WWL>Topics>>6-10 3:10pm Open Mind: Holy Cross Zoning Change

6-10 3:10pm Open Mind: Holy Cross Zoning Change

Jun 10, 2014|

Angela talks to Holy Cross Neghborhood Association Vice President Kim Ford and Holy Cross Neighborhood Association Member Vanessa Gueringer about the zoning change of the historic Holy Cross neighborhood passed by the New Orleans City Council despite outcry from neighborhood citizens.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Well we recently had residents of the holy cross neighborhood on. To discuss the controversial development of the old school campus. Some neighbors were very concerned about the proposed plan feeling that the height of the apartment was too high. And the whole concept would not fit into the feeling of this historic neighborhood. Well now there's an even greater concern for these same residents who say there is a proposed zoning change not just for the holy cross campus. But well into the neighborhood. Could this happen to other historic riverfront neighborhoods. Do you think zoning changes should be decided by the people who live there were just by the City Council. We invited councilman James Gray who is the counseling for that area to join -- unfortunately he was not able to attend. From the neighborhood however we have Kim Ford vice president of the neighborhood association. And a member of that association. Vanessa -- jerk who is also vice president and chair. Of a community voice and a founding member of the lower nine vision coalition. And you all are unhappy campers -- -- definitely a OK I don't want to go back a little bit because we did do the show which we've done programs on every single neighborhood in the area. Trying to find out the successes you've had post-Katrina issues you still face of Katrina. -- had the holy cross neighborhood it was very much focused on the concerns about the development of the school. Since then what has happened it did go for a vote. Yes it did go for a vote before the City Council to change. What there was out of the polls. Zoning change to go from. RD three residential district three. Two -- at almost at the opposite end of the spectrum of the most aggressive. Zoning. -- -- simulate it would see it in his CBD. All of that on that property that commercial that commercial went to see one day which is that one of the most egregious. Some holdings educated have been a community and it's really that. Design -- we have like a one way street that leads back to. You know just a one play one way street at least have that that a Jessica called this act. That you -- trying to build this out something that's really is that for a major -- -- like canal street appointment. But just to you know all of our listeners. That change of zoning which you said past. From presidential three to see one day. Is for beyond the development beyond the campus development. Lot I'm Italian and I honestly I have only I only found that the City Council. Those boy has voted to change. To change the zoning on the holy cross property. That's all that I know I didn't know that they -- look it to extend it further but we do believe dad. You know that's bad. Changing that to that aggressive zoning would make it much easier. For any development economy and and use that as a statute -- What were basically where are saying is that out why again the lower ninth. On you have a lot of historic neighborhoods. That line in the river as well. And we found that this was that a president. For those neighborhoods also to have the same issues that we are handling now with this aggressive zoning to me. And with these huge towers. That are gonna step on the -- the only green space in our community. These -- will dwarf. All of the single family in two family dwellings. In that -- It is a massive structure. Are there -- small streets that actually border. This project as well. So where are saying why you develop with say it went into the government can't -- well we'd be able to bring folks back for the neighborhood. Well these are going to be -- actually apart. They are not going to be affordable. To low income residents. Who hoped to return to the long ball it's not going to be mixed use it's not going to be it's not going to be mixed use it's it. Most of the units are single family do -- so we feel that who are of course with project. One -- apartments web beaver Munich so OK that's -- in -- that in the character of our family. Oriented community. You know it's single. Analysts younger people it's what we say basically is for the new. New Maloney it is not for the New Orleans. That live here on hold to return. You know and that -- for the starts. Then again aggressive the aggressive zone each day in which opens the doors are also for commercial development. In a neighborhood that is like -- -- it's -- said. You know this is just gonna destroy. The storm McCain parents of Herbert everything around neighborhood that was actually -- -- and are those that they've moved. Post-Katrina is going to be just. And and I tell -- and -- to save and you know in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Well at night -- what was one of the hardest hit. Communities. And one of the least a comeback as far as that infrastructure and they're regaining what we once had you know assaults have this sort of aggressive development is a slap to the things. After everything that we've had to go through to try to recover. From hurricane Katrina and then Dallas City Council could stand against us the support this aggressive zone change which is so different. For what spin the character of our community is just insulted and Aubrey -- Let me should The Two Towers and because we had the -- group long. After we -- the -- -- and they had lowered it from the original what was in 72 or something like that he and now it's felt since 75 