City Archives
New Orleans Public Library

New Orleans (La.) City Council.
Zoning Dockets
Date range: 1942-2003 [bulk, 1954-2003]
Size of collection: 78 boxes
Terms of Access: Available to registered researchers by appointment; in-house access only permitted

Historical Note

The City's first comprehensive zoning ordinance was adopted by the Commission Council in 1929. For a brief discussion of zoning practices before that date, and a description of the records created while the ordinance was being crafted, see "City Planning and Zoning Commission. Records relating to the creation of the 1929 Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance. The ordinance, in addition to specifying permitted uses within the City's several zoning districts, also included provisions for its administration and set forth the process by which it could be amended. Essentially, the amendment procedure was initiated by application to the City Planning and Zoning Commission (later the City Planning Commission) which would gather information on the change request, hold a public hearing, and issue a report and recommendation to the Council. The Council then had a specified period of time to approve, disapprove, or amend the Commission's recommendation. On approval, the zoning change became law through passage of an ordinance.

Scope Note

Prior to 1954 the records for each zoning docket were filed with the Official Proceedings of the Council. A small group of dockets from that period are filed separately (for a list, see Early zoning dockets, 1942-1945 series below).

Beginning in 1954 the records are filed in order by their docket numbers (e.g., #14/55 being the 14th docket filed in the year 1955). In the earlier years, at least, the Clerk of Council also assigned a petition number to each record received from the Planning Commission, but filed the dockets according to the Commission's designations.

Each zoning docket is filed in a separate folder. Contents of the folders vary over the years, but they generally include a copy of the Planning Commission's report and recommendation (except for the 1973-1987 period, in which the reports and recommendations were discarded because they duplicated the City Planning Commission's version of the records--see below) and the Council's decision on the matter (in the more recent dockets, at least, in the form of the motion and/or ordinance adopted by the Council). Individual dockets may also include all or some of the following: public notices, transmittal letters, corresspondence and/or petitions from supporters/opponents of the zoning matter, lists of neighboring property owners, maps, plans, and photographs. The Archives has not retained copies of approved site plans produced in the zoning process; those documents were filed with the Register of Conveyances and are retained in that office.

Some individual dockets are missing from the main body of records. At least some of those items are filed in a separate collection of "strays," and are listed in separate series below as "Stray" zoning dockets, 1965-1996. Many of these "stray" dockets are administrative amendments to previously approved dockets (these are listed with the year in which the amendment was approved), others were withdrawn from consideration, and others may simply not have been refiled after being used. Some pre-1954 dockets may also be missing from the Official Proceedings, but we have made no effort to identify them individually.

Related Records

The Archives also holds the records of the City Planning and Zoning Commission (later City Planning Commission) for the years 1923-1987 in bound volumes. The Commission began filing the zoning dockets in separate volumes in 1954; prior to that time zoning matters are filed along with the minutes of the meetings at which they came under consideration. There is considerable duplication of material between the Commission and the Council records, but in theory at least, the latter version may include documentation of actions taken after the Commission's report and recommendation were forwarded to the Council for action.

Inventory

The records were received and processed by the Archives at several different times and thus are arranged in separate subseries.

  • Series 1: 1954-1973 (18 boxes)

    • Box 1:   1/54 - 43/54
    • Box 1:   1/55 - 40/55
    • Box 2:   41/55 - 50/55
    • Box 2:   1/56 - 43/56
    • Box 3:   44/56 - 49/56
    • Box 4:   1/57 - 55/57
    • Box 5:   1/58 - 38/58
    • Box 5:   1/59 - 30/59
    • Box 6:   31/59 - 52/59
    • Box 6:   1/60 - 62/60
    • Box 3:   63/60 - 70/60
    • Box 3:   1/61 - 48/61
    • Box 7:   49/61 - 59/61
    • Box 7:   1/62 - 50/62
    • Box 7:   1/63 - 12/63
    • Box 8:   13/63 - 58/63
    • Box 8:   1/64 - 22/64
    • Box 9:   23/64 - 49/64
    • Box 9:   1/65 - 26/65
    • Box 10:   27/65 - 50/65
    • Box 10:   2/66 - 35/66
    • Box 11:   37/66 - 66/66
    • Box 11:   1/67 - 22/67
    • Box 12:   22/67 - 41/67
    • Box 12:   1/68 - 34/68
    • Box 12:   1/69 - 8/69
    • Box 9:   9/69 - 23/69
    • Box 13:   24/69 - 40/69
    • Box 13:   1/70 - 38/70
    • Box 14:   39/70 - 45/70
    • Box 14:   1/71 - 38/71
    • Box 11:   39/71 - 44/71
    • Box 15:   46/71 - 58/71
    • Box 15:   1/72 - 22/72
    • Box 16:   23/72 - 59/72
    • Box 17:   60/72 - 65/72
    • Box 17:   1/73 - 41/73
    • Box 18:   43/73 - 71/73

