NFB Board Meeting 5/16/18

NFB Board Meeting – 5/16/18

Attending: Julie Jones, John Andrews, Stephen Haedicke,  Michael Owings, Brian Luckett, Tyler Harwood, Rhonda Findley (via phone), Susan Korec, Steve Jacobs, Anthony Eschmann, Mark Gonzalez, Nancy Thacker.

Called to order 7:10

Krewe of Red Beans founder Devin Dewulf shared history around Bean Madness – an event which follows Mardi Gras and is based on the brackets one plays in the March Madness for basketball, with restaurants competing for the best red beans and rice. This was its second year, and it raises money for two local charities which were chosen in the past by the Red Bean Membership. Both Tyler and Nancy are members of the Krewe.

Devin wants to expand the event this year by organizing two larger events for the final tastings, held in Bywater and Treme. They are being planned as a block parties with good music and food – along with the tastings – and the role of purveyor of liquids was offered to NFB as participants and supporters. Dauphine Street in front of the Art Lofts and Bywater Bakery is being considered as an ideal spot. Some question as to what the process might be to sell alcohol will be further explored by Mark. Devin will follow up with us in a month – however at this time all were in favor of participation.

Michael brought in copies of the list of items for Kristen Palmer that he had sent around for input. It was updated and reviewed in the meeting and all agreed to ongoing active modification. Getting on calendars and timing discussed. Topics included:

  • Limits on commercial STR’s, number permitted per block, and linking STR’s to homestead exemptions. Possibly linking this issue to the growing parking problem was also explored. It was noted that the parking regulations fought for in the Marigny are not necessarily working well.
  • Potential restrictions on conditional uses were also discussed, as it undermines zoning.
  • A need to prioritize what is happening with the Riverfront Overlay. A need to revisit this with the firm 50 foot limit with any change having to go through the full variance process.

The NSA redevelopment was then discussed. Brian will be meeting with K. Palmer and other community members tomorrow (5/17/18) on this issue and will fill us in. There is some turbulence with the current leaseholder and the city. Concerns about the pending cruise ship terminal will also be discussed. There is a need for some kind of structured process where neighbors and neighborhoods can participate in the decisions.

It was then discussed, and the history reviewed for the Iris project at 2930 Burgundy (800 block Montegut). Motion made and passed by all not to send a letter of support as they have requested, since we feel they have not adequately addressed the concerns of the neighbors. A letter explaining why there isn’t support currently will be written instead. Mark will pen this letter which will include some of the concerns noted, such as lack of green space, scale, and design.

A very close eye needs to be kept on the single shotgun at 826 Piety and the parking lot at 830 Piety St. The fence has been removed and replaced incorporating the entire two properties, and supplies are being off loaded. Is there a variance for a fence going over 7 feet? The owner is leasing the space to people who want to put up an open-air restaurant, serving alcohol. Process would be to watch the plans being filed for ARC then HDLC.

Sex Shop: Near neighbors, as well as some Bywater residents in general, are expressing concerns about this recent addition to the retail development of the community. It seems that there is live music in the form of a DJ every Thursday evening, and they are likely not zoned for live entertainment. It should be on the open discussion agenda for the next general meeting to gather neighbors specific concerns.

Topics for the next general meeting were then discussed. Someone who can speak about potential new STR regulations was considered. Crime on St. Claude has also been cause for concern. Inviting a representative from the KIPP Renaissance High School who could discuss how they are dealing with recent violence and their concerns around youth development was suggested, or another speaker to talk about violence/conflict resolution in the community. NOPD could present info on violence prevention and increasing the safety and sense of community. Julie will provide food.

Meeting adjourned at 8:27.

respectfully submitted: N Thacker

A PDF of these minutes can be downloaded here.

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NFB General Meeting 5/2/18

NFB General Meeting May 2, 2018

Meeting called to order by president Julie Jones at 7:14PM.

