Neighbors First For Bywater Board Meeting 12/13/17
Present: Julie Jones, Tyler Harwood, Steve Jacob, John Andrews, Nancy Thacker, Mark Gonzales, Brian Luckett, Anthony Eschmann
Called to order 7:07 PM
1. Saxony Condo Development. Following the presentation by the developer at the general meeting last week, it is clear that these units with pool will be marketed to include STRs as a use for these condos. It was noted that our responsibility is with current neighbors, and it was agreed to work on a letter to the developer that would express gratitude for not seeking variances as well as the specific concerns we, as residents, would like to see addressed. It would also strongly encourage this developer to stand by statements that indicated an interest in selling to actual residents as opposed to vacation homes and STRs. Some detail on how STRs and an all commercial 75 unit condo building would harm the neighborhood would be included. Motion made for letter to be written by John and Mark, seconded and carried unanimously.
2. Sun Yard (formerly know as the truck farm). NPP was held this past week at Bywater Bakery, two members attended and shared the following information. The space was small for all who were there, and it was difficult to see plans. There was some concern about the timing of this NPP during a Saints game meant that many could not attend, thereby further limiting neighborhood input. However, there was still a crowd, and none of those who spoke appeared to favor the project. Attendees were very energized to ascertain some clarity on plans, as little was divulged. The discussion of development now includes a restaurant at Montegut and St. Claude. The concept A boutique hotel remains, with a parking lot across St. Claude, which may require a change in zoning from residential to commercial. Some confusion around if the Master Plan had been applied to for a change already – if this was a Map Change? They are asking for a conditional use to accommodate a hotel that is larger than what is allowed in the master plan (i.e. 10,000 sq. ft) as well as a change in zoning on the back area of the lots which are currently residential and would, per their request, become commercial.
It was agreed that we would work with the near neighbors who are staying current and engaged. Some of these near neighbors shared their concerns at the general meeting, and feel the project WILL have a negative impact on their quality of life. The new owner states she has experience in local/ artisanal food and yet has not contacted any local markets, farmers, cheese makers, etc. The owners apparently do not have any experience with these kinds of businesses. If the venture fails the zoning changes would remain, which is extremely problematic. The architectural review committee of the hdlc hearing is Dec 19th.
3. City Grant for Tricentennial Celebration was discussed, and ideas are to be shared with the other neighborhood groups to see if we can coordinate. One idea is to host an event documenting the cultural history of Bywater. Time honored members of the community could be interviewed in a fun public forum setting, and it could also be filmed. Both Tyler and Steve J agreed to follow up.
4. Parleaux and neighbor concerns re: possible violations for parking (humu?), food trucks & licensing. Brian is following up.
5. Communication with new City Council Representative, Ms. Palmer. A survey to our members, such as the one used for opinions on STRs, was discussed and agreed upon. This real time information of what the people of Bywater want and are concerned about would be helpful in listing our top concerns for our representatives, and also insure we adequately address issues most important to our members. When Ms. Palmer is curious to know about a specific issue that is generated on her end on the Council, she could ask to reach out to our shared constituency for input. Rhonda and Brian have been and will continue to work on this. Tyler will contact Palmer’s office to keep them informed.
6. Speakers for next meeting in january discussed – with particular interest in the Holy Angels and NSA. Brian will follow up. Food: Stephen H? with Tyler as back up.
Submitted by Nancy Thacker and Tyler Harwood, co-secretaries