Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Many American legal systems require that zoning regulations and decisions be “in accord with a comprehensive plan,” as stated in the Standard Zoning Enabling Act. This principle is often given merely lip service in practice, however. When it comes to site-specific zoning decisions, immediate desires often take prominence. But in New Orleans, the citizens will vote next week on whether to give a Master Plan “the force of law,” in an effort to slow down ad hoc zoning decisions. One problem: the applicable master plan has yet to be written. Given the city’s history of public distrust of government, this may be a hurdle for the amendment. The proposal also would require a system for effective “neighborhood participation” in government. Effective and government haven’t always co-existed easily in New Orleans …
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