Jul 16, 2015|
Angela talks with Gail Cavett of French Quarter Citizens, Skip Gallagher of the Algiers Point Neighborhood Association, Graham Bosworth of the Mid City Neighborhood Organization, and Lisa Suarez of the Faubourg Marigny Improvement Association about the new Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance governing the French Quarter and what it means for residents.
We're discussing the hot topics of the day with co-host of First Take, Todd Menesses.
Angela discusses the shooting in Lafayette and says farewell to WWL as she hands her timeslot off to Scoot.
What's trending in sports, news, and entertainment?
Angela talks with WWL-TV investigative reporter Katie Moore and Tulane law professor Tania Tetlow about the city's backlog of uninvestigated rape cases.
Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
What do you live in a neighborhood that has restaurants or bars. Do you feel comfortable that residents and entertainment venues can live and harmony. Or do you have issues with too much noise are too many people. Well things could change with the new zoning ordinance and some amendments added at the last hour. Our studio was filled with people from various neighborhoods who have real concerns about the future of their neighborhoods. From Algiers timid sitting to the quarter and merit. But UB part of this discussion as well 260187. But joining us right now is skip Gallagher vice president of the Algiers point neighborhood association. Lisa Suarez president of the fall Burke marinate improvement association. Graham Bosworth share of the mid city neighborhood organization. And Gail cadet. Board member of the French Quarter citizens association. You know just to explain we've done I think some excellent shows prior to devote. On the seizing on the comprehensive zoning ordinances is a zoning ordinance that was completely outdated we needed to do some good things. It was 3040 years old many years have been spent. Not doing a new seizing on new zoning ordinance and a lot of citizen input but. As I've said before but just because I'm hooked on channel. The government channel I happened to see. The final day of that vote and what I witnessed wives all the people who've been sitting in the studio. Standing there are some a little dumbfounded. Because literally the day of the vote amendments were added. With no Republican play it with no discussion. And yet just passed. And with the thought I'm assuming that maybe you talk about it later. But it was sort of a moment in time now all I opened the newspaper and look on TV. And it's perhaps happening again. Let's start with Algiers point we're gonna get to the restaurants and entertainment venues and I think what's happening at challengers point is sort of a continuation. Of here you think you spend all this time is a citizen. Going to these meetings spilling her guts and what you want as the public the voting public. And it's just discount and just. No no we're gonna do this. And yes and that's what we found with this easier as some amendments were added later on such as the riverfront overlay. And then we had the extension of the riverfront overly twice. We asked for a forty foot height limit along the river are our previous height limit on the river was fifty feet we asked to be reduced to forty feet. Mean instead received a 110 feet. Now if you see an article on the lens recently you'll notice that there at the height limit is where developers start talking and they say we'd like 250 feet. Let's compromise. This is a starting point for discussion. We just learned last week that council member Ramsey on known to us introduced a another. Or zoning change to now's on the other side of the river that surrounds our neighborhood we of the river on two sides. Tune now. Riis on that maritime industrial it's been open space for more than 100 years it's what you call the Thatcher it's where it is still run the dogs and have picnics and have fun. And if you've been over their for the firework display or for some of the bands you've seen us. So we were absolutely surprised we only found out about this by accident there was no public input there was no involvement or neighbor whatsoever. We actually a neighbor overheard a comment made in passing. Investigated that comment and then brought it to the board and we learned it was true there was actually an amendment to rezone the river from Bermuda street all the way to Whitney which is all along the riverfront boundary. That wasn't incorporated in via river front over time numb the badgers actually owned by the port. Different pieces of the venture owned by different groups OK so what do you most people don't understand is the property line goes through the Levy and into the water. And that area is actually owned by someone who we often think it's not owned by anyone's in the levies on it. But the reality is if it is owned by someone. So part of it is the Port Authority. Now when council member Ramsey was confronted with this she made the claim that the Port Authority assisted on this breeze zoning. We don't know whether that's true or not. But typically if any zoning changes made a neighborhood the neighborhood it's consulted and in this case that never happened we only found out accident. Very quickly called a neighborhood meeting there was universal opposition we found absolutely no support there may be a supporter too but we have yet to find them. So they're saying we're gonna take the Boettcher and we wanna do it for maritime. Maritime industrial industrial meaning what what kind of structure these kind of things that can be included in that included tried doc restaurants hotels and planned developments which is president's. All of those things are allowed in maritime industrialist quite a broad scope of uses it could be incorporated and its. Let's talk about what this city has been talking about the that the rebuilding of this owning ordinance for years and then comes in after they've already taken the vote. Yes and at and again. What were you even more disturbed by is the utter contempt for the neighborhood where this is introduced without any neighborhood input and clearly done in secret and private. And then we find out by accident I can only say we are very very lucky that even found out. This would have come