Commander Frank Young from the 5th district was introduced. He spoke to us about the recent “crime wave”, specifically a string of alarming “long gun robberies”. The first one reported was April 22nd on France St. Police got surveillance video of it and were able to make out that the robber was in a black Lexus. On April 23 another robbery by the same perpetrator was reported on Royal St. On the 24th a phone was found on the scene of yet another robbery on Marigny street. Yet another robbery on the 1000 block of Bartholomew April 27th, this time the victim was “pistol whipped” with the long gun. All this time there were 5 or more other robberies, apparently by the same perpetrator, being reported in other districts. Last night (May 1) they were able to triangulate a location using the recovered cell phone and arrested 2-3 people in the black Lexus. An AK-47 was found in the car, presumed to be the “long gun” used in the crimes, and some of the stolen items were also found. DNA testing is underway for some items. One suspect confessed to one of the robberies. The primary suspect, who had an appraisal for a stolen ring in his pocket, was sentenced to 10 years 2 years ago. It is unknown why he was on the streets.

Mark Gonzales suggested NOPD have a program to help citizens get security cameras and give information on best practices when installing them. Rick Prince mentioned that the HDLC has a problem with cameras being lower down on historical structures, and Commander Young noted the cameras mounted high up are less useful to them, as it is harder to ID people from that angle.

Commander Young has requested police security cameras along Press St, and had previously requested one near Port and St. Claude Ave where 5 people were shot April 30th. He referred to the area as a “hot spot”. He said he also asked for one on Lesseps St. where his car was recently broken into.

It was noted that we do have a community liaison now, but he apparently doesn’t have a phone number for the public to contact him with yet. Commander Young also mentioned a program called “Coffee With Cops” where citizens can discuss their concerns with officers. He was thanked (and awarded homemade cookies) for his time.

Sherman Strategies, who were scheduled to speak about their plans for their development at 3060 Dauphine, cancelled at the last minute as their drawings were not ready to show yet. It is hoped they will come to the June 7th meeting.

Curtis Doucette from Iris Development and Will Bradshaw from Green Coast Enterprises were then introduced. Iris Development has addressed NFB in the past regarding their plans for an apartment complex at 2930 Burgundy St (the entire uptown side of Montegut St between Burgundy and Dauphine). Green Coast Enterprises is now partnering with Iris on the project. They showed us revised plans for the apartment building, which they plan to build along the entire uptown side of the 1000 block of Montegut. It includes a fairly large commercial space at the corner of Dauphine and Montegut. No zoning changes or conditional uses are necessary for the development, which has been reduced from 105 to 70 apartments by removing the units above the commercial space. Part of the reason for the new design is to lower the cost of the building so they can offer “workforce housing” with 10% “even more affordable”. Units are smaller as well, lowering rent by $400-$500. Market rate apartments are projected to be $1400/mo for a 600 sq ft one bedroom and $1800-1900/mo for a 850-950 sq ft two bedroom apartment. “Affordable” units are projected to be $800-$900 for a one bedroom and $1000-$1100 for a two bedroom.

The residential part of the building is still five stories and all the trees will be removed to make room for the building. Parking has been moved to beside the building on the track side. There will be 72 parking places and there are a few small permeable areas. A swimming pool is planned for the roof above a covered section of the parking lot, adjacent to the commercial space. It is possible the pool could serve the commercial space. STRs will not be allowed. Sublets are prohibited under all the current Iris leases. The commercial space will be painted with large murals. Solar panels are being considered for the roof of the residential building. Power generated would be sold back to the grid as is required by current state law.

Mark Gonzales suggested eaves or some decorative element around the windows of the residential section. Rhonda Findley agreed that the building as it is currently designed, is just a “big white box… not reflective to the historic neighborhood it is in, and not an attractive gateway to Bywater”, and suggested the plans be submitted to the HDLC for review. The developers said they had not considered that, as property is not in the historic district, but they were open to suggestions. Another attendee suggested breaking up the façade by having areas without windows inset. He said it would make the building more attractive to renters and assist in air flow, ect… The developers said their engineers told them any changes to the basic box shape would make the building more expensive, and result in higher rents for the units. Curtis and Will were thanked for their time and continued efforts to keep the neighbors informed.

Julie reminded the crowd that the City Council vote regarding the controversial “Sun Yard” hotel proposal was the next afternoon (May 3rd), probably around 2PM. She introduced Jason (architect) and Todd (public relations) from Sun Yard, who brought recently revised plans with them, and encouraged anyone interested in reviewing or discussing them to stay after the meeting to do so. She also introduced Sun Yard opponents in attendance in case anyone had questions for them.

