Thursday, June 15, 2006

Neighborhood planning rules to be decided on Saturday

A colleague sent the following announcement:

I am urging you to attend an important meeting this Saturday, beginning at 8:30am, related to the final structure of the group that will oversee the official city-wide and neighborhood planning process.

It is to be held at the offices of the Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF):

1055 St. Charles Avenue, Suite 100 (this is the K&B Building located on Lee Circle across the street from the "Circle Bar")

The phone number is: (504) 598-4663

As most of you know, the "planning process" is the means by which the City is to develop comprehensive rebuilding plans for infrastructure, public space and buildings, hazard mitigation, and large-scale housing ("buy-out" homes, abandoned and adjudicated property, etc.). These plans are then used to secure federal recovery funds allocated through LRA, other non-recovery federal grants, private investment, etc. In addition, the process should also be the means by which the city develops land use ordinances and other policies to implement recovery projects. For the above reasons, a unified process, with all branches of city government supporting and involved, is essential.

As you may also know, the beginnings of an official city-wide and neighborhood planning process has been taking shape for several weeks. The Rockefeller Foundation, in partnership with the Greater New Orleans Foundation, is funding and developing the framework for the planning process, through the efforts of Steven Bingler, LRA's Orleans Parish Planning Coordinator, as well as with input from other groups and, presumably, city officials.

The lead entity in this process is to be the "Community Support Organization" (CS)). It will oversee the work of planning to be done for city-wide infrastructure projects and neighborhood redevelopment plans for the 13 planning districts of the city.

ON SATURDAY, THE FINAL STRUCTURE OF THE COMMUNITY SUPPORT ORGANIZATION IS TO BE APPROVED by the "New Orleans Support Board," which was created through GNOF to develop the make-up of the Community Support Organization (CSO). The CSO is proposed to include:

(1) appointee from the Mayor's Office

(1) appointee from the City Council

(1) appointee from the City Planning Commission

(1) appointee from GNOF

(2-4) appointees on behalf of "city-wide non-governmental organizations currently working to support the neighborhood planning process"

(5) appointees "selected from nominations submitted by individual neighborhood organizations."


1) That you didn't know about this meeting or the development of the CSO suggests that, while it is a good faith effort in moving forward, there remains a serious breakdown in public communication.

2) It has yet to be decided what rules will apply to the CSO for the structure of public meetings, dissemination of information, public notice and comment, and formal decision making (timelines, mandates, etc.)

3) The Council and Mayor have not official approved of this unified process. It cannot take place without their official approval.

4) It has still not been decided how the planning currently being done under the City Council's contract with the "Lambert Group" will be incorporated into this unified process.

5) It has still not been decided how the numerous other non-profits, universities, and other groups, that are NOT APPOINTED TO THE CSO, will be able to formally advise this process and incorporate the volume of work that has already been done.

I am reaching out to you as respected, professional, and talented advocates who have been involved in this process. Your awareness of the process that is unfolding, and, more importantly, your informed involvement is critical to its success. Without you, and without a process that engenders the public's trust and full involvement, our recovery as a city will be seriously diminished from what it could be otherwise.


At 6/15/2006 04:52:00 PM, Blogger Lady Morwen said...

Thanks for posting this!

I've been working with the GCIA for months, and this is the first I've heard of this. I smell money and the creatures that will make it off of us and our city.

I'll be there.

At 6/15/2006 11:08:00 PM, Blogger bayoustjohndavid said...

I'm trying not to be so obstructionist, I really am. But one meeting with so little advance notice. This isn't the first public meeting with little public notice, just the biggest. Well, the biggest yet.

If they're going to have it on a Saturday, why so early? Had this happenned a few years ago, I'd go with a group as the final stop of an all nighter. As it is, I have more serious problems with Saturday mornings. Obviously, there's no perfect time, but there is the ability to publicize these things. I'll stop before I use profanity on another person's site.

At 6/16/2006 10:13:00 AM, Anonymous Editor B said...

I'm a bit disappointed by this. I called the phone number listed and was told to call Concordia at 928-3376. I did, and spoke to a very polite person who assured me that the process was not meant to be exclusionary in any way. She said they'd been working with Nathan Shroyer and Neighborhoods Planning Network to facilitate nominations from some of the neighborhood "umbrella" groups. I explained that I was calling on behalf of Mid-City Neighborhood Organization and that we'd like to nominate someone for the CSO, but we're only hearing about it now and how can we nominate anyone legitimately in such short time? She encouraged us to have a representative at the Saturday meeting but it seemed clear that the five neighborhood reps have already been chosen. She emphasized that we would have ample opportunity to participate in future steps, in the actual planning process.

At 6/16/2006 01:03:00 PM, Anonymous Adrastos said...

I'm pissed off by this. I can't make it and none of my peeps can either. They've clearly pre-cooked this meeting.

At 6/17/2006 06:24:00 AM, Blogger nathan said...

I find it a little weird how I posted a response to your posting my name. I posted contact information if anyone needed to reach me or wanted to ask me questions and it has not been published. ´weird... I am copying myself to remind me to keep checking.


At 6/17/2006 06:27:00 AM, Blogger nathan said...

could have been my mistake. here again is my info 504-208-1575. Before publishing my name and suggesting their is information which you have about my actions or activity please ask me. Thanks you. I am always happy to provide information on the subject of my involvement supporting neighborhoods in their collective effort to win a voice in their own redevelopment after teh Katrina. Most everyone who knows me or has attended an NPN meeting would probably tell you that the one thing we do do is ditribute information. Thanks again. Please feel free to call me anytime.

At 6/17/2006 12:51:00 PM, Anonymous adrastos said...

Nathan, are you involved in the meeting thingee? If so, I feel better about it.

At 6/19/2006 08:23:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Are you still working for Concordia?

At 7/06/2006 05:50:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nathan no longer works for Concordia, in fact he has been pulled off the website as well POOF..Seems he is just the Saviour now


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