to the July 23 board. Council meeting it would have been over. We would have never of known we would never had any do you think that as a neighborhood group that you have any sway. So far we do not with council member Ramsey we certainly for example. A we asked for a meeting with council member Williams and received. Confirmation within hours. Of a meeting. We have yet to and been able to arrange a meeting with council member a rams in that theater district council she is supposed to be. No this is just very disturbing it's disturbing not because we don't need to change and progress with. It is disturbing because of how it's done exactly what is saying exactly a style not right we have been absolutely and utterly left out and who this benefits. We can only speculate at this point because there's no conversation. And we can only speculate electorate front overlay that'd it benefits those few property owners that own property along the river and I think it's important to realize here that the rear front and it really has actually never been presented to any of the neighborhoods. Nine are you my plan and chest X we have never actually seen a rear front definitely present. So we have no way to input our feelings on the neighborhood doesn't have a weight to it if it if you don't know about it it's difficult to speak about it. And one day you wake up and their condos right up there. Well underfoot on us. And we do I I am little were skeptical again I think he has had terrific as a starting light click on it worries me we've seen development after development. Go for height. And this the height is what however the pace height that's their starting point. We're gonna have to take a break we're gonna come back we're gonna continue this and we're gonna talk about things that may affect your neighborhood. Within Assisi you know. These amendments. Concerning restaurants and bars and Europe quality of life so stay with its 2601 in seven days or number. I'm Angela on WW well. People were talking about time. Our news joining zoning ordinance and we're talking about some amendments that have been added I'm literally at the last minute and then now clip. Even right now. But it just continues to more the issue isn't the ordinance the issue is. The public input that I think a lot of neighbors thought spent a lot of time thinking they were part of it and are now. Very discouraged when we say that. We have people from mid city from counters point from the quarter from the marinade well upset and we're gonna go to skip but Gallagher skip this from. I'm sorry dissent that in order to go to Graham Bosworth from mid city. What is your concern because some of them. Some of the from a and I understand you can better explain it the issues about restaurants and bars were talking about that these things for any neighbor. I absolutely. Mid city's been kind of fortunate part of our revitalization post-Katrina. Has been anchored by some of the bars and in that city they've been neighborhood partners they've been. Phenomenal in terms of how we've come back from Katrina so. It's it in no issue of performance and time bars and side restaurant we we love our cars and our neighbors they're friends. But there have been a lot of concerns expressed. About the the changing of the noise ordinances the allowing for the distribution of packaged liquor within 300 views schools and churches. With the concerns about its restaurants being able to become basically defect in night clubs without any sort of controls. And let me ask you those kinds of things did you all have. Any input into them. Oh absolutely during the initial season you know mid city was actively involved in input. In developing leave as the news is DO in fact my understanding Assisi you know was the entity that pushed for the 300 foot. Limitation on the radios in the new cesium in the first place to Mir than municipal code. The the concern based on my understanding and based on conversations with that part of via the show. Is that while that 300 foot restriction still exist in the municipal code taking it out of the requirements to get your. Your permits in the first place. Takes any sort of enforcement mechanism. Out I mean otherwise your alignment and a beauty to come out and try to enforce these issues what do you think the motivation is to eliminate something that. I'm I can speculate I don't know all I can tell you is that the the the membership events you know has. By and large bin. Very very concerned about this has been kind of a last minute we haven't really had the opportunity to vote they haven't taken sort of formal position on these amendments. But we have tangentially. By this prior input in the Spiezio made clear that this isn't something that. So are you saying that. After all of your efforts and implement nobody was listening. I'm saying that after all of our efforts and put somebody to implement. Them in one. OK let's move over to the marinate in the French Quarter because. You got lots of restaurants and bars. OK but we tell us restaurants and bars and we got a problem and Frenchman street because we tried to it keeping it neighborhood age scale. And now we have no idea which can happen because the Frenchman arts and cultural early district. Is in a quandary as to how to get out more bars. Or restaurants acting is bars to impact that streak and when I was ever at the Algiers a budget meeting the other night. On somebody from your sister Ali I would never different in street to suburban street now minus the teacher shops and strip clubs course. And so we don't need to have corner bars. Becoming deep active nightclubs or restaurants becoming Deepak I live across the street from the arc and they've been very nice about putting their smoking outside with a team that shares. On they have a back door which goes directly to light on veterans have they have the jukebox to laugh it. And when morning they did about 3 o'clock in the morning and of course like Gwynn had a fit but on they were very nice about. Going by what the neighbors how the impact it's an OK looking or outdoor clothes no problem but that's not going to be every. And the restaurant an end to lobby seems to have a cynic chuckled. At least that's what I hurt. And we saw a lot of people making comments on May ninth or may fourteenth