Article 17 Central Business Districts

PURPOSE OF THE CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICTS

New Orleans’ Central Business Districts are characterized by a wide diversity of uses functioning within a single geography. These uses are mixed horizontally and vertically in a series of buildings, arranged along a continuous streetwall. The Central Business Districts are designed to serve a diversity of functions within this same compact geography, including the community's civic center, a regional employment center, an international visitor center, and centers of service and learning.

The zoning districts of the Central Business Districts contain regulations that create and maintain a focused destination that mixes employment, shopping, residential and entertainment activities in an intense, high density, primarily pedestrian environment.

CHARACTER OF THE CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICTS

The character of the Central Business Districts is defined by:

»         The highest intensity development within the City, including office and residential high-rises

»         High-intensity office and employment growth centers

»         A pedestrian environment with active uses such as retail and restaurants along the street

»         Large-scale entertainment uses, such as the Superdome and Convention Center

»         Cultural and entertainment destinations, including museums, theaters, and music venues

»         Historic structures and districts that preserve the Central Business Districts' heritage and provide opportunities for adaptive reuse and mixed-use development

»         Urban core neighborhoods with a variety of housing types mixed in with supporting business and commercial uses

 

17.1 Article Structure   

To determine which regulations apply to an area within the CBD Districts, the user should follow the steps shown in the flowchart of this Article. (See Figure 17-1: Guide to Article Structure)

FIGURE 17-1: GUIDE TO ARTICLE STRUCTURE

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17.2 Purpose Statements   

17.2.A CBD-1 Core Central Business District   

The CBD-1 Core Central Business District is intended for high-density, mixed-use development that accommodates a wide range of uses, including large office, financial, and commercial services uses that serve the local, regional, and national markets, as well as multi-family housing, retail, entertainment, hotel, government, and institutional uses.

17.2.B CBD-2 Historic Commercial and Mixed-Use District   

The CBD-2 Historic Commercial and Mixed-Use District is intended to provide for the reuse of existing structures in historic districts and along prominent mixed-use corridors that frame the Central Business District. Buildings in the CBD-2 District provide small floor plates for office, retail, institutional, and residential uses that support the vitality of the Central Business District as a destination for residents and visitors. The CBD-2 District addresses unique corridors and historic districts within the Central Business District, including Convention Center Boulevard, the Picayune Place Historic District, and the central portion of Canal Street.

17.2.C CBD-3 Cultural Arts District   

The CBD-3 Cultural Arts District is intended to create a cultural and entertainment destination through the clustering of museum, cultural, performing arts, and supporting visitor services uses. The CBD-3 District is also intended to accommodate a mixture of residential, retail, and other commercial uses for residents and visitors. The CBD-3 District is specifically intended to address the music and theater corridor along and adjacent to the intersection of Basin, Rampart, and Canal Streets, and theaters and museum uses along Magazine Street and Howard Avenue.

17.2.D CBD-4 Exposition District   

The CBD-4 Exposition District is intended for large destination uses and related services which generate high volumes of visitor traffic. The CBD-4 District addresses unique large-scale uses like the Superdome, Arena, and Convention Center.

17.2.E CBD-5 Urban Core Neighborhood Lower Intensity Mixed-Use District   

The CBD-5 Urban Core Neighborhood Lower Intensity Mixed-Use District is intended to provide for a downtown neighborhood environment through a mix of housing types and supporting residential services and commercial uses conveniently situated with respect to employment opportunities. The CBD-5 District is intended to accommodate a lower concentration of certain commercial uses than the CBD-6 District, and is particularly suited for the area around Lafayette Square and surrounding areas.

17.2.F CBD-6 Urban Core Neighborhood Mixed-Use District   

The CBD-6 Urban Core Neighborhood Intensity Mixed-Use District is intended to provide for a downtown neighborhood environment with a mix of housing types, supporting residential services and commercial uses conveniently situated with respect to employment opportunities. The CBD-6 District is intended to accommodate a higher concentration of certain commercial uses than the CBD-5 District, and is particularly suited for the Warehouse District.

17.2.G CBD-7 Bio-Science District   

The CBD-7 Bio-Science District is intended for large-scale bio-science campuses and supportive services. Standards for the CBD-7 District address the unique development of a large campus and its supportive services in order to create proper transitions from the campus to adjacent uses, as well as specific regulations for the core of the district.  

17.3 Uses   

17.3.A Permitted and Conditional Uses   

Only those uses of land listed under Table 17-1: Permitted and Conditional Uses as permitted uses or conditional uses are allowed within the Central Business Districts. A “P” indicates that a use is permitted within that zoning district. A “C” indicates that a use is a conditional use in that zoning district and would require a conditional use approval as required in Section 4.3 (Conditional Use). No letter (i.e., a blank space) or the absence of the use from the table indicates that use is not permitted within that zoning district.

