17:00 PM

Audubon Commission to Consider New Ways to Increase Public Input on Green Space

April 28 meeting at 4 p.m. in Audubon Tea Room

The Audubon Commission, at its regularly scheduled meeting on April 28, will consider a change calling for additional public input and comment before consideration of any new development of open green space overseen by the commission.

The Audubon Commission meeting will begin at 4 p.m. in the Audubon Tea Room and public comment is welcomed.

The proposed change, outlined in a resolution, provides opportunities for public comment and input in connection with significant Audubon development projects that involve more than one acre of open green space.

Under the resolution, the commission commits to holding a special meeting no less than 30 days prior to any consideration of a new development that would result in elimination of more than one acre of open green space in Audubon Park, Woldenberg Riverfront Park, Audubon Wilderness Park on the West Bank or Audubon Louisiana Nature Center in eastern New Orleans. The special meetings would be held for the sole purpose of gathering public comment and input on proposed developments.

J. Kelly Duncan, Audubon Commission President
"We have heard the concerns of the community loud and clear. This commission pledges to keep the public more informed about our plans to improve and maintain our treasured park space and to listen and seek input before any action is taken.''
J. Kelly Duncan, Audubon Commission President

The first in a series of Audubon community meetings to provide the public an opportunity to comment on upcoming projects planned by Audubon Nature Institute will be held May 10, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. in the Audubon Tea Room. That meeting will focus on planned Uptown projects, including Audubon Park shelter house upgrades, resurfacing of the jogging path that rings the park, new park playgrounds and a plan by the city to resurface and repair Magazine Street.

Future Audubon community meetings will be scheduled to discuss planned Audubon projects in other parts of the city.

Those sessions will be held downtown to discuss upcoming park projects at Woldenberg Riverfront Park; in eastern New Orleans, the site of Audubon Louisiana Nature Center set to open this year; and on the West Bank, where a partnership with San Diego Zoo Global is preparing to launch the Alliance for Sustainable Wildlife, an ambitious project designed to replenish animal populations facing threats to their numbers.

A schedule for the future community meetings will be announced soon.

The proposed change to be considered by the commission will not apply to renovation, restoration or refurbishment of any existing improvements, structures or facilities or any new development that does not eliminate more than one acre of open green space.

The proposed resolution also calls for the Audubon Commission to contact the city of New Orleans' Neighborhood Engagement Office at least 15 days prior to a special meeting to seek input and guidance on how to maximize public participation in discussions of such projects.

At least 15 days prior to any special meeting on a proposed development, the Audubon Commission also would commit to issuing a news release, notifying New Orleans City Council members and posting on its website any available drawings, renderings and plans for such projects.

Under the proposed change, the commission - following any special meeting - would publish on its website, a summary of concerns expressed by the public regarding the development. Any resolution approving a proposed development would state that any concerns raised by the public had been fully considered by the commission and would identify steps, if any, that would be adopted to address any such concerns.

Any special meeting called to discuss a development project would be conducted in full accordance with the Louisiana Open Meetings Law.