New Orleans City Council

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

New Orleans City Council committee green lights short term rental study

Posted By on Wed, Aug 19, 2015 at 5:30 PM


If the next round of short-term rental regulation efforts fails, New Orleans City Councilmember At-Large Stacy Head says she's "walking away."

"I'm extremely disappointed at the vitriol and emotion and lack of reason that has become the norm in this discussion," she said at today's Community Development Committee meeting. "I am not going to be party to sucking the efforts of city government and my staff away from more important tasks."

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

New Orleans City Council to request short-term rental study

Posted By on Tue, Aug 18, 2015 at 4:30 PM

A crowd gathered outside a meeting hosted by a short-term rental opposition group on Aug. 6. - KEVIN ALLMAN
  • A crowd gathered outside a meeting hosted by a short-term rental opposition group on Aug. 6.

New Orleans City Council members Stacy Head and Nadine Ramsey want to task the city with studying current and new rules for short-term rentals. The council members plan to introduce a motion at the council's Community Development Committee tomorrow asking the City Planning Commission (CPC) to look into regulations for short-term rentals (aka Airbnb-type rental units) within the new Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance "from a land-use perspective, in light of municipal regulatory schemes recently enacted by local government entities around the United States."

According to the motion, the CPC will be asked to consider whether the current definition of "short-term rentals" should be amended in the CZO, as well as limitations for sizes, number of rooms and units for short-term rentals — and whether to even allow them, make them conditional use or a permitted use. The City Council plans to implement "permitting and enforcement" rules to work with the land-use regulation of short-term rentals, and ensure "comprehensive regulation" of short-term rentals consistent with the CZO.

After its passage, the CPC will have 60 days to hold a public meeting, and it must complete its study and send its report to the City Council within 120 days.

The Community Development Meeting meets at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 19. The full City Council is expected to pass the motion at its meeting Thursday, Aug. 20.

Read the motion here: M-15-391_STR_Study_Head_and_Ramsey_signed__3_.pdf

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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

City of New Orleans to host public meetings on Confederate landmarks

Posted By on Tue, Aug 4, 2015 at 4:45 PM

click image Lee Circle in 2010. - FW_GADGET/FLICKR
  • Lee Circle in 2010.

Following last week's invite-only daylong discussion on the future of the city's Confederate landmarks, the City of New Orleans hosts two meetings next week that are open to the public.

The Historic District Landmarks Commission hosts a meeting in City Council chambers at City Hall (1300 Perdido St.) from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 13, followed by a Human Relations Commission meeting at 6 p.m. 

Up for discussion are the possible relocations of several monuments to the confederacy, including a statue of Robert E. Lee at Lee Circle, a Jefferson Davis statue on Jefferson Davis Parkway, a P.G.T. Beauregard statue in front of City Park, and the Liberty Place Monument on Iberville Street.

Public discussion began in City Council chambers last month as Mayor Mitch Landrieu made his pitch to relocate the monuments, asking how New Orleans — amid its efforts "to inspire a nation" — can do so while several highly visible landmarks include symbols and echoes of white supremacy. The City Council agreed. Louisiana Cultural Vistas magazine and the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities also hosted a packed-house panel on the history and legacies of those landmarks — a full transcript and audio of the discussion is available online. Though the historians on the panel held that their perspective of the monuments allows them to see them more as archeological artifacts, they largely agreed the monuments' symbolism should be reinterpreted to reflect their place in today's (and the future's) worldview. "This is an opportunity to take the mythology of the Lost Cause head on," said Loyola University professor Justin Nystrom. "I don’t think anybody wants our kids feeling oppressed by a monument. These are teaching moments. We didn’t learn this in school. Well, maybe we can learn something in the public space."

According to a release, comment cards at the Human Relations Commission meeting must be submitted no later than 7 p.m. in order for participants to speak. The city also is accepting public comments online at or Those comments must be received by 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 11 to be entered into the record.

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

New Orleans bicyclists hold "die-in" outside City Hall

Posted By on Thu, Jul 23, 2015 at 4:00 PM

Bicyclists staged a "die-in" outside City Hall to draw attention to bicyclists' deaths and to demand more action from city officials. - PHOTOS BY ALEX WOODWARD
  • Bicyclists staged a "die-in" outside City Hall to draw attention to bicyclists' deaths and to demand more action from city officials.

Timothy Wade played a bagpipe across from New Orleans City Hall on a mound of grass in Duncan Plaza. Bicyclists finished spray painting a ghost bike — a memorial, provided by members of the Bad News Bike Club, to recognize New Orleans bicyclists killed by cars, and as a message to city officials that bicyclists' lives are in danger in New Orleans.

"They don't know the hell we go through," said event organizer Alexander Fleming. "It's about time they know."

Wade led a procession as people carried the bike to mount to a street sign outside City Hall, where bicyclists held a "die-in" with their bikes at their side while the names of bicyclists killed in 2015 were read. Several dozen people flanked both sides of the steps outside City Hall.