Meeting ended at 8:10 PM

Respectfully submitted,

Tyler Harwood, co-secretary

A PDF of these minutes can be downloaded here.

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NFB Board Meeting 4/18/18

NFB Board Meeting 4/18/18

Attending: Julie Jones, Stephen Haedicke,  Michael Owings, Brian Luckett, Tyler Harwood, Rhonda Findley, Susan Korec, Steve Jacobs, Nancy Thacker.

Meeting called to order at 7:10PM

Welcome new Board Member Susan Korec!

Next general meeting: Mike Sherman, who is purchasing the building at 3060 Burgundy, and Avery from Sherman Strategies Group would like to share their plans. This is the former purse/baby items factory next to Clouet Gardens. Plans are currently identified as ‘affordable’ apartments with plans to keep the green space at the gardens.

Food for this meeting  will be provided by Steve J. Tyler will bring water and Mark will bring plates, cups etc.

There was then some discussion on extending an invitation to the people who are developing a rooftop bar and restaurant at the Warehouse (3014 Dauphine St). There are some concerns on how sound will travel from this venue identified by neighbors.

Website: Tyler gave an update on fixing the links on the website with a request for any additional links to be added.  Topics were discussed such as links for Addiction Help, Domestic Violence help or even a site such as inside airbnb (insideairbnb.com) which tracks the over 90 day rental rule as helpful information for the neighborhood.

A suggestion was made and agreed upon that all official letters sent under the NFB logo be accessible in a separate box/file for review.

Demo By Neglect: Patrick Finney has purchased the building at the corner of St. Claude and Clouet (3100 St Claude Ave). Previously it was a corner store, and he wanted to turn it into a bar. This required a conditional use which NFB supported. The store was evicted and the siding pulled off, and work stopped. It has been more than a year and a half since the conditional use.

It was discussed and agreed upon that the owner needs to now be contacted, as this is blight and hazardous for the neighborhood. What is the intention for development, and what timeline is being put forth? If not responsive, perhaps a follow up report and/or request to safety and permits? Rhonda to follow up.

Communication with Council Person Palmer:

How to get properties into commerce – incentives/consequences?

Expectation of property maintenance – again carrot/stick/both?

Michael O volunteered to send around a Google Doc to create the list of issues, as it does need to be a fluid process.

3013 Chartres St: A request for demolition of this property has been submitted – which is inappropriate as the property is in good condition. The plans are to replace this building with a two story flat roof second story balcony. Architectural elements are still intact, and agreement was reached that this demolition should not be supported. Brian will send this letter as well.

STR: Meeting on the 24th – CPC doing study. The next council will decide on the rules. Too late to survey members. Homestead exemptions and  the misuse of same, Whole Home Rentals and the destruction of blocks of neighborhoods remain active and destructive problems. Uptown currently limits STRs to two per block with additional license requiring conditional use approval  – can we at least get something like that?? This would be a nice protection with the Saxony looking like nothing more than a large unregulated hotel. These are things wanted in the study. Motion made and passed to send letter to CPC stating same.

State Side: Opposition meeting on Thursday, tomorrow, with the lawyer. This may be the end of the line as it seems that the Supreme Court is not going to hear it. Will get summary following meeting.

Meeting adjourned at 7:45.

Respectfully submitted: N. Thacker, co-secretary.

A PDF of these minutes can be downloaded here.

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2930 Burgundy St. apartment building

Here is a link to an article about the plans for a large apartment building development that was presented at our last general meeting. It will take up the uptown side of Montegut St. between Burgundy and Dauphine. It will be 5 Stories, 70 apartments, and 2,000 square feet of ground-level retail space.

http://realestate.nola.com/realestate-news/2018/05/bywater_affordable_apartments.html

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NFB General Meeting Minutes 4/4/18

Meeting called to order by President of NFB, Julie Jones at 7:20.

Began with John Calhoun, the interim general manager from the New Orleans Food Co-op who shared some of the history as well as the recent improvements to the store. There has been a shift in patronage since the opening of Robert’s. This has prompted a growth in the Co-op to be more community oriented. While they are expanding their sourcing for local produce, as well as upgrading quality, there will be more of a farm market quality to the location. He went over how to become a member (one time fee of 100$). A recommendation for expansion of hours will be taken under consideration.

