The City of Gretna City Council unanimously adopted a new Unified Development Code that was drafted by Michael Lauer Planning with the assistance of Dana Brown Associates. The code is a big step forward for this historic community located across the river from New Orleans, including many special features to reinforce the best characteristics while fostering improved compatibility between the historic mix of uses. Key features include:
- Creation of a Planning and Zoning Commission;
- Expanded authority for administrative relief to strict application of landscaping, parking and lot development standards;
- More robust and context sensitive site development and design standards that better reflect the desired building forms;
- Height transition requirements and provisions for height bonuses for developments achieving specific sustainability thresholds
- Consolidation and clarification of development review and approval procedures;
- Creation of neighborhood overlay districts that reflect the historic context of the City’s many neighborhoods;
- More flexible non-conforming use standards that foster continued enhancement of historic businesses;
- Greater flexibility in the design and location of required parking, including expanded opportunities for parking partnerships and waivers in historic districts; and
- A combination of mandates and incentives for the use of green infrastructure.
Subsequent to the unanimous adoption of the Land Use Plan, the City retained Tindale Oliver and Michael Lauer Planning update its land development regulations, with particular focus on:
- Creation of a conservation subdivision district for low density growth areas;
- Creation of cluster standards for suburban residential areas;
- Revision to residential, commercial and industrial design standards;
- Adjustment of density and dimensional standards;
- Parking and loading standards
- Compatibility between districts;
- Tree preservation; and
- Specific use standards.
After reviewing the County’s land development regulations, Michael Lauer Planning drafted an Interim Development Ordinance, which was adopted in late 2018 to simplify and clarify subdivision procedures and establish design guidelines for residential and non-residential development. Subsequently, the County retained Michael Lauer Planning to draft a new Unified Development Ordinance, which is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2019.
The City Council unanimously adopted the Comprehensive Plan update the bolstered the City’s sustainability, open space, mobility, resiliency, parks, utilities, and growth management initiatives. Thanks to Tom Borrup of Creative Community Solutions for facilitating the development of a new Arts, Culture and Creative Economy element to the Plan. Thanks also to the citizens, staff and community leaders who worked so diligently to complete such a meaningful update in less than a year. The included Plan Implementation Program will keep everyone busy as a great City strives to remain one of the best small cities in the country.
The new strategic plan to enhance the Parish’s neighborhoods and housing stock was well received by the JEDCO Board. First steps of the strategy include identifying and selecting two neighborhoods for revitalization pilot programs that will adapt the toolbox presented in the Strategic Plan to create more vibrant and resilient neighborhoods that provide greater diversity in housing choices and better mobility to connect housing to the places where residents can work, learn and play.