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Monday, July 13, 2015

Phil Anselmo weighs in on the Confederate flag

Posted By on Mon, Jul 13, 2015 at 8:34 PM

Phil Anselmo says he doesn't buy the argument that a Confederate flag represents "heritage, not hate."
  • Phil Anselmo says he doesn't buy the argument that a Confederate flag represents "heritage, not hate."

Though Mayor Mitch Landrieu and the New Orleans City Council support taking down or renaming four Confederate monuments in the city, the hot-button issue of flying any of the Confederate flags hasn't become an issue in New Orleans — probably because Confederate flags don't fly on any public property.

But musician Phil Anselmo — a New Orleans native and ex-Pantera member, now performing with the all-star metal band Superjoint Ritual — told the website Hard Rock Haven that he regretted Pantera's past use of the flag:

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Mayor Landrieu to host 2016 budget community meetings

Posted By on Tue, Jul 7, 2015 at 3:30 PM

Mayor Mitch Landrieu. - CHERYL GERBER
  • Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

It's "Budgeting for Outcomes" season. And it has come early.

The annual City of New Orleans budget process begins with a series of community meetings in each City Council district, and they usually are held in late August. This year, the meetings begin next week.

The meetings intend to create a "resident-driven budget" by hearing from residents in each council district. Following last year's meetings on the $537 million 2015 budget, Mayor Mitch Landrieu said residents wanted more funding for public safety, job creation, recreation and blight reduction. "We heard you loud and clear," he said last October in his budget address to the City Council.

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Y@ Speak: disrupting

Posted By on Mon, May 18, 2015 at 12:05 PM

Y@ Speak is back from a short break and is ready to disrupt the Twitter industry with sweeping changes in the delivery of great content by continuing to provide the tweets you want, when you want them (on most Mondays, exclusively around noon-ish). In this week's edition, termites are probably still in your shirt, we say goodbye to Monty Williams, Gov. Bobby Jindal does things, and goats go to Bayou Boogaloo.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

New Orleans literacy programs could hang in the balance with May 2 vote on library funding

Posted By on Tue, Apr 28, 2015 at 5:45 PM


New Orleans aims to be one of the most literate cities in the U.S. by its tricentennial celebrations in 2018. But more than 40 percent of the city's adults struggle with basic literacy, and the New Orleans Community Data Center estimates that more than a quarter of the city's workforce struggles with basic reading, writing and computer comprehension.

The New Orleans Public Library (NOPL) is leading the effort to improve literacy in the city. The library's foundation supports its literacy programs Turn The Page and Every Child Ready To Read, a pre-literacy program that works with daycares, parents and other caregivers to instill the importance of reading and prepare children to learn how to read. The library also offers space free-of-charge to literacy programs from the YMCA. Last year, as NOPL presented its budget to the New Orleans City Council, the YMCA Educational Services program director said losing that space would be disastrous.

Now NOPL stares down a vote on Saturday, May 2 when New Orleanians will decide whether to support a 2.5-mill property tax to fund the libraries, their programs and services. If that fails, will the city and the library have to adjust its 2018 timeline?

"We would," said library director Charles Brown. "It certainly would have an impact on it."

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

New Orleans officials celebrate the end of smoking in bars and casinos

Posted By on Wed, Apr 22, 2015 at 12:00 PM


"Inhale, Exhale, Repeat Safely" — that slogan now hangs above Poydras Street across from the Superdome as the New Orleans smoke- and vape-free ordinance goes into effect today. It'll remain there for 30 days. Under direction of a new citywide smoke-free ordinance, New Orleans bars and Harrah's Casino turned on the "no smoking" signs at midnight last night. City leaders, health advocates and health care officials celebrated the bar's effective date — April 22, 2015 — on the top level of the Superdome's parking garage directly across from the signage.

District B councilmember LaToya Cantrell, who authored the legislation, thanked city officials for getting on board, and she also thanked the bars and Harrah's for "taking bold steps in making smoke-free environments." (Harrah's installed new signage advertising itself as the "best smoke-free casino" and handed out lollipops to gamblers at the stroke of midnight.)

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Smoking ban kicks in at midnight: What you need to know

Posted By on Tue, Apr 21, 2015 at 2:46 PM

Get used to seeing this sign around New Orleans as the new smoking ordinance goes into effect. - CITY OF NEW ORLEANS
  • Get used to seeing this sign around New Orleans as the new smoking ordinance goes into effect.

After months of sometimes (OK, usually) heated discussion about the new ordinance banning smoking (and vaping) in nearly every bar in New Orleans, the law is set to take effect at midnight tonight, and the city has launched a web page to explain it all.

The group Smoke Free NOLA will celebrate and take a victory lap with a free "Smokefree Kickoff" free music show tomorrow night (April 23) at Le Bon Temps Roule with Paul Sanchez, Deacon John and other musicians.

Here's what you need to know before tomorrow:

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