Next was the business of NFB Board elections. All current members were re-elected, and an additional member added: Susan Korec. Welcome Ms. K!

The floor was opened for general discussion and input at this point to develop a list of issues to be shared with the incoming City Council representative – Kristen Palmer.  The following items were noted.

-need for street signs, as they are missing on many streets.

-how tickets for street violations are random and inconsistent? clarity

-a need to paint the yellow triangles from the corners to mark where parking can and can’t happen.

-to review when flashing lights are used for schools and safety

-for signs where the schools haven’t returned to be taken down.

-limit STR’s.

-enforce the rules for STR’s that are already non-compliant.

-slowing down the process of review for developments.

-address the overlay question for St. Claude, include Bunny Friend.

-rethink the notice process for the land use change – certified mailed copies to near neighbors, with adequate time for neighbors to attend.

-change out the speed cam on Chartres for a speed bump.

-more representation on HDLC, CPC, NORD, French Market,

-make Piety Bridge ADA compliant, less dangerous.

-make Crescent Park more accessible.

-more police patrolling, car, bike, foot???

-address local parking permit options.

There was a quick update on the Sun Yard development by Megan from the neighborhood opposition. The 19th is set for hearing. They have been meeting individually with city council members, with the notable exception our current representative. There has been good feedback from this. Now, suddenly, there seems to be a mediation of some kind between the opposition and the developers scheduled for April 10th, arranged by CM Ramsey. The goal is to defer to get it in front of new council.

Mark Gonzalez went over the plans to record/document some of the long time residents and their stories for the Tricentennial. He asked for and got some volunteers to get the ball rolling with the $1000 grant from the city.

Meeting adjourned.

N. Thacker, co-secretary.

A PDF file of these minutes is available HERE

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NFB monthly meeting at Stallings Center May 2nd, 7PM

Yes, it’s time, Neighbors First for Bywater is having our monthly meeting THIS Wednesday,  May 2, at 7pm, at the Stallings Center (St. Claude, river side, just before Poland).

Commander Young or a representative will attend to update us on what is happening in the 5th District.

Then we’ve got 2 developers speaking:

1) Sherman Strategies, which has bought the abandoned warehouse at 3060 Dauphine (same block as The Warehouse, same side). It’s an early twentieth-century building which photographs show was once very handsome… until all the windows were covered up with … plywood? Anyway, this group wants to take it back to its original look, put in commercial uses on the ground floor and devote the other floors to smallish apartments which they say will be reasonably priced. There is a big parking lot in the back (up against Clouet gardens) so no problems in that department. I forgot to ask, but I’d bet they’ll do a little landscaping around the parking lot. Anyway, it’s a question we can ask.

2) IRIS, a group that has spoken before about its projected residential development on the upriver side of Montegut (not to be confused with Sean Cummings’s projected development) is coming to update us on changes in that. There’s some good news there, but you’ll have to come to hear it.

We’ll be reminding everybody about the Sun Yard meeting at the City Council on the next day, i.e. Thursday, May 3, 11am. Email ALL the councilmembers (rumor has it they’ve apparently been swamped by invented emails from unreal–in every sense of the word–people who are dying to have a hotel in the neighborhood; in fact, they may already be dead–an old trick some of our finer politicians used in the past!), so let them hear from some living souls and, if you can make it, plan to attend.

As usual, there will be snacks, drinks, refreshments and, again as usual, we’ll be very happy to accept your $5 to renew your membership or become a new member.

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NFB values all input!

Recently we have come to understand that there are sometimes neighbors who have differing opinions that may not feel safe in sharing them. As an organization that really does want to put neighbors first – we need to hear from everyone! We welcome people who do not feel comfortable sharing their opinion at a public meeting to directly contact our president, Julie Jones, by emailing her at info@nfbywater.org, or by using the contact page on this web site.

Please – share your opinions! Get involved!

