News & Highlights

Garden District Association’s Annual Membership Reception

2015-04-23

Garden District Association

Annual Membership Reception

 Thursday, May 14

home of  Dr. & Mrs. Terry Creel

3102 Prytania from 6 until 7:30 pm.

New Board members will be elected and Renovator Awards will be presented.

Invitations will be sent this week to all members in good standing  for 2015.

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It is never to late to join in!  To pay your dues simply send a check to the Garden District Association, PO Box 50836, New Orleans, LA  70150 or click here to pay online. 

Suggested Donation level: 

$100 – General: apartment/ condo/ small business

$250  Sustaining: single family residence

$500   Sponsor; larger family homes

TBD   Apartment buildings and large businesses. Call 535-7608.

 

A Very Important Call to Action For You and Your Neighbor

2015-04-21

Dear Garden District Neighbor:

Please take a moment to read  this letter.  The results of the City Council vote on these matters will have a significant impact on the neighborhood.  We encourage you to take action soon.

As we have noted in previous emails to you, the New Orleans City Council is preparing to approve (perhaps as soon as this Thursday) a new comprehensive zoning ordinance (CZO) for the City.  While the new CZO is being trumpeted by its supporters as a reform, some parts of it work in our favor, while other aspects are at odds with our efforts as an Association.
 The Garden District Association (GDA) has worked for many months to address problems with the CZO that will adversely affect the Garden District, but, at this 11th hour before the CZO vote, we have at best only a reasonable hope that the Council will approve at least some of the CZO amendments we support.  At the same time, the last minute amendment process has brought forth many issues that are new to us and must be considered, again, some which work for us, some do not affect us and others that have a detrimental impact.
The major issues that affect the Garden District are noted below.  If  you share our concerns about any of these points, please feel free to cut, paste, and send the messages to Councilwoman Cantrell (our Council member) and any other Council members you know or are willing to contact.  Their email address are at the bottom of this email.
1.        All Standard restaurants will be allowed to have alcohol by right rather than by conditional use (CU). This is not the case in the current zoning rules, where restaurants on Magazine wanting ABO’s (alcohol license) needed a special approval (conditional use approval).  The new CZO allowance of alcohol at standard restaurants anywhere would include most of Magazine Street.  In our many meetings with the Coliseum Square Association, Touro Bouligny, Upper Hurstville, Upper Audubon, Burthville and others we all agreed to ask the Council to make all restaurants  along Magazine subject to Conditional Use approval, not just those wanting alcohol.   The justification here is that all restaurants have a high impact on a neighborhood, not just those serving alcohol.  Grease traps, lots of garbage, not just paper trash, rats, parking issues, late night issues, noise, dumpsters.  We want and need restaurants, but they are much different than retail and should be regulated as such.
 If we are not successful in this and the new CZO passes with its broad allowance for restaurants to serve alcohol, there will be no opportunity for organization/ resident input, and no provisos instituted for restaurants that can help mitigate the impact on the surrounding areas. In its proposed form, the CZO will do away with any chance of a Good Neighbor Agreements between operators, business owners and neighborhoods. And, then there will be no way to keep out video poker, since that is a state allowance or to stop restaurants acting as de facto bars.  Any alcoholic beverage outlet can, by right, have 3 video poker machines on site.  Our Good Neighbor Agreements prohibit this.  Further the city law is not able to override State law on this.    Finally, if the CZO passes in its current form, all previous conditional use limitations on Magazine Street restaurants that we have worked on are null and void when the new regulations go into effect.
 GDA Proposed Position:  We support a Magazine Street Overlay to have all restaurants along Magazine Street from Race Street to Audubon Park  go through a conditional use  process in order to allow neighborhood input in the approval process. We also support restrictions on amplified music and hours of operation.
  2.         Required lot sizes in many districts across the city are being reduced in size.    This change will of course create higher density. The current minimum Garden District lot width is 40 ft wide to allow new construction. The proposed change would reduce the minimum lot width for new construction to 30 feet. At present, more than 60%  of the lots in the Garden District are greater than 40 feet wide.  Reducing it makes no sense and encourages chopping  side yards into lots and building on them. The Garden District is one of two or 3 top destination neighborhoods in the city. It is featured in most brochures and marketing schemes as part of the city’s package. Over the last few years, the GDA has pushed for lots next door being added to the adjacent property and to allow for more green space and gardens.  The proposed reduction in size is completely contrary to that thinking. It does not benefit the residents of the Garden District to encourage smaller lot sizes when their investments depend on each other.  Instead, it destroys the neighborhood’s charm.  We are the Garden District, not Seaside Florida, no matter what our City planners may read in their urban planning textbooks.  City planners want to encourage in-fill building; we want to protect the neighborhood’s historic beauty.
GDA Proposed Position:  We support keeping the minimum 40 -foot lot width in the Garden District.
 3.       The CZO proposes more multi family zoning along St. Charles Avenue, which will encourage the larger homes to be divided into many units.  Again, the destination boulevard is not being given the respect it deserves and the grande dame of the city is losing its attraction.    In looking at this with the St. Charles Avenue Association, we all believe that St. Charles Avenue from Jackson to Carrollton, really needs special rules that can protect these historical houses from becoming multi unit apartment buildings.
 GDA Proposed Position:   We support protecting St. Charles Avenue from further demolition or conversion of its single family housing.
 4.        Planned Developments:  The intent here is probably a good one: to renovate 10,000 square feet plus institutional buildings for other purposes.  However, the CZO gives the City planners and developers the right to virtually ignore the entire zoning code to implement these renovations.  Consider what could happen to the former church complex on Louisiana Avenue.  If City planning and a developer agree that this complex is better used for, say, retail shopping, it would not matter that the property is in a residential neighborhood.  The City could simply ignore the residential zoning and approve the project.  While this change is undoubtedly a boon for developers, it plays havoc with the very idea of zoning.  Some flexibility in renovating large historic structures, like former churches and schools, is reasonable.  Unlimited flexibility is a recipe for damage to neighborhoods across the City.
 GDA Proposed Position:  We support removing the planned development provisions from the CZO until reasonable neighborhood protections are included to prevent abuse of the planned development concept and protect our residential zoning. 
 5.        Residential Drug Treatment Centers:  The City Planning Commission introduced an amendment to the CZO allowing residential drug treatment centers throughout most residential neighborhoods in the City, including the Garden District, free of any neighborhood input.  While drug treatment centers are an unfortunate necessity, their location must be properly regulated, and most residential neighborhoods are not appropriate for residential drug treatment centers.  At the very least, such centers should be required to obtain conditional use approvals, which will allow neighborhood input into the decision to allow a residential drug treatment center in a particular location.
 GDA Proposed Position:  We support requiring all residential drug treatment centers to obtain conditional use approval in order to allow neighbors a voice in the approval process.  We oppose making residential drug treatment centers an automatically permitted use in my neighborhood.
                                                                                              ~~~~~
 You can pick and choose among those positions you support, deleting those you do not support, using the email below:
Dear Councilmember ______________:
 We support a Magazine Street Overlay to have all restaurants along Magazine Street from Race Street to Audubon Park  go through a conditional use  process in order to allow neighborhood input in the approval process and limit the impact on the surrounding residential neighborhoods.  We also support restrictions on amplified music and hours of operation. 
I support keeping the minimum 40 -foot lot width within the Garden District.
 I support protecting St. Charles Avenue from further demolition or conversion of its single family housing.
 I support removing the planned development provisions from the CZO until reasonable neighborhood protections are included to prevent abuse of the planned development concept and additional protection for the surrounding residences.
I support requiring all residential drug treatment centers to obtain conditional use approval in order to allow neighbors a voice in the approval process.  I oppose making residential drug treatment centers an automatically permitted use in my neighborhood.
Sincerely,
Addresses:
 Councilmember-at-Large   Stacy Head  shead@nola.gov
Councilmember-at-Large   Jason Rogers Williams jasonwilliams@nola.gov
District A   Susan G. Guidry  sgguidry@nola.gov
District B   LaToya Cantrell   lcantrell@nola.gov
District C   Nadine M. Ramsey districtc@nola.gov
District D  Jared C. Brossett    jcbrossett@nola.gov
District E   James Austin Gray II   jagray@nola.gov
 