  • Series 2: 1973-1997 (36 boxes)

    1973-1982

    • Box 1:   20/73 - 7/75
    • Box 2:   8/75 - 10/77
    • Box 3:   11/77 - 53/78
    • Box 4:   54/78 - 28/79
    • Box 5:   1/80 - 2/81
    • Box 6:   3/81 - 57/81
    • Box 7:   58/81 - 49/82
    • Box 8:   51/82 - 105/82

    1983 - 1988

    • Box 1:   1/83 - 90/83
    • Box 2:   91/83 - 142/83 [#109 - 125 are missing]
    • Box 3:   1/84 - 61/84
    • Box 4:   62/84 - 30/85
    • Box 5:   31/85 - 90/85
    • Box 6:   84/85 - 139/85
    • Box 7:   1/86 - 76/86
    • Box 8:   77/86 - 37/87
    • Box 9:   38/87 - 5/88
    • Box 10:   6/88 - 44/88
    • Box 11:   45/88 - 100/88
    • Box 12:   101/88 - 49/89
    • Box 13:   50/89 - 98/89

    1990 - 1992

    • Box 1:   1/90 - 51/90
    • Box 2:   53/90 - 1/91
    • Box 3:   2/91 - 56/91
    • Box 4:   58/91 - 121/91
    • Box 5:   1/92 - 77/95
    • Box 6:   78/92 - 122/92

    1993 - 1995

    • Box 1:   1/93 - 77/93
    • Box 2:   78/93 - 30/94
    • Box 3:   34/97 - 106/94
    • Box 4:   107/94 - 35/95
    • Box 5:   36/95 - 91/95

    1996 - 1997

    • Box 1:   1/96 - 85/96
    • Box 2:   86/96 - 148/96
    • Box 3:   1/97 - 70/97
    • Box 4:   71/97 - 131/97

  • Series 3: 1998 - 2003 (11 boxes)

    • Box 1:   1/98 - 96/98
    • Box 11:   32/98 - 76/98
    • Box 2:   97/98 - 130/98
    • Box 2:   2/99 - 27/99
    • Box 3:   29/99 - 77/99
    • Box 4:   78/99 - 111/99
    • Box 4:   01/00 - 14/00
    • Box 5:   15/00 - 80/00
    • Box 6:   81/00 - 101/00
    • Box 6:   1/01 - 16/01
    • Box 7:   17/01 - 89/01
    • Box 8:   90/01 - 101/01
    • Box 8:   1/02 - 60/02
    • Box 9:   70/02 - 108/02
    • Box 9:   1/03 - 37/03
    • Box 10:   38/03 - 108/03

  • Series 4: 2004 - 2007 (10 boxes)

    • Box 1:   1/04 - 34/04
    • Box 2:   35/04 - 58/04
    • Box 3:   59/04 - 102/04
    • Box 4:   103/04 - 117/04
    • Box 4:   1/05 - 17/05
    • Box 5:   18/05 - 43/05
    • Box 6:   44/05 - 105/05
    • Box 7:   2/06 - 52/06
    • Box 8:   53/06 - 71/06
    • Box 8:   1/07 - 31/07
    • Box 9:   32/07 - 87/07
    • Box 10:   88/07 - 141/07

  • Series: Early Zoning Dockets, 1942-1945 (1 box)

    • Box 1
      1942:   285/42, 286/42, 287/42, 288/42
      1943:   290/43
      1944:   298/44, 304/44, 307/44, 308/44
      1945:   313/45, 314/45, 316/45, 322/45, 324/45

  • Series: "Stray" zoning dockets, 1965-1996 (2 boxes)

    • Box 1
      39/65 (1991)
      44/79 (1990)
      54/79
      56/79
      11/81 (1989)
      44/81
      48/81 (1986)
      65/81
      66/81
      54/82
      54/82 (1988)
      54/82 (1991)
      54/82 (1984)
      54/82 (1987)
      75/82 (1989)
      96/82 (1986)
      97/82 (1986)
      105/82 (1991)
      109/83
      111-112/83
      115-125/83
      127/83
      20/84 (1988)
      42/84 (1986)
      64/84 (1996)
      76/84 (1987)
      76/84 (1991)
      83/84 (1991)
      27/85 (1990)
      27/85 (1995)
      53/85 (1989)
      68/91 (2001)
      119/91
      32/92
      55/92
      57/92
      83/92
      118/92 (1995)
      118/92 (1996)

    • Box 2
      10/93
      48/93
      84/93 (1995)
      111/93 (1995)
      8/94
      22-23/94
      28/94
      31-32/94
      41/94
      44-45/94
      54/94
      67/94
      76/94
      87/94
      111-112/94
      119/94
      132/94
      144/94
      16/95
      8/96
      10/96
      20/96
      49/96
      57/96
      64/96
      82/96
      88/96
      91/96


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3/27/2014; updated 12/3/2014