Owen Courreges pinpoints a tweak to the appeal process for non-comforming use live music venues written into law by Stacy Head this year as the source of Mayor Landrieu's recent crackdown on any music that doesn't happen to be a jazz trio playing inside the Hospitality Zone.
Just this January, Ms. Head, seconded by Councilmember Guidry, proposed an ordinance that would throw the burden for providing the termination on a nonconforming use from the city to the property owner, and not just by the default standard of a preponderance of the evidence, but by “clear and convincing evidence,” the highest standard outside of criminal law.
In that same column, Owen also observes the following about the city's definition of "live entertainment".
First, here’s how the zoning code defines “live entertainment,” which is the sticky wicket when it comes to proper zoning:This year the city opened 5 library branches in newly constructed buildings replacing libraries which were destroyed by the Federal Flood. I hope the permitting hasn't lapsed in any of these locations because each has at least one public "literature reading" each week.
Live Entertainment. A scheduled or planned performance or presentation during which both the performer(s) and audience are physically present at the time of occurrence and that is typically sponsored, promoted, advertised, or publicized in advance to attract patrons or guests. The performer(s), who may be amateur(s), participant(s) from the audience, patron(s) or guests, need not be compensated or remunerated. These uses include but are not limited to the following:That, dear readers, was written to be all encompassing. Look at how insane and totalitarian our city is. It is there in black and white. I mean, “literature readings?” Seriously? You need a specific zoning designation to allow a guest to openly read a book in your place of business? What possible interest could the government have in that?
a. Theatrical productions, athletic contests, exhibitions, pageants, concerts, recitals, circuses, karaoke, bands, combos, and other live musical performances, audience participation contests, floorshows, literature readings, dancing, fashion shows, comedy or magic acts, mime and the playing of recorded music (disc, records, tapes, etc.) by an employee, guest or other individual, one of whose functions is the playing of recorded music and who is in verbal communication with the clientele of the establishment.
Update: On a related note, the recent shutdown of live music at St. Claude Avenue "nuisance bar" Siberia (of course, there's a petition) has caused several shows to be re-booked on short notice. Happily, this Saturday's event featuring "hypersonic pop" act Testaverde along with Norco-Lapalco and Beast Modulus has been relocated just down the street to the Hi Ho Lounge.
Note also that much of this music is currently appearing on the illustrious internet.... until such time as the city sees fit to revoke that permit too.