Table 17-1: Permitted and Conditional Uses

USE1

DISTRICTS

USE STANDARDS

CBD-1

CBD-2

CBD-3

CBD-4

CBD-5

CBD-6

CBD-7

RESIDENTIAL USE

Bed and Breakfast – Accessory

P

P

P

 

P

P

 

Section 20.3.I

Bed and Breakfast – Principal

P

P

P

 

P

P

 

Section 20.3.I

Day Care Home, Small

 

 

 

 

P

P

P

Section 20.3.S

Day Care Home, Large

 

 

 

 

P

P

P

Section 20.3.S

Dormitory

 

P

 

 

 

 

P

 

Dwelling, Above the Ground Floor

P

P

P

 

P

P

P

 

Dwelling, Single-Family

 

 

 

 

P

P

 

 

Dwelling, Two-Family

 

 

 

 

P

P

 

Section 20.3.Y

Dwelling, Townhouse

 

 

 

 

P

P

 

 

Dwelling, Multi-Family

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

 

Group Home, Small

P

P

P

 

P

P

P

Section 20.3.GG

Group Home, Large

P

P

P

 

P

P

P

Section 20.3.GG

Group Home, Congregate

P

P

P

 

P

P

P

Section 20.3.GG

Permanent Supportive Housing

P

P

P

 

P

P

P

Section 20.3.PP

Residential Care Facility

P

P

P

 

P

P

P

Section 20.3.YY

Short Term Rental, Commercial

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

Section 20.3.LLL

Timeshare

C

C

C

C

 

 

P

 

COMMERCIAL USE

Amusement Facility, Indoor

P

P

P

P

C

C

C

Section 20.3.E

Amusement Facility, Outdoor

 

 

 

P

 

 

 

Section 20.3.E

Arena

 

 

 

C

 

 

 

 

Art Gallery

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

 

Arts Studio

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

 

Auditorium

 

 

 

P

 

 

P

 

Bar

C

C

C

P

 

C

C

Section 20.3.G

Broadcasting Studio

P

P

P

P

 

 

 

 

Bus Terminal

 

 

 

C

 

 

 

 

Casino/Gaming Establishment

 

 

 

C

 

 

 

Section 20.3.M

Catering Kitchen

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

 

Convention Center

 

 

 

C

 

 

 

 

Day Care Center, Adult or Child – Small

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

Section 20.3.S

Day Care Center, Adult or Child – Large

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

Section 20.3.S

Day Care Center, Adult or Child - Commercial

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

Section 20.3.S

Employment Services

C

 

 

 

 

 

C

Section 20.3.BB

Financial Institution

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

 

Gas Station

 

 

 

C

 

 

 

Section 20.3.EE

Health Club

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

 

Hostel

P

P

P

P

 

 

P

 

Hotel/Motel

P

P

P

P

C

P

P

 

Live Entertainment – Secondary Use

P

P

P

P

C

C

P

Section 20.3.JJ

Live Performance Venue

C

C

C

P

C

C

 

Section 20.3.JJ

Motor Vehicle Rental Establishment

C

 

 

C

 

 

C

Section 20.3.LL

Medical/Dental Clinic

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

 

Micro-Breweries

 

P

 

 

 

 

P

 

Micro-Distilleries

 

P

 

 

 

 

P

 

Off-Track Betting Facility

 

 

 

C

 

 

 

 

Office

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

 

Outdoor Amphitheater

 

 

 

C

 

 

 

 

Personal Service Establishment

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

 

Public Market

C

C

C

C

P

P

C

Section 20.3.TT

Recording Studio

P

P

P

P

 

 

 

 

Reception Facility

P

P

P

P

C

P

P

Section 20.3.WW

Restaurant, Standard

P

P

P

P

P2

P

P

Section 20.3.ZZ

Restaurant, Specialty

P

P

P

P

P2

P

P

Section 20.3.ZZ

Restaurant, Fast Food

C

C

 

C

C2

C

C

Section 20.3.ZZ

Restaurant, Carry-Out

P

P

P

P

P2

P

P

Section 20.3.ZZ

Retail Goods Establishment

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

 

Retail Sales of Packaged Alcoholic Beverages

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

 

Social Club or Lodge

P

P

P

P

C

C

P

Section 20.3. CCC

Stadium

 

 

 

C

 

 

 

 

INDUSTRIAL USE

Brewery

 

P5

 

 

 

 

P5

 

Manufacturing, Artisan

 

C

 

 

 

 

C

 

Manufacturing, Light

 

C

 

 

 

 

C

 

Motor Vehicle Operations Facility

 

 

 

 

 

 

P

 

Helistop

C

 

 

C

 

 

C

Section 20.3.D

Printing Establishment

P

P

P

P

C

C

 

 

Research & Development

P

P

 

 

 

 

P

 

INSTITUTIONAL USE

Community Center

P

P

P

P

P

P

 

 

Convent and Monastery

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

 

Cultural Facility

P

P

P

P

P

P

 

Section 20.3.R

Domestic Protection Shelter

 

 

 

 

 

 

P

Section 20.3.U

Educational Facility, Primary

P

P

P

 

P

P

P

Section 20.3.Z

Educational Facility, Secondary

P

P

P

 

P

P

P

Section 20.3.Z

Educational Facility, University

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

Section 20.3.Z

Educational Facility, Vocational

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

Section 20.3.Z

Emergency Shelter

C

C

 

 

 

 

C

Section 20.3.AA

Government Offices

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

 

Hospital

 

