City Planning Commission Approves Neighborhood Participation Program

At the July 24 City Planning Commission (CPC) meeting, the Commission voted 5 to 0 to approve the Neighborhood Participation Program (NPP). This program will transform how residents are notified and engaged in land use decision in their community. The NPP will increase the mail notification radius, require sign postings, and use technology to improve notice of development in the community. It will also require that developers meet with the neighbors and submit a report of he meeting prior to submitting their development request application to City Planning.

By approving the NPP, the City Planning Commission has approved the first substantial component of the New Orleans Citizen Participation Program (NOLA CPP). The NOLA CPP Model calls for an Early Notification System (ENS) to inform and involve neighborhood residents early in the decision making process. While using a different name, CPC’s NPP is essential an ENS. This approval represents a significant advancement for community engagement in New Orleans, and we would like to thank the City Planning Commission and its staff for all of their great work on the NPP.

City Planning’s NPP now goes to City Council for their review and final adoption. City Council may act on the NPP as soon as August, and we will let you know when the NPP is on City Council’s agenda. In addition to Council approval, City Planning will need funding to implement this plan. The improved notifications are expected to cost about $55,000, and City Planning has submitted an offer to the Administration for the 2013 budget. If you want to see this plan in action, please contact the Administration and Council to support this budget request.


Public Forum on Journalism in New Orleans

Where do we go from here?

Wednesday, August 8, 6:30 – 9p @ Loyola University Nunemaker Auditorium, Monroe Hall, 2700 Calhoun St. 

Unprecedented changes are sweeping the New Orleans journalism landscape. Leaders in radio, television, newspapers, websites and blogs are all responding to coming changes at The Times-Picayune, as well as long-developing trends in the different ways that audiences consume news. But where’s the voice of the community in all this? The New Orleans Coalition on Open Governance (NOCOG) believes that community voices matter and that citizens should be involved in the reconstruction of our new media landscape. NOCOG, in partnership with the Foundation for LouisianaGNO Inc. and Loyola University School of Mass Communications, is hosting a Public Forum on Journalism in New Orleans, which will include a panel of national media researchers and practitioners discussing broad new trends in journalism and then invite audience members to describe the kind of news and information they want and need. Learn more about this event here.

WHAT: A Public Forum on Journalism in New Orleans.This public forum, which will be simulcast live on, will include a panel of national media researchers and practitioners discussing broad new trends in journalism and then invite audience members to describe the kind of news and information they want and need.  Media leaders will hear from news consumers: ‘What’s working?’ ‘What’s not working?’ ‘What are the news and information priorities of the community?’ ‘How do we amplify those voices that are oftentimes marginalized to create more equity?’

The forum will be supplemented by a public survey which will ask the community about their news and information needs. Information gathered from the forum and surveys will lead to a report, providing the region’s news-gathering institutions with feedback to help guide their coverage in ways that meet audience’s needs.

WHO: New Orleans Coalition on Open Governance in partnership with the Foundation for Louisiana, GNO Inc. and Loyola University School of Mass Communications are sponsoring this event. Panelists include:

  • Kevin Davis – CEO, Executive Director of the Investigative News Network (INN)
  • Kelly McBride – Senior Faculty, Ethics, Reporting and Writing for Poynter Institute
  • Chris Sopher – Journalism Program Associate for Knight Foundation
  • Jamal Watkins – Chief of Staff, Center for Social Inclusion
  • Keith Woods – Vice President for Diversity in News and Operations, NPR

For more information contact NOCOG Communications Director Deborah Cotton at

Nomination Deadline for Bryan Bell Metropolitan Leadership Forum

The deadline for nominations for this year’s Bryan Bell Metropolitan Leadership Forum (BBMLF) is sneaking up on us:  July 25, less than a week away.  The BBMLF has sought to identify emerging community leaders and stimulate their interest and involvement in community service.  We are still looking for more nominees, so please take a moment to consider friends and colleagues who would benefit from — and contribute to — this year’s Forum.  Here is the BBMLF description and this year’s nomination form.  As always, self-nominations are more than welcome, so please circulate this widely.
Keith Twitchell
(504) 267-4666

City Council votes to send Text Amendment #19 back to City Planning

At their June 28 meeting, City Council approved most of the recommendations from the City Planning Commission (CPC) on proposed changes to the Master Plan. About a dozen of the proposed Amendments were sent back to the CPC for more public comment and review. Among the Master Plan Amendments sent back to CPC was Text Amendment #19, which would remove District Councils from the Master Plan.

District Councils are an essential component of the proposed New Orleans Citizen Participation Program (NOLA CPP) and an international best practice. Because of this, we are opposed to Text Amendment #19. City Planning Commission will hold a public hearing and vote another recommendation on Text Amendment #19, at their August 28th meeting.  Regardless of CPC’s recommendation, the final decision will be made by City Council within 30 days of receiving the recommendation from City Planning. At the previous vote, CPC voted in favor of Text Amendment #19

We encourage you to provide your input by emailing the City Planning Commission at Please reference Text Amendment #19 in the subject. You can also attend the public hearing and vote, which will be Tuesday, August 28 sometime after 1:30pm. The final decision will be made by City Council, so go here to find the contact information for Council. Please contact Nick Kindel at 267-4665 or if you have any questions.


Update: The City Planning Commission has said that the vote on the Master Plan Amendments will be at their August 28th meeting, which will begin at 1:30pm.

City Planning to vote on Neighborhood Participation Plan on July 24

The City Planning Commission (CPC) has developed a draft Neighborhood Participation Program (NPP). Some of the improvements proposed in the draft NPP include greater City Planning notification requirements, require developers meet with neighborhoods prior to submitting their application, and other improvements to get resident and neighborhood involvement in City Planning Commission decision making process. You can view the draft NPP plan on City Planning Commission’s website. This plan may be revised based on comments made by the public. We will let you know when we receive this revised plan.

The Planning Commission will vote on the proposed NPP plan its July 24 meeting in City Council chambers. The public hearing and vote will take place no earlier than 3pm. If have any comments, please attend this meeting. If you cannot attend the meeting, you can email you comments to Please put NPP in the subject line. If the draft NPP is approved by CPC, it will go to City Council for final approval.