May 08, 2014
City Council Chamber
City Council Regular Meeting News Summary May 8, 2014Thursday, May 8, 2014 - New Orleans, LA - At today's regular City Council Meeting, the Council adopted a Motion providing for the renovation and rehabilitation of an existing historic school building and permitting new construction of mixed-use residential and commercial buildings on a portion of the former Holy Cross School campus in the Lower Ninth Ward. The Council also passed Resolutions supporting the autonomy of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority - East.
Supported Development on Former Holy Cross School Campus SiteThe
Council adopted a Motion providing for the renovation and
rehabilitation of an existing historic school building and permitting
new construction of mixed-use residential and commercial buildings for
the property at 4950 Dauphine Street, the former Holy Cross School
campus in the Lower Ninth Ward. Plans for the site, which is bounded by
the Mississippi River, Reynes Street, Burgundy Street, and Deslonde
Street, include residential, retail, and office space.
the Motion approved a Zoning Change from an RD-3 Two-Family Residential
District to a C-1A General Commercial District and a Mixed-Use Planned
Community District overlay for the portion of the site between Royal
Street and the Mississippi River, subject to one waiver and seventeen
developer, Perez Architects, APC, plans to restore the former Holy
Cross Administration building and build two apartment complexes, the
heights of which will be limited to 5 stories (60 feet), consistent with
the Master Plan and the draft Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance. The
provisos also require a reduction in the proposed 284 residential units
on the site to bring the proposed residential density closer to the
density of the adjacent neighborhood.
the support and input of Councilmember Gray, Perez Architects, APC, has
agreed to enter in a Community Benefits Agreement with the community,
which will include a commitment to local employment and DBE
participation, and a revolving fund for development of owner-occupied
housing in the area.
"E" Councilmember Gray said, "I would like to thank everyone who has
shown interest and engagement on this issue. There have been many
opportunities for members of the community to give input on the project
and it is my hope that the developer and the community will work
together with mutual respect and negotiation to move this project
Supported Autonomy of Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority - EastThe Council passed Resolution R-14-178, introduced by Councilmember Guidry, opposing Senate Bill 629 and Senate Bill 79, which limit the autonomy of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority - East (SLFPAE).
Senate Bill 629 mandates the transfer of the SLFPAE into the Coastal Protection Restoration Authority, an agency within the executive branch of government. Senate Bill 79 authorizes the removal of SLFPAE members for vague reasons, threatening the independent exercise of their statutory and constitutional duties.
District “A” Councilmember Guidry said, “Transferring the SLFPAE into the Executive Branch of state government impairs and interferes with Orleans Parish’s ability to provide immediate local input to the Orleans Levee District. These bills strike at the heart of the SLFPAE’s independence to make decisions that are best for our citizens.”
The Council also passed Resolution R-14-180, authored by Councilmember Brossett, urging legislators to reject Senate Bills 469, 547, 546, 553, and 531, all of which are designed to make it impossible for the SLFPAE to fulfill its critical mission.
The Senate Bills also impede the SLFPAE's ability to bring the lawsuit it filed against 97 oil companies in an effort to have them repair damages to wetlands and to compensate the SLFPAE for areas that cannot be repaired. A Louisiana District Court judge ruled that the SLFPAE's lawsuit was legal. In spite of this court decision, the set of Senate Bills currently pending in the state legislature would, if passed, undermine the SLFPAE's political independence and constitute a subversion of a final judicial decision by a legislative body.
District "D" Councilmember Brossett said, “The passage of these Senate Bills would run counter to the will of the people as demonstrated by the 2006 vote for levee board reform and it would violate the concept of separation of powers. It is our duty as a Council to make our voices heard in opposition to these bills on behalf of our citizenry.”