Chipotle Request / Former Zara’s Grocery Site Request / Eiffel Tower

Update on New Zoning Issues in the Neighborhood

Last night, two NPPs (Neighborhood Participation Program) meetings were held regarding two properties that affect the zoning in the Garden District. The GDA was represented at both. Notices of these meetings were sent to all of you last week.

2801 Magazine Street: A proposal to allow a Chipotle Restaurant to go into the former Radio Shack on Magazine near Washington was brought forth. The applicants are requesting a change in use from a retail operation to a fast food operation. This requires a conditional use process which puts it into the public hearing arena.

This request is of great concern to the Garden District Association since it has always fought against the the encroachment of fast food along this stretch and battled continuously to maintain the harmony between businesses and residents in the area. The precedent of a fast food operation along the corridor opens the doors for others to follow along the entire street from the I-10 to Audubon Park. While the GDA Board has not yet taken a position on this, the Zoning Committee is carefully studying the issue. The application has not yet been filed so no hearing dates have been set.  We invite your comment.

2042 Prytania: Former Zara’s Grocery Store: The proposal at this site is to change he zoning there from a  HU-RD2 (residential) to an HU-MU (Historic Mixed Used commercial). Apparently the non-conforming status as a grocery store was lost, so to use the site as a commercial site again, the zoning must change. In essence this would amount to a spot zoning and a more intense commercial use than Zara’s enjoyed during their decades of a non-conforming use permit. The Lower Garden District/Coliseum Square is heavily involved in this issue as well, but the site falls on our border of Josephine Street within the Garden District. Again, the GDA is studying this issue, in conjunction with the Coliseum Square Association, and we invite your comment. The application has not yet been filed so no hearing dates have been set, yet.

St. Charles and Josephine: Eiffel Tower: Finally, another issue brought to our attention last week involves the Eiffel Tower Society which had applied for a Live Entertainment Venue, zoning change. The request was denied by the city, but the applicants are appealing the decision.  Several groups of neighbors oppose the request for the Live Entertainment venue. This issue goes for a hearing on July 10. Please comment if you so wish.