A master plan can be simply defined as a tool to guide the future development in an area. The State of Louisiana requires that a master plan shall be adopted to guide the physical development of a municipality or parish (Louisiana Revised Statue 33:106). The City of New Orleans is currently in the process of updating and revising its Master Plan and Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (CZO).
Master planning on the neighborhood level can be utilized for many purposes including:
An advantage of neighborhood planning is the opportunity for residents to serve as major stakeholders in helping to create a plan that will be practical and relevant in dealing with neighborhood problems. A master plan should contain a specific citizen participation component which can clearly define procedures to guide citizen and neighborhood involvement in the planning process.
Neighborhood participation with respect to planning issues is sometimes reactive in nature and limited to a handful of neighbors showing up at public hearings. However, neighborhood participation in the planning process should be proactive and can take on many forms such as:
In the summer of 2008 the City of New Orleans will begin the process of updating and revising the Master Plan and Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance. It is important for neighborhoods to remain up-to-date about this process as there will be many opportunities for individual and neighborhood participation.
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More information about the Master Plan and Neighborhoods Planning can be found here:
City Planning Commission – Master Plan Elements:
New Orleans City Planning Commission Neighborhood Planning Guide: http://www.cityofno.com/pg-52-22-neighborhood-planning-guide.aspx
American Planning Association (APA) Policy Guide on Neighborhood Planning: http://www.planning.org/policyguides/neighborhood.htm
University of New Orleans Department of Planning and Urban Studies: http://planning.uno.edu/
Unified New Orleans Plan (UNOP) District Plans: http://www.unifiedneworleansplan.com/home3/choose/