NM. -- Ben Bernanke about that and to learn as the actor that's why it's the same zoning change. So what difference does that may that they move and it now from what ever. Still to go right speculative because the zoning change will be -- be there. They have every right to be able to move it back up to what the initial request possible. You know what -- -- is still the same is only -- it -- like everybody is why he can't accept that way it is still the same aggressive. So -- chains. So what difference does that make that they. Reduce the number of storms is still outside. Of what's our. Developer would have out of merit. The zoning that already exists on their abilities we probably wouldn't even be here right now. So it's like a slap to the face. Try to put some sort of smokescreen. On what the real issue and send me this. This is the thing that really upset all of us all of the processes that were in place. Okay that. We are in place to actually really aggressively look at this -- and look at this project field. From the city planning committees in who. Did not consider seventy pages of comments. From folks in the neighborhood. About his -- he changed that was an even consider. Okay the architecture review committee there was no public come -- I have the residents of the more of the historic and work our holy cross neighborhood no public comment was or not. And then along with that the HD count. Who also could not come to a unanimous decision. About this. So all of both systems failed and the only one that really got. Was Jason Williams because he's an attorney -- three. He failed when he beat releasing it note to -- the government. He believed the Dallas processes. Were not. Really honor and making a decision about a project that will ever change -- it. On that happy note we're gonna take a break stay with this these women are riled up. Have a lot to tell us we'll be right back financial under the WL. -- with Kim Fordham Vanessa -- juror who are from the holy cross neighborhood and the associations. A couple of associations. I'm very irate about a zoning change in their neighborhood and the fears they have of what's gonna happen. Happened to it we we have a caller let's go to Jake in New Orleans straight. I realized later I am extra -- your concerns and fears I have to say I've lived -- sectional oral -- young professionals and but I with a decent income and I want to be able to settle. More on quite. A project that attractive or restart to look at stop labeling. Reasonable thing as a historical preservation and sort of look at the economic development and trying to get people like movie to me in the city. Will be comfortable here and support the bill. What. What all. Those areas structure. And it's not gonna happen. Resident. And I commend you for putting up which put up there. There isn't it for growth and that at some point we have. Stop talking to all the stop being afraid of China's Olympic gold and start to employees. Way to make our city's bigger and better than it's ever stand and we all to do. -- I appreciate that in your comments and I know they want answered yeah. Sure to. Let me say I. First of all welcome to the beautiful and fabulous city of New Orleans, Louisiana. And I've been living here all fifty of my years so you know that my accident is just is great he's viewers even now what this boy. And that they think that what EE you have some. Some misinformation. A focus on the fact that. Not a holy cross area of the -- my sport is an. Real estate blew me right now. Actually it's one of the fastest selling. And real real estate. An entire city of New Orleans. And the fact that our community doesn't has -- doesn't have infrastructure. Has absolutely nothing to do with the progress development. EA Chardonnay because 200 people. Coming to move an apartment complexes that house. You know a double apartment complex that house 100 people at each building. 001 story of a single single you know what bedroom apartment. Isn't that -- of burying. Economic development. The -- bankable parts of the city of New Orleans so as -- clear about that you know. -- so that you know you know you you've really got out. Realize that. People all over the city people of the world war economic development. But we need to be able to have a clear understanding know what economic development he has and yes. Project that's -- polls and this historic district that my neighbors worked so well. To preserve and have it labeled as historic district. Is worth it to be saved isn't worth beats him beat transit is worthy to be protected. The same. Sorts of issues that have happened let Allah historic French water. Because this city is about history. We love our history and we about preserving now we history. So if you wanna come Olivia what past that you need to respect our history as well and -- have -- an. -- he's asking and. Do you all mind economic plug did this -- that even an issue Angela that is like so common sense. Yes absolutely -- the world economic development really. Let this is that he picked this yeah yeah. You know the elephant in the room is that speakers -- new -- to the city and -- Our -- Katrina we had 151000 families living in the Lower Ninth -- Post-Katrina we now have about 6000 fans. That resides in the little and I sport. But the elephant in the room is that the city of Long Island collected from FEMA billions of dollars. Billions with a B. Follow them on Ninth Ward fund won't -- in the upper ninth war. They decided for some reason that we would not worthy of these dollars. Going into our neighborhood. I as well as other residents were lifelong residents. Thought that this is a chance to be better than the Arab world war. This is a chance to have. All of them the immunity. All the things that healthier neighborhoods. Had a post-Katrina. It didn't. Now as more of