Council Approves Lease with Jesuit High School for Pedestrian Bridge
The Council approved Ordinance 32,702 authorizing the City to enter into a lease contract with Jesuit High School for the construction and maintenance of an overhead pedestrian bridge crossing on its campus. The lease was approved for an initial period of 50 years, with four consecutive renewal options of ten years each.
Located over the Banks Street right-of-way, the proposed bridge will allow students to walk safely between the central building of the Jesuit High School campus to the gym without having to face traffic on Banks Street. This measure will provide a new source of revenue for the City while helping ensure the safety of all Jesuit students.
Special Committee Created to Address Emergency Preparedness and Cybersecurity Issues
Following a recent string of cybersecurity attacks and the partial collapse of the Hard Rock Hotel, the Council voted to create a new Special Committee on Emergency Preparedness and Cybersecurity. In addition to raising public awareness, the committee will advise the Council on all issues relating to cybersecurity, emergency preparedness and disaster response in the City of New Orleans.
Per Motion M-20-28, the newly-formed committee will be comprised of all seven Councilmembers with District "D" Councilmember Jared Brossett serving as Chairperson and District "C" Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer serving as Vice Chairperson. The committee will be tasked with the following:
- Consider and advise on issues related to homeland security, emergency preparedness and cybersecurity;
- Review issues related to disaster recovery and providing recommendations and direction concerning not only hurricane policies but also other disaster policies to speed the recovery in all affected areas of the City;
- review the preparedness, evacuation and recovery activities of the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (NOHSEP); and
- Review the administration of funding going to NOHSEP and any other funding that may be available to the City for emergency preparedness and disaster recovery.
"Emergency preparedness and cybersecurity have long been a priority of mine, both as a State Legislator and as a member of the City Council," said Councilmember Brossett. "While I'm disappointed that it's taken a crisis of such magnitude as the recent attack on City Hall, I am proud that we as a city are finally taking the necessary steps to prevent these types of incidents in our future. I will remain vigilant in reviewing and updating our existing policies and protocols to ensure the safety of all New Orleanians."
With the establishment of this legislative body, the Council hopes to provide greater understanding surrounding issues related to cybersecurity and information technology, especially in light of heightened cyber threats. The committee will also provide much-needed transparency around the City's emergency response efforts to prevent or mitigate future disasters.
New Requirements in Store for Upcoming Mardi Gras Season
The Council approved Ordinance 32,850 that amends the City Code to provide updated rules and regulations for Mardi Gras festivities. The new requirements, which were drafted in consultation with the Mardi Gras Advisory Committee and Krewe Captains, include the following:
Permit requirements for Carnival organizations;
Requirements for float parades;
Approval of any temporary adjustments to City-owned street lights by the Department of Public Works;
Prohibition of fencing of public property; and
Regulation of certain items prior to, during and after parades.
Per the ordinance, no parade rider will be permitted to toss or hand out boxes, single-use plastic bags, or paper streamers. It also states that any person or entity wanting to erect a stand, structure or platform must obtain a permit at least 15 days in advance of the first parade on that route. Additionally, those located on the public right-of-way must provide for passage on the sidewalk. These requirements were designed to improve the safety of visitors and residents alike, and ease the environmental impacts on the city's drainage systems.
Photo of parade-goers during the Krewe of Iris Parade courtesy of NOLA.com
CPC to Study Potential Updates to Child Daycare Standards
The Council passed Motion M-20-25 directing CPC to consider text amendments to permissions and standards for child daycares in non-residential districts including but not limited to the following:
The 300-foot spacing restriction from other centers;
Appropriate parking and loading requirements; and
Review of this use within land-use categories to determine if additional designations may be created.
The Council hopes that the CPC's findings will help to ensure increased availability and access to child daycare centers throughout the City of New Orleans.
Council Advocates for Accessible Pedestrian Signals
The Council adopted Resolution R-20-9, calling for proactive policies to implement accessible pedestrian signals. Per the resolution, the City should review and identify existing, priority intersections to be retrofitted with accessible signals, and ensure their utilization in the construction of new traffic signals moving forward. These requirements, in tandem with broader efforts of the Council, will help to improve roadways and promote safer transportation for all New Orleanians.
Photo of an accessible pedestrian signal courtesy of Tulane University
Zoning Change Approved to Make Way for Veterans Wellness Facility
The Council approved Zoning Docket 115/19, which requests a text amendment to the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (CZO) to define and facilitate the establishment of a Veterans Wellness Facility. A "Veterans Wellness Facility" is defined as "A facility, which is owned or controlled by a governmental or charitable institution dedicated to veterans affairs, that provides holistic wellness services, including outpatient medical treatment, targeted primarily to military veterans and secondarily to members of the surrounding community."
Per the approved zoning docket, considerations regarding the appropriate sizing restrictions should be made to ensure the structures selected to house these facilities are compatible with the surrounding residential areas, on-site development standards and off-street requirements.
Interim Zoning District Established in Lakeview
The Council passed two corresponding zoning dockets (ZD No. 128/19) to establish a new "Middle Harrison Interim Zoning District" applicable to lots that front Harrison Avenue between Canal and West End Boulevards. The approved zoning changes impose the following restrictions for lots within the new interim zoning district (IZD):
Any use, or the aggregate of uses, over 4,000 square feet in floor area on one lot is prohibited; and
Deliveries and trash collection between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. are prohibited.