when the cesium was passed that strictly related to the the bar in and the alcohol and he would lobby. To get these changes made because. I really believe that not only does councilman Ramsey have no intention of protecting anybody in district seat. But she really wants us to be completely tourist oriented so it doesn't matter what the residents. Strong statement let's quickly go to or call you've been holding out is that Rhonda. You're on WW well. I. You taking my call I'm. Profits at them lawn art US. Somebody neighbors they're participated and it I am and what I ask mr. Gallagher and we support especially and that any. I'm an. Intention and that count to one in greens in district seat entered Q and then when you're talking about about that. Art itself packet records. That noise is there like you know noise abatement and a long laundry list and docket that last. Fourteen. Actually impacting. City Y. First she got here in Dayton last minute and then. That affects the whole entire city of new oil. And there are not many public that I'd like your input on that. And also I would offer like that say that that riverfront overlay is an out of jail. Out of sorts development and salt on our historic neighborhood. That. So many people that have been working to attack. And it seemed like only benefit just bet you people and that opera like for you talk about that. And my are seeing it at that. Isn't just as simple as rain and they sitting down and neighbor rebel leaders. And pounding out a compromise. Born compromise. Because these high restrictions are what made these neighbor it's a little ball and block couple. You know all three of your questions are great and we're gonna have the answers we're gonna have to go to our Newser a very quickly though and that check out what else is going on but John. We do have the people here who have answers that and you're asking all the right questions for for people who don't know what the overlay is this was part of the process. And it's just talking about. In essence new height requirements that will be. Allowed under the new CC along the river correct. So it essentially changes what killed TCO and imports and a set of brand new rolls over its of the old rules don't exist they went out the window. And this really was a surprise it had no neighbor could import it did not go through with the rest of the CDO. And just took to gimme bottom line is it about. Somebody's vision that all along our beautiful river should be condos like Miami yes it was called reinventing the crescent in 2008 says there's lots of history. Okay. We have a lot to talk about we really do the let's go to the newsroom and I promised Rhonda we'll get right back. And get those answers we'll be right back. And we are back we are talking about time. Our continuing discussion about our zoning and you know if Pete Anderson they're thinkable big deal it is a big deal and it's going to affect every. Neighborhood in this community it isn't just the French Quarter isn't just. Marinate although those are very important neighborhoods. Because I I look at them as universal neighborhoods it's all of us but it's also mid city it's also Algiers is also uptown it's Carrollton. Because of changes in the law the potential of what can happen and I think it's that delicate balance all ways of what makes us very special in our neighborhoods. We can get that balance off. With some of these things so that lady called shoe one answers we're gonna start with the. I mean I guess my response would. From mid city would be how this affects the city of large. And I mean for better for worse the French Quarter has become an entertainment district part of management has I think we can have a long debate upon the value that. But soup kind of apply this one size fits all attitude because it works on this street it should apply it to the whole district not just pulled mr. but the entire city everyone's affected by this. That's something that really needs to be taken into consideration. I mean mid city doesn't have the kind of commercial court that you're talking about and to have these rules apply for an ever pars and have. The potential effect of new norms ordinances no permanent requirement no enforcement mechanisms. Suits that keep neighbors served you pars as good neighbors I mean that's that's the scary proposition Korea a residential neighborhood. So you've had the friendly bar in the neighborhood for fifty years or her in thirty years and never got along but now with these new rules. They could if they want to do add live music. They could add live music they could start selling packets like are they could open up their windows and play the live music cut out without any sort of real noise restrictions and terms of noise agreement permitting or requirements it's. That there's some issues that beverage you're about. Talked to me Gail OK send Mike cern as a resident of current quarter. Is. A lot of things that have primarily as speakers in the courtyards. And and that particular amendment. And so we're really concerned about this we fought this in every noise ordinance that we've worked on. In our neighborhood in the French Quarter that has always been a deal breaker the residential population cannot live. With the speakers and courtyards. Our homes abut those courtyards and said that that's it began in the French Quarter that that's the deal breaker in that we have eight. City Council member here do would introduce an amendment. Providing speakers in a courtyard without any input from our neighborhoods let me just you know remind everybody that these amendments to the Spiezio. Were introduced with no input and no knowledge from any of the communities around the city not even the City Council members. Of those districts where aware of what was the end of these an amendment so it has sent everybody scrambling to try to figure out what's in these amendments how it's gonna affect your neighborhood and what's. So the last day in the getting ready for the vote the amendments are thrown in no time to look over but let's hurry and get this thing passed right in and I think when you look at the totality of all the amendments. But for them on the seven amendments that would pan spying councilman Ramsey. And nice guys have to do with alcohol. Making it easier