 

 

 

 

 

P

 

Place of Worship

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

 

OPEN SPACE USE

Parks and Playgrounds

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

 

Stormwater Management

(Principal Use)

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

Section 23.12

OTHER

Parking Structure (Principal Use)

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

Section 20.3.OO

Public Transit Wait Station

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

Section 21.6.BB

Pumping Station

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

Section 20.3.UU

Utilities

P3

P3

P3

P3

P3

P3

P3

Section 20.3.GGG

Wireless Telecommunications Antenna & Facility

C,P4

C,P4

C,P4

C,P4

C,P4

P4

C,P4

Section 20.3.JJJ

Wireless Telecommunications Tower & Facility

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

Section 20.3.JJJ

*Regulations effective April 1, 2017  (Ord. No. 27,209, §2)

TABLE 17-1 FOOTNOTES

1 The terms in this column (“Use”) are defined in Article 26.

2 Subject to the use restriction in Section 17.3.B.4.

3 Electrical Utility Substations and Transmission Lines shall be subject to design review as per Article 4, Section 4.5.B.5 and Table 4-2

Only wireless telecommunications antennas that comply with the stealth design standards of Section 20.3.JJJ are considered permitted uses.

5 Subject to the use restrictions in Section 17.3.B.5.

 

Modified by Ord. No. 27,209, §1, Dec. 7, 2016, Zoning Docket 61/16

17.3.B Use Restrictions   

17.3.B.1 Required Uses for Ground Floors of Structures with Frontage on Multi-Modal/Pedestrian Corridors   

a.  In all CBD Districts, at least twenty-five percent (25%) of the floor area of the ground story of a structure on a lot that abuts a multi-modal pedestrian corridor, as defined in Section 17.6, shall be allocated for occupancy by one (1) or more of the uses listed below. Only the net floor area of the uses listed below, not including corridors or other spaces used in common with other uses, is counted in determining the amount of floor area allocated. Single-family dwellings, two-family dwellings, educational facilities, and townhouses are exempt from this use restriction.

i.  Art Gallery

ii.  Art Studio

iii.  Cultural Facility

iv. Health Club

v.  Personal Service Establishment

vi.  Restaurant, Standard

vii.  Restaurant, Specialty

viii. Retail Goods Establishment

ix. Related ancillary uses of a Hotel/Motel, as provided in Article 26, with the exception of conference and meeting rooms.

b.  For the purpose of meeting these space requirements, space will qualify only if it is at street level and is directly accessible to the public from a sidewalk or other public pedestrian way.

17.3.B.2 Required Uses for Properties Abutting Canal Street   

a.  In all CBD Districts, where a lot abuts Canal Street, at least seventy percent (70%) of the Canal Street frontage of the ground floor of any structure on the lot shall be allocated for occupancy by one (1) or more of the uses listed above in Section 17.3.B.1.a. Such uses shall have a minimum depth of ten (10) feet from the wall of the structure that faces Canal Street. Only the frontage of those uses, not including corridors or other spaces used in common with other uses, is counted in determining the amount of frontage allocated.

b.  For any hotel/motel located in a structure on a lot that abuts Canal Street in any CBD District, the lobby of the hotel/motel may count toward meeting one-half (1/2) of the seventy percent (70%) frontage requirement.

c.  For the purpose of meeting these space requirements, space will qualify only if it is at street level and if it is directly accessible to the public from a sidewalk or other public pedestrian way.

d.  The following uses are prohibited in properties that abut Canal Street in any CBD Districts:

i.  Restaurant, Fast Food

a. Except when the unit has a primary entrance on a street intersecting Canal Street and that entrance is at least 100 feet from Canal Street, and no part of the Fast Food use has frontage along Canal Street.

ii.  T-shirt shop

17.3.B.3 Prohibited Uses on Multi-Modal/Pedestrian Corridors   

The following uses are prohibited in properties that abut designated multi-modal/pedestrian corridors (See Section 17.6):

a.  Gas station

b.  Motor vehicle rental establishments with outdoor display areas (only those that are fully enclosed are permitted)

17.3.B.4 Spacing of Restaurants in CBD-5 District   

One of the following uses is permitted per blockface within the CBD-5 District:

a.  Restaurant, Standard

b.  Restaurant, Specialty

c.  Restaurant, Fast Food

d.  Restaurant, Carry-Out

17.3.B.5 Breweries in the CBD-2 and CBD-7 Districts   

In the CBD-2 and CBD-7 Districts, only breweries that produce fewer than 12,500 barrels per year are considered permitted uses.

17.4 Site Design Standards   

17.4.A Bulk and Yard Regulations   

17.4.A.1 General Requirements   

Table 17-2: Bulk and Yard Regulations establishes bulk and yard regulations for the Central Business District. 

