Inclusionary Zoning Study found some inclusionary zoning developments would need the incentive of 10 years of a Restoration Tax Abatement to make the project feasible. Currently, applicants need a 25% minimum renovation investment in the existing structure to qualify for an additional five-year renewal, which would exempt inclusionary zoning projects. 
By expanding the program's eligibility, the approved resolution will support and encourage the restoration, development, improvement or expansion of vital structures in downtown, historic and economic development districts. The Mayor's Restoration Tax Abatement Committee and Office of Economic Development staff will assist the Council in processing applications and recommending approvals, renewals and transfers.
Ferry Advisory Committee Re-Established for Another Year
The Council voted to re-establish the Ferry Advisory Committee ( Motion M-20-4) to provide advice, feedback, guiding principles, and expertise on matters relating to ongoing operations and proposed improvements to the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority's (RTA) ferry boats and terminals. The committee was established in 2019 as a means of providing citizen oversight of RTA ferry operations. 


Beyond the recent mechanical issues, residents and businesses continue to advocate for increased ferry services, greater connectivity with bus and streetcar lines, and ferry terminal improvements. Therefore, the Council stressed the committee's role continues to be as or more important today than it was at the time of its creation.
2020 Mardi Gras Parade Schedule 
The Council approved an ordinance establishing this year's Mardi Gras parade schedule. To view the schedule in its entirety, click here.
Photo of Krewe of Thoth Mardi Gras parade courtesy of Louisiana Travel

Created on: 9/20/2019 10:43:58 AM | Last updated: 6/24/2020 11:23:57 AM


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