economic development is concerned we always wanted and needed economic development. Pre Katrina we was traveling to the Wal-Mart. Say the not. So why why even. You know we been doing a study. Our property tax monies and collectively district -- It's 40%. Of the city of wall -- tax base but yet less than Oprah. Has ever come back and so yeah again we have a war and were being disenfranchised. Okay were being neglected and have been neglected but that we think that we -- more economic development. Who. A lot of us are tired of writing in and Richie and all of the Paris's. OK EN. New Orleans are out in Metairie. And saying the nor Paris -- -- of enriching those folks you know we not to have the dollars. Spent in our community. Alchemy. But the city of -- -- -- for some reason. That is not going to be now -- -- you we have a Wal-Mart coming in the wall and eats. OK we have -- viruses and we have our communities and economy but all of those things didn't happen -- I would if I. And we can tell you Dallas Madonna all the money that come in debt. From our property taxes and all the theme monies that have come and what had happened what happened. So it's not that we don't want economic development because really the city of New Orleans really looked at it that's the only way you can actually go -- east Libyans are stroke and then so we're gonna pay an increase in property taxes and fees over and over and over again that we should have these communities. That the other communities that. Everyone stay with this they're riled up this is good stay with us we'll go the newsroom and be right back. Well we are back talking about the holy cross neighborhood. We're talking about. A major change in the zoning. And some people who were very upset can afford it and -- Vanessa Gary injured and I also like to just walked in had differences. Reverend William Calhoun -- it. Really count in junior. And you or lifelong resident of that area -- -- -- talk to me about what -- upset about. Several things one of the first things that upsets me is that we have all to have a voice within that could mean. Entrepreneur knows can come into the -- neighborhood now. And basically do what -- do whatever they wanted to within their community. And that's problematic for me because if the elect -- issues. Do not listen and the voice of the naval hole. And how is how would have a development has come and impacts that neighborhood. And I think we lose imploded a democratic process. Because then we'd all have oval we don't have anyone meet me like people to to go and speak. Two schools of -- to represent us. But you know really speak flaws. And have problems and its problems on me. One another and uses that hand is that there's no commitment it's in this community. If at this point in tan van the -- as a group to says that they wanna sell this project. As the commitments to this community. That the next development with -- -- I mean what president has actually been said he has been going to need to worry. With the community. You don't have to see anything. Because one state wants -- -- that this is in place if it's allowed. To be pay us next Thursday. That they don't have to -- Excuse me to have to say anything to the community in if they wanna go back to thirteen Storey building they can't. There's no commitment to the community what -- So in other words this proposal by Perez is a sixty foot limit on these towers. That's too high for you all pitchers saying the next guy they sell it ten years from now somebody else could build one higher. Did not fully ten years because they'll clean saying. C one a aggressive zoning it's zoning change that's on the property debt that determines what the limitations. Not. Particular development is just the manner. Are you saying beyond holy cross neighborhood. That now with this zoning change that somebody can come in and build that attend story tower. If -- when anything changed ownership even -- programs this. You know let's say all else happens in progress actually. Gets enough money to be able to -- Do what they're proposing to do because that hasn't even been established yet. If if they do you get an opportunity to. Be able to afford it then yeah they can submit a request. The zoning variance change doubled in the process will be. A lot that's different than what it is right now simply. We're gonna quickly go can we got a bunch of callers I'm so glad Gerard Jean in New Orleans we'll start with you. I'm Angela it's asking its EG. So. Wanted to point -- that. As as important as that stretch of land dispute everybody's support. People out entire city have to think about how important it is because that's stretch of -- along there. As he's ever taken a walk on it and it was surely have mentioned. Not that I'm going to. Is legally. I think he understood the concerns. And the passions. Forward on the part of the people who live immediately in the neighborhood in the Ninth Ward but also people from all over the city -- -- into -- -- to visit with the aid to Bogota to. Walk with your family to job to bike ride it's a very unique and crashes. Stretch of green -- on the Mississippi River probably that he left in America. In in an -- north side. Where you can go in and easily block a couple of the -- in that river. You know how legendary important -- to everybody. So that's something that. And think about not just. And and it's not just it's so important people around that which. By the way now there. Amenities as no partners no recreational area just because in the areas that they had. It's it's it's important for people aren't in Portugal. Who wanted to raise some eyes and answer questions but. On the development standpoint. Anybody in his book that's the at this statistic can tell you that property. Values in historic districts to batter. Then otherwise because people care about them and take care of their properties. Equipment and neighbors on that happens there there area. And and keep that that and they can simply. That's -- that's important precious and and that's the people in this very intently have a coalition of local ordinance would vision coalition that's been. -- only organizations together and such as the one another that all of them and that's the first on the area has been united. And that again -- -- hearing accountable on this -- saying it's not being honored. The and two things one. If it's because it is by the river and the beautiful loving that it makes it desirable. The need for development in the lower nine you'll agree exist are definitely so often. And what can be done then to say the very sparkling jewel we have along this river. Let -- keep it as that -- but let's take and welcome developers in other parts of the -- You can welcome the developers -- this site. -- and it could even deeper -- that they would have just so far. And don't vote means more responsive to the community and not so. Insistent on -- those two big towers right on the I think that is a big part of the people object to and the height of the buildings which just put. -- -- The village are grounded in this as -- I mean it is no ads against development everybody understands and wants development and -- -- lots of empty lot that can be developed. And guest spot there are many developers and now through all the publicity around did have heard about it and -- candidate and our interest is in. -- and this could be opened up a little bit and opening up means not. Actually testing the ordnance on the nineteen. And that basically shut down while prices and says -- or do you want if they didn't. Tests ordinance. Then there would be an. Opened discussions as of the end of two whip the Holocaust Brothers and to really look at this and do the right thing. It's been rushed -- -- adjustment this people and a neighbor it's been six months working on alternative plans. They constructed the help from the -- -- the center to facilitate the meeting and they all went to meetings. Saturday -- Saturday many many people came up with ideas for how you can develop the property. But all due respect the community and have that be in scale that the community. Mean we're gonna have to take a great team I hate in Iraq but will be back stay with the stay with their college right. But we are back talking. About the holy cross neighborhood let's go to one of our callers Howard you've been holding on thank you. Prompt hearing that yes Scott Speed of the grown up and holocaust -- -- Mean think back about 23 years that he wanted pretty. -- when he's actually in the Caribbean area -- magazine street. Which is that would keep the same historic area and then he did well high rise apartment house in a magazine street here. So -- of the policy area. -- look to see what they do it in that -- -- to. They also defeated one in the Marron and -- I hate to see rot what about what -- about -- by reporter implication. I mean that they did did the -- -- supported application. Is still be at that point it -- canal in the -- -- holocaust period of course that's part war. Well like you know I'm just liberalism we only have a couple of minutes but it isn't because the success of the the rebuilt river in New Orleans. Where you know the river walk is with the park they're and now on the wonderful school center are they thinking perhaps this is the next face could that be part of it. We've been we've been hearing. We've been here staff in the wind about you know ports. Being a part. What might happen on the river. You know in the holy cross area. We've I'll -- I mean not property. I I had to. A law firm and an investment real notes or write me recently about my property. For investment purposes so we're hearing in the wind and that you know they may be sound thinking about some development along that river halt. That supports is development is skating needs and a sort of an application is going to be a -- time. So when did not looking at was really go on and on years of development is skating when you start looking in and -- of the refurbished. This coup that and so -- saying hello. An arrogant and isn't that you are opposed to change -- it is the particular change and that do you feel left out. Absolutely that's you know it is now Angela you know it's it's one thing land. Our. And it's just sad that. Our city government. What's behind closed doors that those people who are connected and who are in the know. They have an opportunity. To participate but my neighbor and we're not in Beckley and so will left out of the loop and we get it way at that the only ones are gonna happen on the nineteenth. On the nineteenth. City Council will have an opportunity to say. You know while we thought bat this may have etiquette being we see that the community don't want -- so we're not gonna vote. As a law because who would keep saying to is that the master plan is -- and -- Okay -- that the Vizio with that seventh. Okay in the spirit of the master planned there is a segment in that master plan that -- the historic neighborhoods. Shouldn't be changed in fact they should be in its so we look at this is being. -- projects that would enhance our neighborhood. We look at it as a project that would destroy the village type setting the parents of on neighborhood. You know as the worst thing that the City Council. Honor the spirit of the master plan and understand that the current -- Is not sentence found. You're asking him to sit on the nineteenth. To Arafat because they have an opportunity to sit sit not voted into law on the nineties. I appreciate all of the calls I appreciate all of you coming in it's it's an important discussion and will be watching on the nineteenth thank you each and every one of -- well.