 

GDSD Security Fair – Saturday, May 16

2015-04-20

Building A Safer Community 

Garden District Security District

Security Fair

Saturday, May 16 

10 til noon

McGehee School Auditorium

2343 Prytania (enter under the red awning) 

Vendors from the security industry will be on hand to display and discuss cameras, alarms, exterior lighting and other measures we can all take to make the neighborhood safer. Please join us. 

Road Work Delay on Prytania near Milan

Touro – Recovery Roads Construction Status Update – April 20, 2015

The Department of Public Works’ construction contractor, Durr Heavy Construction, LLC, as part of the Recovery Roads – Touro – construction project, continues restoring Hurricane Katrina related sub-surface road, and sidewalk damages from Napoleon Ave. to Toledano St. and St. Charles Ave. to Magazine St. 

Work to install a new waterline on the 4100 block of Prytania St., between Milan St. and Marengo St. has been delayed due to unforeseen underground utility conflicts. The Department of Public Works coordinated with multiple agencies to determined Entergy services lines needed to be relocated before waterline replacement work could resume. Beginning April 27, 2015 and lasting approximately two weeks, Entergy is scheduled to install a new high pressure gas line. Waterline installation work is scheduled to resume the week of May 11, 2015 and is anticipated to last through early June 2015

 

A majority of sidewalk repairs are completed. The remaining repairs are at locations where root pruning and tree bridging work is required. Work to install Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant curb ramps is 60% complete. This week crews will continue working at locations where demolition work has already occurred.

 

Road repairs are 55% completed. This week crews continue performing asphalt and concrete roadway repairs throughout the neighborhood.

In general, crews will be working from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Saturday and Sunday work may also be granted throughout the project area if necessary. Residents are reminded to use caution when driving, bicycling and walking near active construction sites.

The full list of repairs planned in the Touro area is available on the City’s Recovery Roads website:http://recoveryroads.nola.gov/Portals/0/Touro%20List%20of%20Eligible%0Repairs%2011.20.14.pdf.

Thank you for your continued patience.

Kristen Sawyer

Community Outreach Specialist

Department of Public Works

New Orleans City Hall

1300 Perdido Street | Rm 6w03 | New Orleans, LA 70112

Phone:   504.658.8483

Mobile: 504.914.8042

kksawyer@nola.gov

Jazz and Juleps Postponed Due to Bad Weather

2015-04-16

This Sunday’s (April 19) Garden District Association’s Jazz and Juleps supper on the lawn has been postponed.  The weather forecast projects lots of rain between now and Sunday, with an 80% chance of even more on Sunday.

The new date for the event will be Friday, May 8 from 5:30 till 7:30 p.m, again at the home of Heidi and James Dugan, 2523 Prytania.   If you have already purchased tickets, there is no need for further action.  If you would like to purchase tickets, please visit our website by clicking here, or mailing a check made payable to Garden District Association, to Post Office Box 50836, New Orleans, LA  70150

Ticket prices:  $85 per person for dues paying members;  $95 per person for non-members.