Table 17-2: Bulk and Yard Regulations

BULK AND YARD REGULATIONS

DISTRICTS

CBD-1

CBD-2

CBD-3

CBD-4

CBD-5

CBD-6

CBD-7

BULK REGULATIONS

MINIMUM LOT AREA

None

None

None

None

None

None

None

MINIMUM BUILDING HEIGHT

36’ & 3 stories

36’ & 3 stories

36’ & 3 stories

None

36’ & 3 stories

36’ & 3 stories

36’ & 3 stories

MAXIMUM BUILDING HEIGHT

See Figure 17-2 and Section 17.4.A.2

See Figure 17-2 and Section 17.4.A.2

See Figure 17-2 and Section 17.4.A.2

See Figure 17-2 and Section 17.4.A.2

See Figure 17-2and Section 17.4.A.2

See Figure 17-2 and Section 17.4.A.2

See Figure 17-2 and Section 17.4.A.2

MAXIMUM FLOOR AREA RATIO

See Figure 17-3; may be increased through bonus1

See Figure 17-3; may be increased through bonus 1

See Figure 17-3; may be increased through bonus 1

See Figure 17-3; may be increased through bonus 1

See Figure 17-3; may be increased through bonus 1

See Figure 17-3; may be increased through bonus 1

See Figure 17-3; may be increased through bonus 1

YARD REQUIREMENTS

FRONT YARD

None required, but a 5’ maximum

Larger front yard permitted by conditional use

None required, but a 5’ maximum

Larger front yard permitted by conditional use

None required, but a 5’ maximum

Larger front yard permitted by conditional use

None

None required, but a 5’ maximum

Larger front yard permitted by conditional use

None

None required, but a 5’ maximum

Larger front yard permitted by conditional use

MINIMUM INTERIOR SIDE YARD

None

None

None

None

None

None

None

MINIMUM CORNER SIDE YARD

None

None

None

None

None

None

None

MINIMUM REAR YARD

None

None

None

None

None

None

None

TABLE 17-2 FOOTNOTES

1 Public benefit FAR bonuses may enable developments to exceed the maximum base FAR indicated in Figure 17.3, in accordance with the provisions of Section 17.5. Bonuses are only available in the areas regulated by Floor Area Ratio. Bonuses are not available in the areas with maximum height established by Figure 17-2 and Section 17.4.A.2.

 

17.4.A.2 Building Height   

a.  The maximum building height on a lot is indicated in Figure 17-2: Maximum Building Height. Those lots that are not subject to building height limits are subject to maximum floor area ratio (FAR) limits and are indicated in Figure 17-3: Maximum FAR.

b.  Within those blocks bounded by Canal, Iberville, North Peters, and Crozat Streets, where a lot fronts on two (2) or more principal street frontages, each with a different maximum building height, the maximum building height for each street frontage applies for a distance of eighty-three (83) feet from the centerline of the street. (See Figure 17-4: Height Applicability to Street Frontage for Certain Blocks for illustration and Figure 17-5: Height Example for Certain Lots Along Canal Street for an example). 

c.  The height designation of “75/125 ft & 6/10 Stories” on Figure 17-2 is interpreted as follows: a height limit of six (6) stories and seventy-five (75) feet applies within twenty (20) feet of all property lines adjacent to any public right-of-way, and a height limit of ten (10) stories and one hundred twenty-five (125) feet applies to all other portions of the lot.

d. Where provided as accessory flat roof features, open spaces located on roofs shall be excluded from the calculation of building height in accordance with Section 21.6.

FIGURE 17-2: MAXIMUM BUILDING HEIGHT

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FIGURE 17-3: MAXIMUM FLOOR AREA RATIO

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FIGURE 17-4: HEIGHT APPLICABILITY TO STREET FRONTAGE IN CERTAIN BLOCKS

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FIGURE 17-5: HEIGHT EXAMPLE FOR CERTAIN LOTS ALONG CANAL STREET

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17.4.B Required On-Site Open Space   

All townhouse and multi-family dwellings in the CBD Districts shall provide at least one-hundred twenty (120) square feet of usable on-site open space per dwelling unit. Where individual balconies are authorized as open space for individual dwelling units, a minimum depth of four (4) feet shall be required. This open space may be either private open space for the dwelling unit or common open space restricted to the use of residents of the townhouse or multi-family dwelling. Such open space shall meet the following requirements:

1.  Required open space shall have a minimum dimension of at least seven (7) feet on any side.

2.  Required open space shall be located on the same lot as the dwelling unit it serves.

3. Required open space shall be built so as to make these spaces physically accessible for all residents of said townhouse or multi-family dwelling.

3.  Required open space shall be outdoors and designed for outdoor living, recreation, or landscaping, including areas located on the ground and areas on decks, balconies, galleries, porches, or roofs. For multi-family dwellings, when open space is above grade, such as a balcony or gallery, it may not be located over on-site surface parking areas.

4.  Required open space areas are is not required to be contiguous, but each open space area, whether common or private, shall comply with minimum dimensional standards of Table 17-2. Common open space areas shall be accessible to all residents of the townhouse or multi-family dwelling.

5.  When located at ground level, the required open space area shall be substantially covered with grass, live groundcover, shrubs, plants, trees, or usable outdoor hardscape features or amenities, such as seating areas, patios, or pools.

6.  Off-street parking and loading areas, driveways or required landscaping for parking lots and screening do not count towards open space requirements. Bollards, curbs, wheel stops, or other similar features shall be provided to ensure that required open space areas are not used for off-street parking or any other vehicular use.

