Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mastering New Orleans? …

New_orleans_city_seal    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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