New Orleans Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance

Printed: 9/28/2023 9:26:02 AM

25.3.G.8 Existing Racetracks

A horse or dog racetrack may be operated in conjunction with pari-mutuel wagering between the hours of 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. when approved as a conditional use, provided that:

a. The horse or dog track complies with all City ordinances governing and/or prescribing the following:

i. Proper setbacks for lighting systems including, without limitation, all parking lot lighting and security light systems.

ii. Landscape, drainage, fence placement, and fence design.

iii. Size, height, and location of structures, including without limitation stables, barns, grandstands, parking garages, office structures, and lighting standards.

b. Assurances are provided to the City Council that all applicable State laws are complied with, including approval by the Louisiana State Racing Commission.

c. The horse or dog track complies with all other ordinances and legal requirements governing land use and development.

d. All field lights and racecourse illumination systems are directed and placed so as to minimize the effects on neighboring residential properties. Further, such systems do not employ candlepower in excess of the minimum required for the horse or dog racing events. The Council may hire an expert of its selection to examine and inspect any such lighting system so as to insure compliance with this provision, the cost for which to be paid by the applicant. The report and recommendations of such expert shall be conclusive as to whether or not there has been compliance with this section. A plan for all lighting systems shall be formulated, submitted, and approved with the application for the conditional use.

e. All field lights and racecourse illumination systems shall be turned off no later than 8:30 p.m., and all parking light systems shall be turned off no later than 8:45 p.m. on any evening during which night or twilight racing events are held. Such lighting systems shall otherwise be turned off by 6:30 p.m., except when night repair work is essential and prior approval from the Director of Safety and Permits has been obtained. It is recognized that emergencies can occur, such as a horse or jockey injury, and, in such cases, there is an automatic exception to the provisions of this section. However, it is specifically recognized that the inability of track patrons to exit the parking lot by 8:45 p.m. because of excessive traffic does not constitute an emergency.

f. The horse or dog track shall implement a plan prescribed by the City Council for ingress to and egress from its facilities. The plan shall minimize the impact of vehicular and pedestrian traffic in surrounding neighborhoods. Except for racetracks that have been in existence for three (3) years or longer at the time of the passage of this Ordinance, all vehicular and pedestrian gates, driveways, or walkways shall be closed to the general public during all hours of operation on any day in which race events will be held after 6:30 p.m. except gates on a major street. The horse or dog track shall also provide, at its expense, personnel to control traffic as it enters and exits the major street gates, driveways, or walkways.

g. The horse or dog track shall take all necessary steps to control litter along the perimeter of its property. A plan for litter control shall be formulated, submitted and approved with the application for the conditional use permit.

h. Night or twilight racing is limited to two (2) evenings per week.

i. In the event that any condition of the conditional use is violated, the City Council, on its own motion or on the petition of any interested or affected person, will undertake revocation proceedings.

j. Waivers or variances to these provisions by the Board of Zoning Adjustment are prohibited. Waivers or variances may be granted by the City Council, following recommendation by the City Planning Commission.