7.  Mechanical equipment, dumpsters, or service areas are prohibited in required open space areas.

8.  All required open space areas shall be located and designed to take advantage of sunlight and other climatic advantages of the site.

9.  Where provided as accessory flat roof features, open spaces located on roofs shall be excluded from the calculation of gross floor area in accordance with Section 21.6.

17.5 Public Benefit Floor Area Ratio (FAR) Bonus Provisions   

17.5.A Administration   

1.  Any development in the CBD Districts that utilizes the public benefit FAR bonus provisions of this section requires development plan and design review and the approval by the Executive Director of the City Planning Commission, following a review by the Design Advisory Committee in accordance with Section 4.5.

2.  The applicant shall file a bonus worksheet at the time of the submittal of a development plan and design review application that describes the size, location, design, and maintenance of the proposed public benefit amenity and the calculation for the amount of bonus floor area requested. If any bonus FAR is approved, the final worksheet shall be recorded, together with the final approved development plan, with the deed of the property for which it is granted in the office of the Clerk of Court for Orleans Parish Civil District Court, prior to the issuance of any building permit or certificate of occupancy for the development. The recorded approved final development plan and bonus worksheet shall be binding on the property owners, successors, and assigns for the life of the building to ensure compliance with this Ordinance for the design and maintenance of the public amenities. Within thirty (30) days of receiving evidence of the recording of an approved development plan and bonus worksheet, the Executive Director of the City Planning Commission shall designate the site for which the FAR bonus has been granted on the Official Zoning Map.

3.  No public amenity for which a floor area bonus has been granted may be eliminated or reduced in size without a corresponding reduction in floor area or the substitution of an equivalent bonus. Any proposal for the substitution of an equivalent bonus shall only be considered and may only be approved in accordance with a new application for site plan and design review in accordance with the provisions of this section.

4.  Floor area exceeding the maximum base floor area ratio added to a building by virtue of floor area ratio bonuses of this section may not, in turn, serve as a basis for creating additional bonuses.

17.5.B Applicability   

The base maximum floor area ratio (FAR) in those areas of the CBD without height limits may be increased in accordance with following provisions. Features eligible for public benefit bonuses are the following:

1. Whole building sustainability (Paragraph C below)

2. Financial contributions to public park/open space improvements (Paragraph D below)

3. Financial contributions to landmark preservation (Paragraph E below)

4. Public plazas (Paragraph F below)

5.  Transit-oriented development (Paragraph G below)

6.  Affordable housing (Paragraph H below)

At least fifty percent (50%) of any density bonus applied to any project with a residential component must utilize the affordable housing bonus provisions described in section 17.H.

17.5.C Whole Building Sustainability   

17.5.C.1 Whole Building Sustainability Public Benefit Formula   

a.  Provision of a recognized green building certification, such as LEED Gold level (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design), Home Energy Rating System, Enterprise Green Communities, National Green Building Standard, Energy Star for Buildings Program, Net-Zero Energy Building, or another similar certification approved by the Director of the Department of Safety and Permits: Six percent (6%) increase in FAR

b.  Provision of a recognized green building certification, such as LEED Gold level (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design), Home Energy Rating System, Enterprise Green Communities, National Green Building Standard, Energy Star for Buildings Program, Net-Zero Energy Building, or another similar certification approved by the Director of the Department of Safety and Permits: Fifteen percent (15%) increase in FAR

17.5.C.2 Whole Building Sustainability Standards and Guidelines   

a.  Because determination of LEED certification cannot occur until after a building is constructed, the applicant shall submit a binding letter of intent to achieve the required sustainability level together with the development plan and design review application.

b.  Prior to the approval of any FAR bonus for whole building sustainability, the applicant shall submit a letter of credit, surety bond, or other financial guarantee approved by the Director of the Department of Finance to ensure ultimate compliance with the sustainability level required for the bonus. The amount of the letter of credit, surety bond, or other approved financial guarantee must be equal to the extra development and construction costs estimated by the Director of the Department of Safety and Permits to be required to achieve the required sustainability level, plus fifteen percent (15%).

c.  Within one-hundred twenty (120) days of receiving the final certificate of occupancy, the applicant shall submit documentation that demonstrates achievement of the applicable sustainability level.

d.  Failure to demonstrate performance will result in forfeiture of the amount of the letter of credit, surety bond, or other approved financial guarantee to the City. Performance shall be demonstrated through an independent report approved by the U.S. Green Building Council, the City or another organization or entity approved by the City. All amounts collected as a result of forfeiture for non-performance will be used to support green building practices within the city.

17.5.D Public Park/Open Space Financial Contribution Standards   

17.5.D.1 Public Park/Open Space Benefit Formula   

Floor area bonuses for one-time financial contributions to acquire public parks and open spaces or to make improvements to public parks and open spaces are to be based on the following:

a.  The financial contribution required for each square foot of bonus floor area shall be equal to eighty percent (80%) of the median cost of one (1) square foot of land within the Central Business District, as geographically defined below in Section 17.5.D.2.

b. The cost of land in the Central Business District, as geographically defined below in Section 17.5.D.2, shall be determined based on the average sale price for land within the most recent five (5) years, as provided by the City. In the event that fewer than three (3) such sale prices are available in the most recent five (5) years, the land value of parcels of land that are not developed with structures within the Central Business District, as provided by the Orleans Parish Assessor, may be used to determine the average cost of land for the purposes of this section.

c. The maximum bonus that may be obtained is equal to twenty percent (20%) of the base Floor Area Ratio.

