The New Orleans City Council voted 6-0 to endorse a proposal by State Rep. Helena Moreno and also sponsored by State Seator J.P. Morrell to increase the maximum fines for violators of any ordinance from $500 to $5000. According to the article, “Councilwoman Jackie Clarkson, who also supports the bill, said the new limit could have a wide-ranging effect on penalties spelled out in city ordinances, including future fines connected to blighted properties and to the controversial sound ordinance that the Landrieu administration and the council are drafting.”
The next MaCCNO meeting will be Wednesday, April 23, 6PM at the Seahorse Saloon, 1648 Gentilly Blvd. We will be discussing the Bourbon St. Sound Ordinance (which will be voted on at the Council Meeting on Thursday), the possibility of raising fines from $500 to $5000, and the move to limit uses on Bayou St. John–including festivals and cultural events.
The ‘Bourbon Street Sound Ordinance’ had its first read at the City Council meeting today. It covers the first six blocks of Bourbon St from Canal, which is zoned as Vieux Carre Entertainment (VCE). There will likely be public comment at the Housing and Human Needs Committee meeting on the 21st, and then a vote by the council on the 24th. Review the proposed legislation and let your city council member know how you feel about the issues at hand.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu recently launched his own noise ordinance review process, separate from the current City Council led effort that is currently focused on Bourbon St. Landrieu has met separately with four groups of stakeholders–musicians, small business owners, tourism officials, and residents. Select representatives from each of these groups are then supposed to attend a follow up meeting, which could then lead to recommendations to changes in the noise ordinance.
MaCCNO Coordinator Ethan Ellestad was at the meeting held for musicians. Also present were Irvin Mayfield, Ellis Marsalis, Big Chief Howard Miller, Tim Laughlin, Craig Klein of Bonerama, lawyer and advocate Ashlye Keaton, Fred Johnson and Todd Higgins of the Black Men of Labor, several members of the Young Fellaz Brass Band (among others), Scott Hutcheson from the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Economy, and of course the Mayor himself. A number of other musicians were invited, but could not make it due to schedule conflicts. The discussion was wide ranging, focusing on issues such as different needs for different neighborhoods, curfew times, mutual respect among musicians, and zoning, permitting and enforcement issues. No decisions were made, as it was a listening session only. It is currently unclear if and when there will be a follow up meeting, and who will represent musicians in the larger group.
MaCCNO will provide more information when we receive it, and if you were at one of the other meetings, please send us a report.
The City Council did not introduce the Bourbon St Noise Ordinance at the March 27th Council Meeting. It will now likely be introduced for first read on April 10th (there is no public comment on first read). It would then go to the Housing and Human Needs Committee on April 21st, and could be voted on by the Council on the 24th. Public comment would be held on both the 21st and 24th. It is unclear how the Mayor’s new process could influence this ordinance, if at all.
MaCCNO is holding an evening meeting this Wednesday, April 2, 6 PM at Buffa’s, 1001 Esplanade. We will be discussing both the Mayor’s and the City Council’s noise ordinance process, follow-up from the elections, and MaCCNO’s upcoming membership drive. Please come out and lend your voice! An open mic will follow the meeting, and happy hour prices will be observed at the bar.
Dave Woolworth will be presenting a summary of his findings related to revising the sound ordinance on Bourbon St. at the Housing and Human Needs meeting tomorrow, Mar 17th, 10AM in City Council Chambers. MaCCNO will live tweet the presentation, but please come if you can.
Runoff elections are being held this Saturday, March 15th. Two council seats remain undecided–District C and one At-Large seat. The outcome of these elections could have a tremendous impact on the cultural landscape of New Orleans, and we urge to research the views of all four candidates. VCPORA (yes, the one and the same) put out voting guides to both races, including several questions related to the cultural economy and the noise ordinance, and serve as a good resource. Click here for the District C guide, with Jackie Clarkson and Nadine Ramsey, and here for the At-Large race between Cynthia Hedge Morrell and Jason Williams. Remember, EVERYONE can vote in the At-Large race. You can find your polling place here.