Home Rule Charter Amendment on Planning Benefits Communities
Monday, November 3, 2008
The American Planning Association supports the Home Rule Charter Amendment on Planning.
CHICAGO — New Orleans voters can strengthen good community planning tomorrow and become a role model for the nation by adopting the Home Rule Charter Amendment. The amendment would ensure that development in the city is consistent with the vision and values of citizens expressed through strong comprehensive planning. The American Planning Association believes adopting this amendment will strengthen good planning practices and create strong neighborhoods of lasting value for all citizens.
The Home Rule Charter Amendment will elevate the importance of the Master Plan—the blueprint and roadmap for the future of the city. The proposed amendment guarantees that the public and all neighborhoods will be an essential part of the planning process, and once adopted, the Master Plan will be an essential part in the future land-use and development decision-making process. This amendment would ensure vital citizen engagement in shaping the future of the city and hold decision makers accountable to that vision.
Too often, communities engage their residents in exciting planning exercises for the future, raising expectations in the process, but then fail to require that development be consistent with the plan. Why? Because the plan has no force of law and decision-makers are not required to follow it. Instead, many times development applications are approved in an arbitrary and ad hoc manner. The goals and policies in the plan are disregarded in favor of short-term deals for special interests. The Home Rule Charter Amendment would end this process, and instead, establish a new standard for good government that is responsible, equitable and achieves the goals of local residents for their future.
The public wins if the New Orleans charter amendment is approved by voters on November 4. Communities around the country may be encouraged to follow New Orleans ’s example. The American Planning Association applauds the City of New Orleans and the City Council, which unanimously placed this charter amendment on the ballot. Now it’s time for the voters to speak loud and clear in demanding good planning and local accountability. A win for the Home Rule Charter Amendment will be a major step forward in the rebuilding and revitalization of New Orleans .
The American Planning Association and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the art, science and profession of good planning — physical, economic and social — so as to create communities that offer better choices for where and how people work and live. Learn more at http://www.planning.org/ .