17.5.D.2 Public Park/Open Space Standards and Guidelines   

a.  One-time contributions of land, cash, or improvements shall be targeted for specific improvement projects, or for off-site land acquisition within the area bounded by the Mississippi River, Interstate 10/North Claiborne Avenue, the Pontchartrain Expressway/Highway 90, and Iberville Street. Proposed improvements or acquisitions shall be approved by the City prior to the submittal of the FAR bonus application and worksheet.

b.  Applicants who propose to contribute improvements and who propose to install or construct such improvements shall submit documentation including but not limited to appropriate drawings, detailed construction commitments, and a performance bond for the completion of the improvements, prior to approval of the final development plan.

c.  Applicants who propose to make cash contributions for specific improvements that are to be undertaken by a City agency shall enter into an agreement with the City for such prior to approval of the final development plan.

17.5.E Landmark Preservation Financial Contribution Standards   

17.5.E.1 Landmark Preservation Public Benefit Formula   

Floor area bonuses for financial contributions to the restoration of existing or proposed landmark structures shall be based on one-time financial contributions based on the following:

a.  The financial contribution required for each square foot of bonus floor area shall be equal to eighty percent (80%) of the median cost of one (1) square foot of land within the Central Business District, as geographically defined in Section 17.5.D.2.

b. The cost of land in the Central Business District, as geographically defined below in Section 17.5.D.2, shall be determined based on the average sale price for land within the most recent five (5) years, as provided by the City. In the event that fewer than three (3) such sale prices are available in the most recent five (5) years, the land value of parcels of land that are not developed with structures within the Central Business District, as provided by the Orleans Parish Assessor, may be used to determine the average cost of land for the purposes of this section.

c. The maximum bonus that may be obtained is equal to twenty percent (20%) of the base Floor Area Ratio.

17.5.E.2 Landmark Preservation Standards and Guidelines   

a. Existing or proposed landmark structures shall be located within the boundaries of the Central Business District and shall be identified on the list of historic landmarks of the Historic District Landmarks Commission or on the National Register of Historic Places.

b.  Restoration projects shall be consistent with the guidelines of the Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC) if the landmark structure is located within a local historic district or on the list of historic landmarks of the HDLC, and subject to the approval of the Division of Historic Preservation of the State of Louisiana if the landmark structure is on the National Register of Historic Places and is not within a local historic district or on the list of historic landmarks of the HDLC.

c.  Proposed new landmarks shall be identified and certified by the HDLC and/or the National Park Service.

d.  Funds shall be used for substantial interior or exterior rehabilitation or restoration that is visible from a public street or within a portion of the interior that is open to the public. The work shall exceed routine maintenance, as determined by the Director of the Department of Safety and Permits.

17.5.F Public Plaza Standards   

17.5.F.1 Public Plaza Benefit Formula   

Floor area bonus for qualifying public plazas shall be based on the following formula:

a.  The bonus FAR is equal to the area of the proposed public plaza divided by the area of the lot on which the proposed development is located, then multiplied by the base FAR. (Bonus FAR = (area of plaza or park divided by lot area) x base FAR). For example, if the proposed public plaza has an area of 2,500 square feet, and the lot on which the development is located has an area of 20,000 square feet and a base FAR of 14, then the bonus FAR is 1.75 and the maximum FAR of the proposed development is increased to 15.75.

b. The maximum bonus that may be obtained is equal to thirty percent (30%) of the base Floor Area Ratio.

17.5.F.2 Public Plaza Standards and Guidelines   

a.  Plazas shall be open to the sky, except for arbors, trellises or small pedestrian-oriented structures.

b.  Plazas shall have a minimum site area of two-thousand five-hundred (2,500) square feet.

c.  At least twenty percent (20%) of the plaza shall consist of landscaping.

d.  A minimum of one (1) linear foot of seating area shall be provided for each thirty (30) square feet of plaza.

e.  The length of the plaza shall not exceed three (3) times its width in order to avoid long narrow spaces.

f.  All plazas shall be visible from and connected to the nearest sidewalk with preference given to corner locations that maximize pedestrian access.

g.  Plazas shall be designed in accordance with ADA accessibility requirements. No plaza may be more than three (3) feet above the adjacent sidewalk level.

h. Plazas shall be open to the public at minimum during the hours of 8:00am to 9:00pm daily. A plaque two (2) feet by four (4) feet in area shall be displayed at all entrances stating the hours of public use.

i.  Plazas shall be located so that they receive natural light during a portion of the day. 

17.5.G Transit-Oriented Development Standards   

When a development site is located on a street within the Central Business District that is not designated as a multi-modal/pedestrian corridor, but a development on that site is designed in accordance with the design requirements of Section 17.6, the base maximum floor area ratio (FAR) of the development site may be increased by fifteen percent (15%). This bonus cannot be combined with any other public benefit FAR bonus provision.

