Change of Non-Conforming Use

Apply for a Change of Non-Conforming Use when you would like to use land or a building that does not conform to the use regulations of the underlying zoning district. For example an industrial use in a commercial zoning district, or a commercial use in a residential district. 

All land within the city is regulated by the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (CZO). The Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance provides for the enforcement of non-conforming use regulations and the removal of certain non-conforming uses as follows:

  • A non-conforming use may be changed to another non-conforming use of the same or more restrictive classification.
  • A non-conforming use that remains vacant for a continuous period of six (6) months may only be utilized for those uses permitted in the underlying zoning district.


  1. Submit the completed application and all attachments to the Department of Safety & Permits Zoning Division (1340 Poydras St., 8th Floor). Safety and Permits’ Staff will provide you with a letter certifying that a legal nonconforming use has been operating on the premises within the prior six (6) month period. If the Department of Safety & Permits cannot verify the legal, non-conforming status you cannot use this request form.
  2. Submit a Change of Non-Conforming Use Request Letter to the Clerk of Council (1300 Perdido St., Room 1E09).
    • This letter should be addressed as follows:
      Ms. Lora Johnson, Clerk of Council
      City Hall, Room 1E09
      1300 Perdido Street
      New Orleans, LA 70112
    • If the Clerk of Council does not receive a Request Letter, your request will not be placed on the Council’s agenda. The Request Letter should include a copy of your application as an attachment.
  3. ​Submit a copy of the Request Letter to the City Planning Commission (1340 Poydras St., 8th Floor) along with the following items:
    • Fee of $500 (Payable with check or money order to “City of New Orleans”)
    • Floor plan of the proposed new use
    • Site plan showing parking, fencing, sidewalks, etc.
    • Proposed signage
  4. Within thirty (30) days of receipt of all of the above information, the Executive Director of the City Planning Commission will submit to the City Council a written report on the application that includes a recommendation.
  5. ​Upon receipt of the recommendation of the City Planning Commission, the City Council shall conduct a public hearing regarding the petition. The action of the City Council will either: approve, deny or modify the request for Change of Non-Conforming Use and will be done by Motion.
    • The City Council shall only approve the application upon determining that the proposed use is:
      • An existing legal non-conforming use;
      • Not more intense than the previous use;
      • Consistent with the neighborhood in which it is located; and
      • Providing a needed service for the neighborhood.
  6. Within thirty (30) days of Adoption of a Motion to Approve by the City Council, the applicant may proceed to the Department of Safety & Permits with the submitted floor plans and a copy of the Motion to authorize the use and to apply for permit(s) through the regular permitting process.
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