Protect the VCC and the French Quarter

By News

UPDATE 6/23/2023

Last month City Councilmember Freddie King III proposed legislation that would introduce a year-long moratorium on the enforcement powers of the Vieux Carré Commission, which prompted nearly 200 people to show up to an “emergency town hall.” At that meeting, he did not withdraw the ordinance. Instead, he deferred it to the Community Development Committee, and subsequently announced that he would appoint a task force to study city agencies like the HDLC, Safety & Permits, and Code Enforcement, regarding how they handle permitting and enforcement city-wide.

That meeting is happening on Monday, 6/26, at 10am. We do not know the goals of this task force, but we know this meeting starts the process. This is your opportunity to comment on all things City Hall-related: What works? What doesn’t? What do agencies need to do their job more efficiently?

There are a few things we know:

  • There is room for improvement at all of our city agencies.
  • Our city agencies are short-staffed or in need of technological upgrades, which would aid in increasing their effectiveness and efficiency.
  • That as long as the ordinance is not withdrawn, we here at the VCC Foundation will continue to monitor the progress and keep you informed.

Additionally, there is also concern that some developers, lobbyists and liquor-insiders will propose ideas that favor their industries, potentially at the expense of public interests.

We hope you attend to hear what is being considered and to share your thoughts on how we improve our city agencies, for the benefit of all!

Can’t attend? Submit an e-public comment!

Agenda: Community Development Committee Meeting
Submit Public Comment

UPDATE 5/23/2023

Thank you to all of you who took the time to attend the town hall, sent emails to City Council members, signed the petition, made calls, and helped spread awareness on social media. You made the difference. Together, we were able to get Councilmember King’s attention on the importance of protecting the French Quarter’s historic guidelines and integrity.

The VCC Ordinance by Councilmember King did NOT move forward this week. While he has not withdrawn the ordinance, he has committed to putting together a task force of community members and stake holders. He has indicated that he is willing to work with interested parties to find solutions. Councilmember King has indicated that future legislation will be reflective of this task force’s recommendations. He currently has plans to put forth legislation at a Community Development Meeting on June 26.

We thank Councilmember King for showing up to talk to the community and look forward to working with him moving forward. Our coalition will continue to monitor these next steps closely and will remain vigilant. We will keep you updated.

Watch the Town Hall Meeting HERE

Read the article about the Town Hall Meeting HERE

Read the Gambit article about how CM King intends to move forward HERE

Coalition Members: VCC Foundation, BK Historic House & Gardens, French Quarter Citizens, Faubourg Marigny Improvement Association, Hermann-Grima + Gallier Historic Houses, Louisiana Landmarks Society, Louisiana Museum Foundation, Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation, Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans, & Vieux Carré Property Owners, Residents, and Associates

The New Orleans French Quarter is a national treasure. Please help save the enforcement that protects this historic landmark neighborhood. 

New Orleans City Councilmember Freddie King has proposed an ordinance that would gut all enforcement of historic protections in the French Quarter. This ordinance, which could be voted on as early as May 25, threatens the historic heart of New Orleans — and will generate negative repercussions that would echo across the city. Most troubling, the proposal would stop, for one year, the prosecution of any building violation cited by the Vieux Carré Commission (VCC).

During a one-year pause on prosecution, bad actors could do significant and irreversible harm to historic buildings.

Let the City Council know you oppose this devastating and overreaching ordinance.

Sign The Petition

Here are some reasons why:

  • The Vieux Carré Commission was established and empowered by the Louisiana Constitution in 1936 because voters statewide recognized the historic and economic significance of the French Quarter. This proposal to halt enforcement is likely unconstitutional.
  • Now is NOT the time to stop prosecuting violations of laws that have been on the books for nearly a century. To pause these prosecutions in New Orleans’ most prominent and visited neighborhood is entirely at odds with the city’s goal to fight blight with fair and timely code enforcement.
  • Granting a one-year pause on the prosecution of VCC violations will only worsen the enforcement backlog, forgoing income owed to the city for fines and penalties while allowing historic buildings to deteriorate.
  • The majority of French Quarter property owners and business owners follow the rules and maintain their properties. They count on the VCC to protect their investments.
  • Building owners who have been wrongly cited by the VCC already have recourse through administrative hearings and appeals. The system has built in checks and balances.
  • If a measure this ill-conceived and problematic is implemented in the city’s most long-standing and best-known historic district, other neighborhoods could soon find themselves in the crosshairs.

How can you help?

  1. Write to City Council. We’ve provided a script you can use to help write your email along with the email addresses for each City Council. You can find that HERE.
  2. Sign THIS petition at
  3. Attend our Emergency Town Hall Meeting with Coalition Leaders at the PRC, 923 Tchoupitoulas St., on Monday, May 22 at 6 p.m.
  4. Follow VCC Foundation on Facebook and Instagram to get the latest updates on this fast-moving issue.
  5. Share this 10 of your friends and contacts (or on your social media).

There are many challenges facing the French Quarter right now. But limiting the ability for the VCC to protect its historic architecture won’t fix any of the district’s pressing problems – it will only lead to more degradation.


This effort is endorsed by the following organizations:

VCC Foundation

French Quarter Citizens

Hermann-Grima + Gallier Historic Houses

Historic BK House

Louisiana Landmarks Society

Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans

Vieux Carré Property Owners and Residents Association

Read the Article

HERE is a PDF of the article.