17.5.H Affordable Housing   

17.5.H.1 Affordable Housing Public Benefit Formula   

Floor area bonuses for the provision of affordable housing are to be based on the following:

a.  Any residential or mixed-use development with at least five percent (5%) of its dwelling units reserved as affordable for households with incomes equal to or below thirty percent (30%) of area median income (AMI) may be awarded an FAR bonus of ten percent (10%).

b. Any residential or mixed-use development with at least five percent (5%) of its dwelling units reserved as affordable for households with incomes equal to or below fifty percent (50%) of area median income (AMI) may be awarded an FAR bonus of ten percent (10%).

c. Any residential or mixed-use development with at least five percent (5%) of its dwelling units reserved as affordable for households with incomes equal to or below eighty percent (80%) of area median income (AMI) may be awarded an FAR bonus of ten percent (10%).

d. The bonuses in Sections 17.5.H.1.a., 17.5.H.1.b., and 17.5.H.1.c. above may be combined. The maximum bonus that may be obtained in a single development is equal to thirty percent (30%) of the base Floor Area Ratio.

17.5.H.2 Affordable Housing Standards and Guidelines   

a.  Area median income (AMI) is determined annually by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. A dwelling unit is affordable if the gross rent of the unit does not exceed thirty (30) percent of the income limitation applicable to the unit.

b.  The income and rent restrictions necessary to meet the affordability criteria for the bonus FAR shall be maintained for a minimum period of thirty (30) years. A document indicating the agreement of the applicant to comply with this requirement shall be recorded together with the bonus FAR worksheet and approved final development plan in accordance with Section 17.5.A.2.

c.  The affordable dwelling units shall be located within the same structure as the market-rate dwelling units in the development.

d.  The affordable dwelling units shall be spread throughout the development and not concentrated on one story or in one area of the structure in which they are located.

e.  The affordable dwelling units shall be comparable to market-rate dwelling units in the development in terms of floor area, number of bedrooms, and exterior finishes. The structure in which affordable units are located shall not be designed in a manner that distinguishes the location of affordable units from market-rate units.

17.6 Multi-Modal/Pedestrian Corridor Design Standards   

17.6.A Purpose   

Certain streets within the CBD Districts are designated multi-modal/pedestrian corridors. (See Figure 17-6: Multi-Modal/Pedestrian Corridors) The purpose is to preserve and enhance the function of certain streets that serve multiple modes of transportation by creating a safe and comfortable environment for the pedestrian, those using mobility devices, transit rider, and bicyclist. The regulations are intended to promote economic development by ensuring efficient access to and between the Central Business District’s commercial, entertainment, and employment centers. Multi-modal/pedestrian corridors exhibit a combination of the following transit-oriented development characteristics:

1.  These corridors serve as the location of designated light rail lines, streetcar lines or bicycle routes.

2.  These corridors serve as the important link between transportation connections.

3.  These corridors exhibit a concentrated pattern of civic, cultural, or retail establishments.

FIGURE 17-6: MULTI-MODAL/PEDESTRIAN CORRIDOR

Click for larger image

17.6.B Effective Date   

The building design standards below are requirements for all buildings constructed as of the effective date of this Ordinance.

17.6.C Designation and Boundaries   

Multi-modal/pedestrian corridors are identified below and illustrated in Figure 17-6. The multi-modal/pedestrian corridors designation applies to all lots that abut the corridor.

1.    St. Charles Avenue, Howard Avenue/Andrew Higgins Drive to Canal Street, including the curvilinear portion of St. Charles Avenue that abuts the public space known as Lee Circle

2.    Canal Street, Claiborne Avenue to Convention Center Boulevard

3.    Magazine Street, Canal Street to the Pontchartrain Expressway

4.    Poydras Street, Claiborne Avenue to Convention Center Boulevard

5.    Julia Street, Loyola Avenue to Convention Center Boulevard

6.    Camp Street, Andrew Higgins Drive to Canal Street

7.    Andrew Higgins Drive, St. Charles Avenue to Convention Boulevard

8.    North Rampart Street, Canal Street to Iberville Street

9.    Howard Avenue, St. Charles Avenue to Baronne Street

10.  Baronne Street, Howard Avenue to Canal Street   

11.  Convention Center Boulevard, Canal Street to the Pontchartrain Expressway

12.  Loyola Avenue, Canal Street to the Pontchartrain Expressway

13.  Carondelet Street, Canal Street to Howard Avenue

14.  Bourbon Street, Canal Street to Iberville Street

15.  Tulane Avenue, Claiborne Avenue to Loyola Avenue/Elk Place

16.  Tchoupitoulas Street, Canal Street to Andrew Higgins Drive

17.  Girod Street, Loyola Avenue to Baronne Street

18.  Dauphine Street, Canal Street to Iberville Street

19.  Royal Street, Canal Street to Iberville Street

20.  Chartres Street, Canal Street to Iberville Street

21.  Decatur Street, Canal Street to Iberville Street

17.6.D Building Design   

1.  The first floor of structures shall be designed with a minimum ceiling height of fourteen (14) feet. The façade that faces the corridor shall maintain a minimum transparency of fifty percent (50%). The bottom of any window used to satisfy this requirement may not be more than four and one-half (4.5) feet above the adjacent sidewalk. Windows shall be constructed of clear or lightly tinted glass. Tinting above twenty percent (20%) or reflective glass is prohibited.

