Planners OK proposal for new amphitheater, market on New Orleans lakefront _lowres

Rendering provided by Studio Network-Lakefront LLC -- Plans for a new live-entertainment venue on Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans include an outdoor amphitheater and an open-air market.

New Orleans city planners on Tuesday signed off on a proposal for a new live-entertainment venue on Lake Pontchartrain that includes an outdoor amphitheater and an open-air market along a stretch of the New Orleans lakefront that’s been vacant since Hurricane Katrina.

Roland Von Kurnatowski’s plan calls for surrounding the 5,000-person amphitheater with a promenade that includes restaurants and retail space. He also envisions building a fuel dock and a marina supply and convenience store at the 19-acre site, situated just east of Lakefront Airport.

The project, estimated to cost at least $13 million, requires conditional-use permits from the city for the outdoor amusement facility, a bar, a live performance venue and retail alcohol sales.

A handful of the project’s backers expressed support Tuesday, while one neighbor raised concerns about noise and traffic congestion.

After asking a few questions that largely focused on the site itself, the City Planning Commission voted 5-0 to recommend approval of the permit request.

The final decision rests with the full City Council.