Administrative Rules, Policies & Procedures

Adopted Administrative Rules

The Rules included on this page have been adopted pursuant to Section 2-1000 of the City Code and are enforced in conjunction with the adopted laws and ordinances under the jurisdiction of the Department of Safety and Permits.

Zoning Administration Rules

What's my property zoned?

To find out what a particular property is zoned, the City's Property Viewer at can provide information on zoning district, overlays, and other property-specific information that may impact development, redevelopment, or use of a property.

Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance

The City's Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (CZO) is administered through the Department of Safety and Permits. For the complete text of the CZO, please visit, maintained by the City Planning Commission.

Interpretations of the Director

The CZO provides authority to the Director of Safety and Permits to issue interpretive opinions on the text and application of the CZO. This section provides interpretive memoranda which outline the language of the CZO and the way in which that language will be applied by the City of New Orleans in the administration of the CZO.

Interpretations of the CZO
(4,264 MCS, as amended by 26,413 MCS)

  • Z-15-02: Interpretation of Building Design Standards found in Article 15, Section 15.3(B)(1)(a),
  • Z-16-01: Resubdivision Allowing Expansion of Non-Conforming Spatial Conditions.
  • Z-16-02: Classic Sign Designation pursuant to Section 24.15 Classic Signs.
  • Z-17-01: Application of Section 22.8.B Relative to Applicability of Underlying District Standards.
  • Z-17-02: Parkway (Street) Tree Requirements for Development and Redevelopment of Property.
  • Z-17-03: Exemptions and Limitations on Parking Spaces in Districts where Accessory Parking is not required.
  • Z-17-04: Definition for the terms "Bedroom" or "Guest Room."
  • Z-17-05: Definition for the term "Party of Guests."
  • Z-17-06: Classification of Residential Care Facilities for purposes of applying Bulk and Yard Regulations of the underlying zoning district.
  • Z-18-01: Definition for the term "minor" relative to Section 4.7 of the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance.
  • Z-18-02: Definition of Customary Lodging Services included in the definition of “Hotel/Motel” in Chapter 26 of the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance
  • Z-18-03: State Licensure Requirements for Independent Living Facilities Required By the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance
  • Z-18-04: Definition of "Principal Bed and Breakfasts" in Multi-Family Dwellings
  • Z-19-01: Definition of "Private Walkway"
  • Z-19-02: Interpretation of Legal Non-Conforming Status of Properties with More Than Two Commercial Properties 
  • Z-19-03: Interpretation of Applying Floor-Area-Based Exemptions to Non-Floor Area Parking Requirements
  • Z-19-04: Interpretation of Transient Dwelling Uses
  • Z-19-05: Interpretation of Legal Non-Conforming Status of Properties with Accessory or Commercial Short Term Rental Licenses in Place before December 1, 2019
  • Z-20-01: Interpretation of Historic Urban Non-Residential Districts determination of front yard setback where adjacent average is greater than 5 feet
  • Z-20-02: Kitchen Facilities Requirements in Dwelling Units
  • Z-20-03: Clarification on Prohibition of Certain Accessory Structures in Certain Portions of the Buildable Area 
  • Z-21-01: Applying CZO Requirements for "Debulking" a Tax Parcel into Two of More Lots
  • Z-21-02 – Clarification on Regulations for Freestanding Ice Storage Machines
  • Z 21-03 – Application of Prescription Regulations on Non-Conforming Uses
  • Z-21-04 – COVID-19 Related Impacts on Non-Conforming Uses
  • Z-21-05: Outdoor Live Entertainment Regulations in the CZO

Interpretations of the Former CZO
(4,264 MCS, as amended)

