City Planning Recommends Amendment to Weaken Citizen Participation in the Master Plan

On Tuesday, February 14, the City Planning Commission voted unanimously (7 to 0) to recommend an Amendment to weaken citizen participation in the Master Plan.  Text Amendment #19 was proposed by the Neighborhood Engagement Office (NEO) to change the language in Volume 3, Chapter 15 of the Master Plan. In the Amendment, NEO sought to insert the Neighborhood Participation Plan (NPP) in the place of a community-based CPP (NPP only focuses inside of City Hall), to remove all references to District Councils (an international best practice), and to remove entire sections of the Master Plan equaling about 3 pages.

City Planning staff reviewed this proposed Amendment, and not only accepted all of NEO’s proposed changes, but also expanded the changes to Volume 2, Chapter 15 of the Master Plan. For a complete look at the proposed changes and staff’s recommendations, please see pages 52 to 55 of the City Planning Commission Staff Report. Now that the City Planning Commission has voted unanimously to accept City Planning staff’s recommendation, City Council will take up the issue (as well as every other Master Plan Amendment). City Planning is expected to send its recommendations to City Council next week, and City Council will have 90 days to accept, reject, or modify CPC’s recommended amendments. If Council chooses to modified the amendments, it will go back to City Planning Commission.

There was no real media coverage of the Master Plan Amendment vote. The only coverage of this meeting comes from NolaStat’s Brian Denzer. He wrote a summary of City Planning Commission’s approval of Text Amendment #19 and published a letter to the media and City Council opposing CPC’s recommendation. Video of the meeting can be found on City Planning’s website video page.

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