Non-Conforming Use Determination

Non-Conforming Uses

As of May 17, 2023, all Non-Conforming Use Determination requests are assessed a $200 processing fee. NCU requests will be processed once fees are remitted.  

Pursuant to Article 25 of the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (CZO), Non-Conforming Uses (NCUs) are uses that do not comply with the current requirements of the CZO. Prior to issuance of a building permit, approval of an occupational license, or assignment of an address, the Department of Safety and Permits is required to make an NCU Determination to verify that the NCU has been maintained (i.e., no vacancy of 180 days or longer).

CZO 25.3.A requires the Department to view claims of NCUs narrowly and to "have all doubts resolved against the continuation or expansion of non-conformity[ies] in order to preserve the property rights of adjacent property owners."

Safety and Permits has a process for evaluation of NCUs, and has created a list of documents that will generally provide the required information to make a formal determination on the legal status of an NCU. The full Departmental Policy Memorandum is provided at this link.

How to Apply

Please apply for the Zoning Determination on the One Stop website.

Once a completed application is received, the Zoning 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 CZO 25.3.B and 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. NCU review times vary, but typically take approximately 1-2 months.

Any party aggrieved by a decision of the Director of Safety and Permits with respect to the application of the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance may be appealed to the Board of Zoning Adjustments within 45 days of the decision.

Documentation Required

The following information and documentation should be submitted, as applicable, to determine and verify the legality of non-conforming uses. Please provide as many of the documents as are available:

  • An application for Determination of Non-Conforming Status providing a brief description of the determination sought.
  • A time line detailing the periods of use and vacancy of the subject property.
  • The owner may furnish a notarized affidavit attesting to the use of the property and that the property has not been vacant for a period of 180 days or longer. In addition, the applicant may provide notarized affidavits from tenants, employees, clients, neighbors, or other individuals with knowledge of occupancy or operation of the property.
  • The owner/applicant may provide the most recent occupational license, ABO, mayoralty permit, any state or federal licenses, and other licenses for any commercial use(s) on the property (only applicable to commercial uses).
  • The owner/applicant may provide current/most recent leases and/or rent receipts for tenants to demonstrate continued occupancy and operation.
  • The owner/applicant may provide records from utility companies:
    • Entergy: Provide energy bills indicating electrical/natural gas usage for the past 12 months for all meters on the property.
    • Sewerage and Water Board: Please provide for the past 12 months for all meters on the property.
  • The owner/applicant must provide a floor plan of the building, indicating the use of each room and photographs documenting such uses.
  • For non-conforming Bed and Breakfasts or hotels, any records identifying the number of rooms that have been offered for rent.
  • For non-conforming parking lots, the owner/applicant must submit a map or survey indicating the boundaries of the property with all improvements and location and number of parking spaces, with dimensions.
  • Any other information or documentation which provides additional support for the claim of non-conforming status should be included with the application. This list is not exhaustive, and the Department will consider all evidence  that is provided.

Providing this information does not guarantee that the Department will approve the non-conforming use. Safety and Permits may require additional documentation to supplement the application. In addition, the Department will verify the provided information against the City's records relative to the specific property. The Department may request an inspection to verify the request. There are no fees currently, but fees are under consideration.