The New Orleans City Council voted 4-2 on Thursday to direct the City Planning Commission to conduct a hearing to consider establishment of an Interim Zoning District (IZD) that could hinder college campus building projects such as Tulane's proposed football stadium.
The motion was authored by District A Councilmember Susan Guidry and placed on the Thursday agenda earlier this week. She was joined in favor of the motion by Jackie Clarkson, Stacy Head and Kristin Palmer. Cynthia Hedge-Morrell and Jon Johnson voted against the motion.
If the IZD is established, it would essentially give the City Planning Commission oversight authority in the planning process for the stadium, whose tentative opening of 2014 certainly is now in question.
A packed Council chamber features supporters on both sides of the measure. Tulane president Scott Cowen, athletic director Rick Dickson, head football coach Curtis Johnson and Green Wave student-athletes were among those in attendance. Xavier president Norman Francis, whose school would also be impacted by the motion, also spoke against the IZD.
Statement From New Orleans Saints Regarding Tulane University Football Stadium
"The New Orleans Saints wholeheartedly support plans to build a new stadium on the Tulane University campus. Our team knows firsthand that strong fan support can make a tremendous difference on the playing field. But most importantly, it builds community spirit and cohesiveness and allows New Orleans and Tulane University the unique opportunity to showcase not only our great city but this great school. And add to that the positive economic impact it can have on our local economy.
It is our hope that all issues can be resolved to allow the Green Wave to return home, where it belongs."
-- New Orleans Saints Vice-President/Communications Greg Bensel
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