New Orleans Wants to Loosen Zoning Restrictions in the Lower 9th Ward

New Orleans could make it easier to build new homes on small lots in the struggling Lower 9th Ward.
December 4, 2018, 2pm PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"The New Orleans City Council wants to ease zoning rules in the Lower 9th Ward in an effort to spur more home building in a neighborhood that has long suffered from a lack of investment and economic development," reports Jessica Williams.

The City Planning Commission has thus been tasked to craft new zoning regulations that would "allow construction of single-family homes and two-family homes on 30-foot-wide lots." Parcels of that size are too small for construction under the city's current zoning code, but they can be found in abundance in the Lower 9th Ward.

The changes are considered an incentive to attract new investment to the Lower 9th Ward, where the effects of Hurricane Katrina and the shortcomings of the relief efforts that followed are still deeply apparent, according to Williams.

The potential for changes to the zoning code in the Lower 9th Ward is the latest in a flurry of housing-related planning activity in New Orleans and the Lower 9th Ward in 2018. The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority announced a new development subsidy program for the Lower 9th Ward in October. In citywide efforts, the City Planning Commission released a report charting a path for the city toward "potentially mandatory" inclusionary zoning and the city spent much of the year tweaking its short-term rental regulations.

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Published on Sunday, December 2, 2018 in The Advocate
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