The board has decided to cancel the upcoming (February 7) general meeting because of parades (Nix) and the Mayor’s Mardi Gras Ball which will be attended by several of the people we hoped would join us in a forum we are planning.
The next general meeting (March 7) will definitely be held. It will involve the very contentious question of the development of the 3000 block of St. Claude (primarily riverside although there is a spillover as well) as a hotel, restaurant, event space with an outdoor pool and a parking lot across St. Claude. The owners of the property are requesting a zoning change to extend the commercial zoning that fronts on St. Claude (river side) to the back of the lots (almost reaching N. Rampart, a residential area) and a conditional use to make what is allowed on St. Claude–a 10,000 sq ft enclosed commercial space–into a 20,000 sq ft enclosed commercial space. The parking lot will need a waiver of some kind as well. We gather that the near neighbors are not happy about these changes, which may well affect their quality of life, but we would like to hear from the community in general.
Although the City Planning Commission will almost certainly make its recommendation in early February, the issue will still have to go to the City Council for the final decision. We plan to host a forum to get input from the neighborhood in general and especially the near neighbors to see how this property can best work for Bywater. We would like the forum to be attended by all interested parties in the neighborhood–residents, near neighbors and the proposed developers as well–and also hope to have people from the CPC, the Historic District Landmark Commission (which has twice deferred a decision on the design of the property) and the Office of Safety and Permits.
We will send a reminder about and update on this meeting closer to the date.