NEW ORLEANS -- Plans for a football stadium on the Tulane University campus hit a snag after an ordinance for an interim zoning district was passed by the City Council. The district will force to colleges such as Tulane to go before the City Planning Commission before building large-scale projects like a stadium.
The ordinance passed 4-2, with Councilman Jon Johnson and Councilwoman Cynthia Hedge-Morrell in opposition. Councilman Eric Granderson was absent.
Councilwoman Susan Guidry, who proposed the ordinance, said her motion is designed to allow time for more public discussion on these types of major projects.
The ordinance prohibits "the construction or expansion to existing structures of any building or facility within college and university campuses that will result in a building or facility in excess of 250,000 square feet of gross floor area and will cover a footprint of more than 50,000 square feet within any residential zoning district..."
The Council Chambers was packed to capacity ahead of the vote with supporters of Tulane, who are for the stadium, such as school President Scott Cowen, along with a strong neighborhood contingent who opposed building a large, 30,000-seat stadium next to their homes.
"A coalition of presidents from Tulane, Loyola and Xavier universities believes the motion is an unnecessary, unfair and discriminatory reaction to complaints from a neighborhood organization that is really focused on Tulane’s planned on-campus football stadium. The new stadium will be built entirely on the Tulane campus, not far from the site of the old Tulane Stadium, which was a treasured icon in New Orleans for 50 years. The new stadium complies with all zoning laws and does not require a variance," said an earlier statement from Tulane.