City Council Votes on 121 Royal High-Rise

Our opposition to the tower addition to 121 Royal Street was overwhelmed today when New Orleans City Council voted 5-2 to overrule the City Planning Commission, which had previously voted to deny the variances requested—height principal among them.

The PRC strongly supports maintaining the current height limit based on the Master Plan.

The Council’s vote today will allow the owner/developer to move forward with constructing a tower for a hotel and condominiums.

However, it is not possible to calculate the number of rooms at this time since the overrule vote was taken based a pledge to reduce the tower’s height, and on the perception that a one year “deadline” for Council to vote on the owner/developer’s appeal of the Planning vote was looming.

Fifteen provisos to the proposal either call out restrictions or require submissions as final planning moves forward, chief among them the reduction in tower height from 268 feet to either 190 feet or 164 feet.

Possibly in deference to concerns that the revised proposal is not detailed enough, as it was vaguely pledged at nearly the 11th hour, councilmembers voted on the appeal (overturning the Planning Commission vote) but did not put an ordinance in place.

This is a procedural tool which is becoming increasingly popular with councilmembers and which Councilwoman Guidry named as part of the reason for her opposition vote.

The only other vote in opposition of the appeal was Councilwoman Head, who cited the blatant violation of Master Plan.

We will keep you updated as this situation continues to develop.