New Orleans Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance

Printed: 9/27/2023 9:14:58 PM

18.13.G.2 Density Bonus and Height Limit Increase

Developments incorporating superior design elements within certain applicable areas qualify for consideration of an increase height and/or density, in accordance with the following provisions.  Requests for height and density bonuses pursuant to this Section shall be considered and approved through the conditional use process provided in Section 4.3.

a. The area eligible for a density bonus and/or height limit increase is the area bounded by the levee along the Mississippi River, the Orleans Parish/Jefferson Parish boundary line, Brooklyn Avenue, Powder Street, and Pelican Avenue, and a line extending from the centerline of Pelican Avenue to the levee on the West Bank of the Mississippi River.

b. To be eligible for consideration of an increase in the height limit, a development shall meet the design standards above, in addition to the following additional standards.

i. Developments shall include landscaped public open space, public plazas, and/or sidewalk/open air cafes with direct visual access to the River, subject to the Public Plaza Standards and Guidelines contained within Section 17.5.F.2 except that the plaza may be located more than three (3) feet above the adjacent sidewalk area in order to provide better views.

ii. Developments shall be designed utilizing energy efficient design or other innovative sustainable design characteristics, sufficient to achieve a recognized green building certification, such as LEED (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, and which is subject to the Whole Building Sustainability Standards and Guidelines contained within Section 17.5.C.2.

iii. At least ten percent (10%) of dwelling units shall be reserved as affordable for households with incomes equal to or below eighty percent (80%) of area median income (AMI), with at least half of such affordable dwelling units containing two (2) or more bedrooms.  The development shall be subject to the Affordable Housing Standards and Guidelines contained within Sections 17.5.H.2.a and 17.5.H.2.b.  The affordable dwelling units shall be located within the same structure as the market-rate dwelling units in the development, shall be comparable to market-rate dwelling units in the development in terms of exterior design and finishes, and shall not be concentrated in any one area of the development.  

iv.  In lieu of item b.i above, a development may be eligible for a density bonus if the developer makes a substantial contribution to a new floodwall bridge, rail crossing, or other capital improvement which significantly increases public access to the riverfront.  Such an improvement shall only be considered if, at the time of the application, the improvement is included as a priority project in the City's Capital Improvements Plan, and/or included in the City's Capital Budget.  For purposes of this provision, "substantial contribution" shall mean a financial contribution of at least 50% of the cost of the improvement, but not less than $250,000, provided that at the time of the application, commitments exist from other sources ensuring that any remaining funds necessary to complete the cost of the improvement will be available within one (1) year of the date of the application.  For purposes of clarity, any contribution made pursuant to this provision shall not be used to waive the standards provided in subsections b.ii or b.iii above.

c. For any property located within an area defined above, development proposals which incorporate the design standards required in Section b above shall be entitled to the following: (i) an increase in the height limit up to two (2) stories, but no greater than twenty-five (25) feet beyond the height limit of the underlying zoning district, (ii) an increase of an additional 1.5 FAR above the maximum FAR permitted in the underlying zoning district, and (iii) the elimination of any Minimim Lot Area per dwelling unit requirement applicable in an underlying zoning district.

d. All application requesting a development bonus for providing affordable housing shall include an Affordable Housing Impact Statement (AHIS) with the application.  The AHIS shall provide the following information:

i. The number of units added at the Area Medium Income Levels (AMI) at or below 80%, 50%, and 30%.

ii.  The number of units removed at the Area Medium Income Levels at or below 80%, 50%, and 30%.

iii.  The bedroom mix of the unit to be added or removed (1, 2, 3, 4, etc. bedrooms).

iv.  The total number of units added and total number of units removed.

Ord. 27,674 MCS, ยง2, March 6, 2018, Zoning Docket 085-17