  • Z-13-01: Interpretation of Section 18.61 of the CZO, as it related to building heights within 30' of a right of way and the minimum height requirements for all structures.
  • Z-13-02: Interpretation of Section 14.6.2 with respect to Variances Setback Standards of Section 11.62.
  • Z-13-03: Interpretation of Section 7.3.3 of the CZO with Respect to a Cement Batching Plant as a Permitted Use within the LI - Light Industrial Zoning District.
  • Z-13-04: Digital Conversion of Existing Legally Non-Conforming General Advertising Signs.
  • Z-13-05: Interpretation of the relationship between Section 7.3.3 and Section 11.15 of the CZO with respect to Supplementary Use Standards for Batching Plants for Asphalt or Concrete.
  • Z-14-01: Interpretation of the permissibility of development over property lines and public rights-of-way.
  • Z-14-02: Determination of Zoning Designations Square 124, Fourth Municipal District, bounded by Magazine, Harmony, Constance, and 9th Streets.
  • Z-14-03: Authority of the Board of Zoning Adjustments to Vary the Standards of Section 1.4 of the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance with respect to properties bearing the LRS-1, Lakeview Single-Family Residential Zoning Designation.
  • Z-15-01: Interpretation of the Authority of the Board of Zoning Adjustments with Respect to Off-Street Loading Spaces within the Central Business District.

Determination Of Non-Conforming Status Rules

Non-Conforming Uses

Pursuant to Article 25 of the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance of the City of New Orleans, as amended, non-conforming uses are contrary to the principles of the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance; Section 25.3.A of the CZO requires the Department of Safety and Permits to view claims of legal, non-conforming status narrowly and to “have all doubts resolved against the continuation or expansion of non-conformit[ies] in order to preserve the property rights of adjacent property owners.”

The Department of Safety and Permits has standardized the process for evaluation of such uses and created a list of standard documents which will generally provide the required information to make a formal determination on the legal status of a non-conformity. The full Departmental Policy Memorandum is provided here.

Documentation Required

All of the following information and documentation shall be required, as applicable, to determine and verify the legality of non-conforming uses:

  1. An application for Determination of Non-Conforming Status providing a brief description of the determination sought.
  2. A timeline, to the best of the applicant’s ability, detailing the periods of use and vacancy of the subject property.
  3. The owner must furnish a notarized affidavit indicating that the property has not been vacant for a period of six (6) months or longer.
    1. Notarized affidavits from neighbors or other individuals with knowledge of occupancy or operation of the subject property should also be provided to the Department, outlining the use of the property, periods of occupancy and/or vacancy, and any other information relevant to the determination being sought.
  4. The owner/applicant must provide a current copy (or most recent) occupational license, alcoholic beverage license, mayoralty permit, or other authorization to conduct business, issued by the Bureau of Revenue, for any commercial uses(s) located on the property.
  5. The owner/applicant must provide current/most recent leases and/or rent receipts for tenants to demonstrate continued occupancy and operation.
  6. The owner/applicant must provide records from utility companies:
    1. Entergy: Provide documentation from Entergy indicating electric/natural gas usage for the past 12-months for all meters on the property.
    2. Sewerage and Water Board: Provide the number of meters, date(s) installed, rate type, sanitation charges, and water usage for the past 12-months for all meters on the property.
  7. For non-conforming residential and commercial uses, the owner/applicant must provide a floor plan of the building, indicating the use of each room and photographs documenting such uses.
  8. For non-conforming Bed and Breakfasts or hotels, any records identifying the number of rooms which have been offered for rent.
  9. For non-conforming parking lots, the owner/applicant must submit a map or survey indicating the boundaries of the property with all improvements (valet/payment shelters, fencing, lighting, signage, and landscaping, etc.) and striping, with dimensions.
  10. Any other information or documentation which provides additional support for the claim of non-conforming status should be included with the application in addition to the documents requested herein. The list of submissions provided in this document is not meant to be exhaustive; the Department will evaluate any evidence submitted relative to a Determination request.

Providing this information as part of an application for review does not guarantee that the Department will approve or confirm the legality of the non-conformity. Safety and Permits may require additional documentation to supplement the information required above, and the Department will verify the provided information against the City’s records relative to the specific property. The Department may request the property to be made available for inspection to verify any claims made or documentation provided in support of a request for determination.

Review Process

Once a completed application is received, the Zoning Administration Division will review all documentation and provide a report to the Director of Safety and Permits with a recommendation as to whether the documentation provided supports the retention or attainment of Legal, Non-Conforming Status pursuant to R.S. 9:5625. The Director makes the final determination as to the non-conforming status of the property based on the information provided to the department. Any party aggrieved by a decision of the Director of Safety and Permits with respect to the application of the Comprehenzive Zoning Ordinance may be appealed to the Board of Zoning Adjustments within 45-days of the decision.