Council notes: Traffic camera appeals to be significantly less expensive, marginally less hateful

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City Council approved a new system for traffic camera appeals, transferring them from Civil District Court to Traffic Court and reducing fees by hundreds of dollars.

Under the old system, a camera-ticket recipient first contested a citation with a city administrative hearing officer. When that failed, the ticketed driver could appeal to Orleans Parish Civil District Court after paying a filing fee of $502.

The system approved today by City Council keeps step one in place, but moves step two — the court appeal — to city Traffic Court. The fee there is set at a maximum of $50. That fee will then go to Traffic Court's Judicial Expense Fund.

Here is a good article with an unfortunate headline about the Judicial Expense Fund, providing some context for this quote from Councilwoman Susan Guidry today.

(More after the jump)

“We are working with the administration, my office, the OIG, and the Traffic Court, that would give the city more oversight of the Judicial Expense fund,” she said. (Note: That proposal has been in the works since December 2011, has appeared on every Council agenda since and has not yet gone to a vote. 2013 budget talks are fast approaching.)

Councilmembers also voted in favor of an interim zoning district that will regulate height in the upper Central Business District and the Warehouse District. (Area bounded by Poydras-Pontchartrain Expressway/Loyola-Convention Center Boulevard).

“We’ve had a lot of controversial projects in this area," said Councilwoman Diana Bajoie. “This kind of helps give us a guideline to help facilitate the progress in the Lafayette Square-Warehouse District Area.” —Bajoie

The IZD will limit all new buildings in the area to five stories or 65 feet and set a minimum height of three stories.

And of course, there was this: Vote on ordinance to authorize permits for second line vendors deferred

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