Present: Rhonda Findley, Nancy Thacker, Tyler Harwood, Anthony Eschmann, John Andrews, Steven Jacob, Michael Owings, Brian Luckett. Held at Rhonda’s new cafe on St Claude Ave.
Meeting started at 7:15PM with a discussion of potential plans for our next general meeting. It was suggested we contact Councilmember Palmer to see if she or a member of her staff would like to come share ideas regarding business development on St. Claude Ave. Brian will contact their office. If they aren’t able to come a forum style meeting where small business owners can share ideas was proposed. Handbills/invitations will be passed out to businesses. Rhonda will send text to Tyler to lay out and print. Restaurants may be interested in bringing samples of food, and could be reimbursed by NFB. Asking someone from NOPD to come would also be good. Steven and Rhonda both commented on an increased presence in the neighborhood. Steven will bring water.
Up next was a discussion of the planned restaurant/bar at 830 Piety St. The near neighbors have been active and very well organized. A petition was successful, and a map has been made showing all near neighbors opposed. A meeting was held on the 22nd at Vaughan’s and someone from safety and permits attended, as well as Councilmember Palmer and a member of her staff. The plans would require some rezoning, as the developers want to combine three properties and some is apparently residential. A sushi restaurant is being opened in November at 3214 Burgundy, which is connected. It is obvious that the developers are trying to skirt the need for conditional use by making plans look like everything will stay under 3000 square feet, but if outdoor space is included (e.g. the “public market” plan) it will push them over. There is no parking provided. Councilmember Palmer said the project would be fine for St. Claude Ave, but not in the middle of the neighborhood, and that it should be shut down as soon as possible so as to not waste any more of the developers’ time and money. She asked the positions of both NFB and BNA, but nobody knew if BNA had a position. Rhonda will contact John G from BNA to see about meeting to discuss the project and see if they have a position. Maybe ask a near neighbor to come as well.
The “backyard ordinance” has apparently been shelved for now. Rhonda noted that it is important for existing businesses to be certain their permits will allow them to be grandmothered in.
Meeting ended at 8:08 PM
Submitted by Tyler Harwood, secretary