HOME -- Protecting Small City Squares Will Strenghten Neighborhood Zoning

Protecting small City squares strengthens
neighborhoods throughout the city.
Our neighborhoods need your support.

November 7, 2004

Dear New Orleans neighbors,

The Uptown Triangle Neighborhood Association applauds Councilmember-at-Large Oliver Thomas’ support for a one-word text change to the New Orleans Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (CZO) dealing with Residential Planned Communities and small City squares or blocks."

A Residential Planned Community (RPC) is a special zoning category used to “encourage large-scale developments.” An RPC is a “zoning wildcard” -- because of its large size it is allowed to change the traditional neighborhood zoning.

According to CZO Section 10.7.4, anyone owning “one acre, or ½ of a City square, whichever is the lesser,” can request a large-scale RPC and change the zoning in a residential neighborhood.

New Orleans has many small, non-standard squares scattered throughout the City, such as Square 135 on Claiborne at Calhoun (see above), which is only 5% as large as a standard City square or block.

Currently, the owner of such a miniature City square can ask to build an RPC on one-half of this tiny City block, change the underlying zoning of the parcel, and damage the fabric of a stable neighborhood.

Building an RPC on such a small, non-standard City square does not qualify as a “large-scale development” and is not what the CZO intended.

Therefore, we support Zoning Docket 106-04, which requests the minimum area of an RPC be changed to “one acre, or 1/2 of a City square, whichever is the greater.”

Please to our City Council and City Planning Commission supporting Zoning Docket 106-04.

Thank you.

Sheldon Hersh, MD
Uptown Triangle Neighborhood Association
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