February 20, 2020 10:00 AM
City Council Chamber
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NEW ORLEANS - At today's regular meeting, the City Council adopted a resolution to make Mardi Gras more sustainable, authorized a settlement in relation to certain tax issues previously disputed in the Entergy New Orleans combined Rate Case, directed the study of a new overlay district to promote affordable housing, and approved a zoning change for an indoor amusement facility on Prytania Street.
Additionally, the Council welcomed the Krewe of Zulu for a presentation of their 2020 Mardi Gras Showcase.
Members of the Council with the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club at the start of today's meeting
Council Advocates for Sustainable Mardi Gras Policies
The Council adopted Resolution R-20-68, supporting and encouraging the increased use of recycled, sustainable, and quality hand-made Mardi Gras throws. Each year in New Orleans, hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent cleaning up tons of Mardi Gras waste, the majority of which consists of discarded plastic beads. Plastic pollution, which has reached crisis levels globally, has played a significant role in the city's ongoing drainage and infrastructure issues.
Although Mardi Gras is notoriously known as a festival of indulgence and excess, there has been a growing desire to curb its environmental impact citywide. Per the resolution, the Council kindly asks all Mardi Gras revelers to help keep beads out of storm drains and landfills.
"This will finally help bring our beloved Mardi Gras traditions more in line with our values and goals for the future of our city," said District "C" Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer. "Together, we will work to make sure this wonderful time of year continues to be enjoyed without putting a strain on our environment and water management systems."
Photo of plastic bags littering Canal Street during Mardi Gras courtesy of greenpeace.org
Adjusted Rates for Entergy Customers to Take Effect April 2020
In November, the Council ordered lower rates for Entergy New Orleans (ENO) customers, along with a number of enhancements to benefit the ratepayers to prioritize lower customer bills over utility profits. As a result, ENO sued to overturn that decision and prevent the Council from imposing those rates.
Today, the Council adopted Resolution R-20-67 to resolve disputes around certain ancillary Federal tax issues, ending ENO's legal injunction and finally imposing the new rates per the Council's directive in November. ENO customers will see the new rates during the April billing period.
"I continue to be proud of the work this Council and stakeholders did to get a real win for New Orleanians through this rate case, which lowers rates, enhances renewable options, freezes regressive minimum charges, and sustains the Council's energy smart program," said Council President Helena Moreno. "This resolution is the final step toward those new lower rates hitting bills next month."
Zoning Change Approved for Prytania Theatre
The Council passed Zoning Docket ZD 111-19 requesting a zoning change to permit an indoor amusement facility at 5339 Prytania St. The approved change allows the 5,000+ square foot movie theatre, previously zoned for limited non-residential uses, to serve alcoholic beverages to patrons. It also requires the theatre to provide noise abatement, security and operation plans to minimize potential impacts and ensure the integrity of the surrounding neighborhood.
Photo of the Prytania Theatre located at 5339 Prytania St. courtesy of Cinema Treasures
CPC to Study Creation of New Overlay District
The Council approved Motion M-20-64 directing the City Planning Commission (CPC) to conduct a public hearing to consider establishing a new overlay district named the Coronet Court Multi-Family Housing Overlay District. With its creation, the Council hopes to establish standards for the redevelopment of existing non-conforming multi-family structures in the area bounded by Lake Forest Boulevard, Mayo Road, I-10 Service Road, and the Lawrence Canal, and promote affordable housing.