Louisiana Division/City Archives
New Orleans Public Library

Sources for Researching the History of Your House (Or Other Building) in New Orleans

Board of Zoning Adjustments

The Zoning Board of Appeal and Adjustment was created by ordinance in 1932. The Board heard appeals from the administrative decisions of the city's administrative officer, who administered the zoning law with regard to the granting of building permits. The new Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (#18565, CDC--July 3, 1953) replaced the Zoning Board of Appeal and Adjustment with the Board of Zoning Adjustments. In addition to its power of appeal in matters relating to the issuance of building permits, the Board also was authorized to hear appeals involving alleged errors made in the administration of the zoning ordinance and to permit variances from the zoning regulations in accordance with principles incorporated in that law. The 1954 Home Rule Charter placed the Board under the supervision of the new Department of Safety and Permits. In 1996, in compliance with the new city charter passed in the previous year, the Board of Zoning Adjustments was placed under the supervision of the City Planning Commission

Minutes, 1943-1977
The minute books include transcripts of hearings as well as the official journal of business transacted at each meeting. Information provided includes the location of each property for which a variance was sought, the name of the owner, and the name of the applicant (often the architect or contractor). Also included are reports of the hearings held on each application. Details of the proposed zoning as revealed in the hearings may provide information as to the nature of the work intended, whether it was a new building or an addition or alteration to an existing structure. The hearings may also provide insight into the use and/or appearance of neighboring properties. Also included is the decision rendered by the Board, along with occasional comments on the matter at hand.There are some missing dates in the overall 1943-1977 series.
(KJG300z 1943-1977)

Sound recordings of minutes, 1957-1992
The sound recordings register the exact content of each BZA meeting. From 1957 to September 1973 the recordings are on Soundscriber disks, from 1973-1977 they are on reel-to-reel tape, and from 1978-1992 they are on tape cassettes. Indexes, showing the contents of each cassette tape, are available for portions of the years 1981-1992.

Dockets, 1987-1992
The dockets comprise individual file folders for each docketed case. Included in the files are applications for variances, correspondence, plans, and photographs. In some cases transcripts are included for BZA meetings at which the docket was considered.

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