2.  All façades along the corridor shall include architectural features to avoid the appearance of blank walls facing the street. These include, but are not limited to, changes in the wall plane of at least six (6) inches such as an offset, reveal, pilaster, or projecting rib, changes in wall texture or masonry patterns, colonnade, columns, or pilasters. All elements shall repeat at intervals of a maximum of twenty-five (25) feet.

3.  Ventilation grates, emergency exit doors, and similar functional elements located on the façade along the corridor shall be designed as decorative elements and integrated into the overall building design.

4.  Structures shall maintain a primary entrance that fronts on the corridor. Building entrances may include doors to individual shops and businesses, lobby entrances, entrances to pedestrian plazas, or entrances to a cluster of retail goods establishments or other non-residential uses that are open to the public.

5.  The site shall be designed to ensure safe pedestrian access to the building from the street and from any parking areas. Safe pedestrian access to and from adjacent buildings is also required. Sidewalks shall extend to the lot line and connect to existing sidewalks on abutting property.

6.  Mid-building pedestrian passages are encouraged. Such passageways shall be designed to be safe and well lit, providing convenient pedestrian access to and from areas such as parking lots and adjacent buildings, and/or service streets from the opposite sides of a building. Any passage shall be a minimum of eight (8) feet in width.

7. Building design shall be reviewed so that the primary entrance, travel between buildings, parking structures and safe pedestrian access points are physically accessible to allow full access and use by a person utilizing a mobility device.

8.  When a ground floor parking structure is located along a corridor, it shall be subject to the ground story use restrictions in 17.3.B.. Parking access is prohibited along corridors.

9.  Garage entrances, driveways, or loading bays are prohibited along a pedestrian street.

10.  Bicycle parking is required in accordance with Article 22. Bicycle parking racks are encouraged to be decorative elements.

11.  If a property abutting a multi-modal/pedestrian corridor is within the jurisdiction the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission and/or the Central Business District Historic District Landmarks Commission, development of such property is subject to the approval of such Commission. Applicants shall refer to and comply with the Historic District Landmarks Commission procedures in the City Code. The New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission and/or Central Business District Historic District Landmarks Commission shall have no jurisdiction over use.

17.6.E Variances of Building Design Standards   

A property owner may submit an application for a variance of any Multi-Modal/Pedestrian Corridor building design standard to the Board of Zoning Adjustments in accordance with the provisions of Section 4.6.

17.7 Riverfront Development Design Standards   

The Riverfront Area of the CBD is the area bounded by the Pontchartrain Expressway/Highway 90, Convention Center Boulevard, the Mississippi River, and Canal Street and its extension to the river from Convention Center Boulevard. Development in the riverfront area shall comply with the following design standards.

A.  Direct pedestrian access to and views of riverfront attractions shall be maintained on Julia Street. View corridors along Julia Street shall be the same width as the public street and continue to the riverfront as a straight line extension of the street.

B.  Architectural details, materials, colors, textures, and landscape treatments shall be coordinated to provide visual continuity, quality, and consistency throughout the district with sufficient diversity to create a lively and interesting skyline and streetscape.

C.  Development frontage on the riverside of Convention Center Boulevard shall be built to the property line and maintain a consistent scale.

D.  If any of the areas within the riverfront area are under the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission and/or Central Business District Historic District Landmarks Commission jurisdiction, development is subject to the approval of such Commission. Applicants shall refer to and comply with the Historic District Landmarks Commission procedures in the City Code. The New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission and/or Central Business District Historic District Landmarks Commission shall have no jurisdiction over use.

E.  Developments along Convention Center Boulevard shall provide for the pedestrian environment, where appropriate, through the use of sheltered sidewalks, visually active ground level façades in fronting development, arcade treatment, protective landscaping, signs, and clear and convenient pedestrian crossings. These pedestrian environments, when added or in any way altered, shall be accessible to those who use mobility devices.

17.8 General Standards of Applicability   

All Central Business Districts are subject to the following standards:

17.8.A Accessory Structures and Uses   

See Section 21.6 for standards governing accessory structures and uses. 

17.8.B Temporary Uses   

See Section 21.8 for standards governing temporary uses.

17.8.C Site Development Standards   

See Article 21 for additional site development standards such as exterior lighting, environmental performance standards, and permitted encroachments. 

17.8.D Off-Street Parking and Loading   

See Article 22 for standards governing off-street parking and loading.

17.8.E Landscape, Stormwater Management, and Screening   

See Article 23 for standards governing landscape, stormwater management, and screening.

17.8.F Signs   

See Article 24 for standards governing signs.

17.8.G Overlay Districts   

See Article 18 for additional overlay district regulations, when applicable.

17.8.H Nonconformities   

See Article 25 for regulations governing nonconformities.

17.8.I Demolitions   

See Section 26-2 of the City Code for regulations governing demolitions in the Central Business Districts.

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