Another Jazz Fest, another stern warning from City Hall for local entrepreneurs looking to cash in by selling parking spots, souvenirs or other goods.
Over the past few years, Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration has taken a strict approach during the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, enforcing laws that say anyone wanting to operate a parking lot on commercially zoned property must get a permit.
A city-issued reminder this week reiterated that position and also warned that police will be “aggressively” enforcing rules against transient vendors selling goods from cars or trucks within the festival’s “clean zone,” a wedge of territory bounded by Florida Avenue, North Broad Street, Esplanade Avenue and Bayou St. John. Signs have appeared near the Fair Grounds reminding would-be hawkers about the rules.
“Our goal is to make commercial business owners and nonprofit managers aware of the rules and regulations, and to eliminate confusion in advance,” Deputy Mayor Andy Kopplin said in a statement. “As in previous years, city enforcement officials will be on site to ensure that local businesses are in compliance with city ordinances.”
Commercial businesses can get a permit to operate a parking lot for Jazz Fest for a fee of $265.25. Nonprofit groups can get one for only $30. The city’s “one-stop” permitting shop at City Hall on Perdido Street is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The “clean zone” restrictions went into effect at 6 a.m. Friday and will end at 7 p.m. Sunday. They will be back in force for the second weekend of Jazz Fest from 6 a.m. Thursday, May 1, to 7 p.m. Sunday, May 4.
Existing businesses can still sell goods either inside or outside of their establishments, as long as they aren’t blocking sidewalks or streets.
City Hall shows no signs of backing off these restrictions despite the grumblings they have caused in the past.