Issue Spotlights

Zoning 101

planning, preservation & zonings

Zoning 101

The terminology used in city planning measures can many times be exclusive and hard to understand. However, the City Planning Commission (CPC) has simplified the most frequent terms that community members should be familiar with in order to get involved in the planning, and rebuilding process for their neighborhoods with regards to zoning and how land in your districts can be used. In the City of New Orleans, land use is regulated by a document called the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (CZO).

The CZO tells you what land uses are permitted in each zoning district. These districts are generally divided into three classifications: residential, commercial and industrial, with each district broken down further into sub-districts. The ordinance also lays out other standards and requirements, such as the minimum lot size, minimum lot width, dimension of setbacks, height restrictions and building coverage. It contains definitions that will help you understand the terminology used throughout the ordinance. There are general provisions that apply to every zoning district and that deals with issues like non-conforming properties (and uses), accessory structures, fencing, signage and even standards for paving can be found in the CZO. To determine the current zoning of a particular property, you would first look at the zoning map to see what district your property falls in and then consult the current zoning ordinance.

Created By: The City Planning Commission


To apply for an exception to the zoning map for your district:

For the City Planning Commission’s Zoning FAQ’s please visit:

For Frequently Asked Questions about General Zoning Laws visit FreeAdvice:

Planning District Maps for your district can be found here:

New Orleans Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance:


More Information about the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance can be found on the City Planning Commission’s homepage: