The Board of Zoning Adjustments (BZA) has the power to hear and decide requests for variances under Section 14.6 of the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (CZO). The BZA has the authority to grant variances to any yard or setback standard, to reduce lot area per dwelling unit, to allow increased floor area ratio (except in the Central Business District), to reduce the number of required off-street parking or loading spaces, to reduce required setbacks between buildings, and to allow smaller open space. The BZA may also grant special exceptions upon finding that the exception will not substantially adversely affect the adjacent or neighboring properties.
The Board does not have the authority to grant height or floor area ratio variances in the Central Business District or to grant minimum site size or off-street parking variances for religious institutions that exceed 30% of the requirements, or grant any other variance specifically reserved by ordinance to the City Council.
It is the policy of the City of New Orleans, pursuant to the federal Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 and applicable state laws, to provide individuals with disabilities reasonable accommodation in the City’s zoning and land use regulations, rules, policies and practices to ensure equal access to housing and to facilitate the development of housing for individuals with disabilities. Reasonable accommodations in the zoning and land use context means providing individuals with disabilities, or developers of housing for people with disabilities, flexibility in the application of land use, zoning and building regulations, policies, practices and procedures, or even waiving certain requirements, when it is necessary to eliminate barriers to housing opportunities.
Requests for reasonable accommodation should be filed with the Executive Director of the City Planning Commission, in accordance with Article 27 of the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance. Appeals of the CPC Director’s decision on an accommodation may be taken to the Board of Zoning Adjustments, which meets the first Monday of every month.