for alcohol sales to increase and skirt the rules and regulations that protect. All of neighborhoods from various entities being indecent. Trying to your news as answer my colleague was thing. Noise abatement. Rules and all of the standards that you use when you applied for permanently safety impairments for. A barn you're gonna have a line entertainment those documents that you have to use in the fifty of those in the documents that you have to give them. And so what she has done is taken all the guys insidious you know liner to have to use you know one not present as. And sent it weakens the community's ability to make sure that their doors remain good neighbors. And so what's most concerning about everybody's comments is the process of the lack of process. With that we're seeing emerge from our City Council member do is supposed to be representing us the voters of our community and so. Before our win. We had the previous City Council member we had a process setup and our communities such an active community. Active community organizations. That represent everyone from the commercial interest in the residential interest. When something like this was going to come from a lobbyist which is where all of this came from. It appears. Two City Council members shouldn't just go from day to be to the City Council. She introduced. Three before and you know our communities conference where management district where all the organization's long. Mean once in my four commissioners meeting. And all people worse vice City Council people to meetings and should they vet says at this meeting. You all work and now come back to meet with you our. With the ideas. You know pro or con. And then you know design count in the event of this City Council member doesn't work that way it goes. From the person here is. Has her years to do the City Council there's no filters that community and play and so have. I'm hoping is that we will be able to. Speak with her and reestablish that process because what you can hear from all these groups. Is that what she's doing right now is non working as does not benefiting me and you won't have obviously tried to have talks with. Attempted but it it we often we had a meeting in which she just simply sat there and said I'm just taking this and we had no input from our our import was finally found when the CCO passed and she voted for those measures. There was no neighborhood discussion there was no bringing people together there's no. Developers in the room with residence. That never Telus or ideas either she wouldn't say what she was gonna stand for every week or I don't immediately made the decisions. We enemy where she refused to answer questions. She says this is not a place to discuss public policy more than once. Yes this is not an uncommon response. You know I think when when we get. A freshman City Council person we've seen this before in the history of the French Quarter and do you guys today that I'm when you get a fresh in City Council person. Because the commercial interest so grade and they contributes large amounts of money to their campaigns and doesn't buy you and that's the that's certainly budget ax and so you here. Easily council Hemmer here's all of their ideas. And so but she doesn't factory and the other component to residential component and and the voters since. The voters that elected her to represent us and he's taught this is about voter disenfranchisement. We get this. We're gonna have to take another break stay with us and. Also. Yes Morgan stay with a so wanna hear what you have to say about your neighborhood right after this. And we're back talking about zoning zoning in New Orleans in every neighborhood. Some people very concerned about some amendments that have been made to the news zoning ordinance. That will impact at all. Let's quickly go to Morgan your wonderful to have been holding on your on WW. And sent. And think of leaders better. Day across the city that are concerned about where we are. We're neighborhood hair chime and track that partly by alcohol situation. You know alcohol. Hanging fruit and bring a lot of sales tax money into the city she that if we are just now out for the liquor and time. It school an impact you know art many. Well I think there are ample is probably. Good. Our playgrounds are calling it completely overrun without. Store that was. Across street many years and the play. Ultra tech. We've been and you know and of the site with that three years now but at stores in a she. Has changed dramatically crime is up by percent cantor and the playgrounds. There's no track. There's you know the corner I mean it is in terms. But that treatment rule is made war. Ships week. We are what do we. Need we say that we here at the time. Are we gonna say it's okay out next to church school playground. We think we do and what are damaged. Had Arab group communicated with your council person. On new week and yesterday. I. Language on it meant I'm Reid. Out and so it's a matter. Oh lead and one important. Number. Eighteen. But we can your eyes stay unified and and really you know speak our mind about being hurt and we spent five years or more on that and you know. We tried to change our. Commercial and brought her. And you know yelled at and shell I mean. It's very complicated situation it is you know it. But you know what is it I hate to in erupt because we're gonna that. But this is all about people power keeps saying that but that's what I've learned since I started this radio show it is about people thought. Don't don't think for second your voice is going to be heard you may have frustrations right now. But it's the numbers it's the votes and it's your passion. To do what you want for your neighborhood. As we say who's working for. I can't believe we're out of time thank each and every one of you were gonna revisit this we're gonna keep on it because this is today and it's the future. And they're the CTO isn't all bad nobody want to say that but these are major bumps in the road that our quality of life for everyone. Thank each and every one if you will be right thank you exit. Wanna thank all our neighborhood groups for being here and for calling and we will not let the subject filled with we'll talk about it again have a great day everybody and join us again tomorrow.