New Orleans Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance

Printed: 9/25/2023 6:09:16 PM

5.3 Planned Development Exceptions from District Regulations

A.  A planned development is subject to the underlying zoning district regulations unless the City Council grants an exception, after City Planning Commission consideration. Exceptions from district regulations may be granted for planned developments, if the City Planning Commission and City Council find that such exceptions meet the following standards.

  1. The planned development, including all proposed exceptions, is consistent with the Master Plan and the character and nature of existing and future development in the vicinity of the proposed planned development. This includes compatibility with the character established within the place districts of the City: General Planned Development District, Maritime Mixed-Use District, Historic Core Neighborhood Districts, Historic Urban Neighborhood Districts, Suburban Districts, Commercial Center Districts, and Centers for Industry.
  2. For use exceptions, the applicant shall provide a rationale for how proposed use exceptions are aligned with the intent of the planned development, are compatible with uses existing or anticipated to occur upon the adjacent sites, and will be properly screened or buffered from adjacent properties as needed to minimize potential negative impacts. Use exceptions are prohibited in any single-family or two-family residential district in the Historic Core Neighborhood and Historic Urban Neighborhood Districts with the exception of allowing a multi-family use as part of the adaptive reuse of an existing industrial, commercial, or institutional structure as described in Section 5.2.C.2. or multifamily use as part of a planned development containing affordable housing units in accordance with Section 5.10.

3.  Where applicable, the exceptions allow the planned development to preserve unusual topographic or natural features of the land. In addition, the exceptions provide more usable and suitably located open space and natural amenities than would otherwise be provided under the strict application of district standards.

4.  Where applicable, the exceptions allow the planned development to implement innovative design features that would not be possible by application of the basic district regulations. This includes sustainable green design techniques, adaptive reuse of existing structures, and cluster development.

5.  The physical characteristics of the planned development, including all proposed exceptions, will not adversely affect the future development of adjacent undeveloped areas.

6.  The planned development, including all proposed exceptions, will continue to provide the same protection as the underlying district regulations in regard to fire, health hazards, and other dangers.

7.  The planned development yields “cumulative public benefits as determined pursuant to Sec. 5.3.B.”

8. Exceptions to district regulations may be granted when such modifications do not negatively affect the value and enjoyment of surrounding property, the provision of municipal services, or the flow of traffic.

9. Where affordable housing is provided as described in Section 5.10.B.

  1. The underlying zoning district requirements apply, unless an exception is granted as part of the planned development approval. To be granted an exception to district regulations within a planned development, the applicant shall demonstrate a substantial benefit to the City. Aspects that contribute to a substantial benefit include, but are not limited to, superior design, enhanced amenities within the development, affordable housing, and a commitment to the use of appropriate sustainable green design techniques as follows:

1.  The applicant shall commit to the use of sustainable design and architecture, such as the use and/or incorporation of green roofs, blue roofs, bio-swales, solar panels, wind turbines, and other energy efficient design concepts, new building technologies, and structures that meet the standards of 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. This requirement does not apply to a planned development for adaptive reuse, however those practices are encouraged.

2.  The applicant shall demonstrate superior design and enhanced amenities. The following design characteristics and amenities are provided as a guide for consideration as to whether to grant an exception to district requirements. The following items are a guide and not an exclusive list of requirements. Additional design characteristics and public benefits and amenities not listed below may be considered as part of the approval process.

a.  Enhanced design characteristics including, but not limited to  circulation systems that utilize alleys or traffic-calming techniques, and a pedestrian-oriented environment.

b.   Community amenities including plazas, malls, formal gardens, places to congregate, outdoor seating, public art, and pedestrian and transit facilities.

c.  Preservation of natural areas.

d.  Historic preservation.

e.  Adaptive reuse.

f.  Additional open space and recreational amenities such as recreational open space and playgrounds, including athletic fields, dog parks, and natural water features and conservation areas.

g. Additional public infrastructure improvements in addition to the minimum required by the planned development, such as new or repaved streets, provision of bicycle paths, installation of gutters and sewers, and traffic control devices to improve traffic flow.

h. Affordable housing.

i. Senior housing set-aside.

j.  Provision of accessible dwelling units with accessible features beyond what is required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or any other applicable codes.

k.  Provision of car and/or bicycle sharing facilities or other transit-oriented development best practices.