Development Plan and Design Review Application

The design review process is intended to promote orderly development and redevelopment in the city and to assure that such development or redevelopment occurs in a manner that is harmonious with the surrounding properties, is consistent with the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance and Master Plan, and promotes the general welfare of the city. It provides for standards to ensure the compatibility of land uses, buildings and structures; to protect and enhance community property values; to ensure the efficient use of land; to minimize traffic and safety hazards; and to ensure efficient parking layout.

When is a Design Review necessary?

A Design Review application should be used for the following: 

  • Development within Design Overlay Districts
    • RIV - Riverfront Design Overlay Districts
    • CPC - Character Preservation Corridor Design Overlay Districts 
    • EC - Enhancement Corridor Design Overlay Districts
    • CT - Corridor Transformation Design Overlay Districts
    • GC - Greenway Corridor Design Overlay District
    • Developments on lots within the entirety of each block located at the major intersections along a Design Overlay District
    • Development on a through lot within a Design Overlay District 
    • Development with 100 feet or more of lot frontage in an identified Design Overlay District
  • Certain Development within RDO-1 and RDO-2 Residential Diversity Overlay Districts  (see Section 18.7.C.1.c and 18.8.C.1.c)
  • New construction, additions or enlargements of multi-family residential, townhouse, non-residential or mixed-use structures over 40,000sf
  • Additions of new structures to a non-residential or mixed-use development on a lot that bring the total gross floor area of all structures on the lot to 40,000sf or more
  • Significant renovations to non-residential or mixed-use structures, or group of structures on the same lot, where the total gross floor area is over 40,000sf
  • When the public benefit floor area ratio bonus provisions of Section 17.5 within the Central Business Districts are used
  • When required by the Use Standards of Article 20
  • When required by the site development standards of Article 21
  • Interim Zoning District Appeals
  • Moratorium Appeals

Stormwater Management Plan Review

In March of 2018, The City of New Orleans officially replaced the stormwater requirements within Article 23 of the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (CZO) with a new unified Stormwater Code located within Chapter 1, Section 121 of the Building Code. Therefore, the City Planning Commission will no longer review proposed stormwater management plans. This process will now be administered by the Department of Safety and Permits.

Learn about the new stormwater code, stormwater management plan requirements, and the updated application process.

Design Review Application


  • $225 Compliant plan 
  • $500 CBD Demolition
  • $1000 Moratorium Appeal

Required documents/steps

  • Design Review/Site Plan Application
  • Supplement A - Additional Submittal Requirements for University Area Design Overlay
  • One (1) 24”X 36” copy and one (1) digital copy are required of:
    • Site Plan 
    • Floor Plan
    • Landscape Plan 
    • Lighting Plan 
    • Architectural Elevations 
    • Signage Plan 
    • Photos
  • If needed, the applicant may meet with City Planning Commission (CPC) staff for a pre-application meeting where CPC staff will explain the requirements of the application and provide further clarification and guidance on the design requirements.
  • After submission of a full and complete application, CPC staff will review the application for compliance with the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance.  
  • The design review may be approved, approved with conditions, or denied by the Executive Director of the City Planning Commission.
  • If the design review plan is denied by the Executive Director of the City Planning Commission, The applicant may file a written appeal of the decision of the Executive Director of City Planning Commission to the City Planning Commission within forty-five (45) days after the date of the final decision in accordance with Section 4.8. Plans reviewed by the Design Advisory Committee may be appealed to the City Council within forty-five (45) days after the date of the final decision of the City Planning Commission.
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