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NFB Board Meeting March 21, 2018

Neighbors First for Bywater Board Meeting

3/21/18 – John Andrews house

Present: John Andrews, Tyler Harwood, Michael Owings, Anthony Eschmann, Steve Jacobs, Rhonda Findley, Brian Luckett, Nancy Thacker, Mark Gonzalez, Julie Jones

Called to order 7:07

Meeting began with a discussion on how to make the organization more open and welcoming to all neighbors. The importance of hearing differing points of view and opinions is a key component to an organization which puts Neighbors literally first in terms of consideration. It was noted that some members of the community had shared with a  board member their fear of speaking up, which puts the board member in a ‘secret holding’ position.

With the goal of listening to everyone, a motion was made and seconded, to include on the website a statement which outlines a safe and confidential way that people can share differences of opinions. Nancy will draft language for Tyler to then put out for approval prior to posting.

It was also noted that there is a seat open on the board and that elections will be next general meeting. This, too, will be announced on the next communication with NFB members. One potential candidate was discussed, and  it was agreed that she would be contacted.

Rules for representing the NFB in the community were reviewed, noting that a disclaimer needs to be made if sharing personal opinions and not those of the NFB. Steve J volunteered to draft a response to the BNA to acknowledge their decision to withdraw from a coordinated neighborhood celebration for New Orleans 300th Birthday. Mark will contact the appropriate person at the city to have the BNA name removed.

Next general meeting, which is on April 4th, will include elections, as well as an invitation to bring in issues that neighbors want to work with the new council person on. What kinds of business, development can we invite? How to grow the neighborhood with more focus on who actually lives and works here. How to avoid becoming the French Quarter or CBD. Nancy will bring food – Steve J water and Mark plates and napkins.

As the discussion continued on St. Claude development and the neighbors who were concerned for having differing opinions on what that can look like led to the development of a sub-committee. Motion made and seconded  – The St. Claude Committee will help to focus on developments such as Holy Angels. Rhonda, John, Nancy and Steve Jacob agreed to be on said committee.

Meeting was adjourned 8:23

Respectfully submitted: Nancy Thacker, co-secretary

A PDF file of this document can be downloaded here.

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Special Board Meeting after Sun Yard forum 3/11/18

Emergency Board Meeting 3/11/18

Present: Rhonda Findley, Julie Jones, Michael Owings, Mark Gonzalez, Brian Luckett, Anthony Eschmann, Stephen Haedicke, Steven Jacob, John Andrews, Nancy Thacker.

Meeting called to order at 5:32

Focus of meeting was to articulate as clearly as possible the neighbors concerns expressed at the general meeting held on the Sun Yard. Approval standards used to address concerns were noted as 4.3F and #’s 4 and 6 – all having to do with the integrity and appropriateness for a development in the neighborhood.

While wording and issues were refined, it was noted by a board member that there are some ‘silent’ near neighbors who are fearful of sharing their approval of this project. It was unclear just how many neighbors share this stance, as their fear/silence makes it difficult to represent what has not been shared.

A motion was made that the letter, which reflects that the stipulations/privisos made for this project are not sufficient and that the conditional use request does not meet the approval standards, be written and read out to the council on the meeting this coming Thursday.

The motion passed with one nay. Mark G. agreed to attend the meeting and read the letter aloud.

Meeting moved to adjourn at 6:00.

Respectfully submitted : N Thacker co-secretary.

A PDF of these minutes can be downloaded here.

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March 7, 2018 General Meeting – Sun Yard Forum

7 March 2018

The meeting was called to order by president Jones.  Introduction to moderator Stephen Haedicke and representatives of:

Sun Yard (SY): Giuliano Pignataro, owner, and  Jason Richards, architect

Neighbors: Megan Kiefer and Elizabeth Macey

The following notes were composed as accurately as possible by Anthony Eshman as the meeting ran, but should be considered paraphrased. An audio recording of the entire meeting can be accessed here: https://nfbywater.org/2018/03/09/sun-yard-forum/

Giuliano of SY made opening statements expressing his gratitude for being allowed to meet with the neighbors and regret that they had gotten off on the wrong foot.  He went on to describe the plans for a small hotel and restaurant. It has 5 existing structures and 4 new ones will be constructed in addition to a swimming pool.

The hotel will have 37 rooms with a maximum capacity of 90 guests.  There will be an enclosed bar which will serve drinks for the restaurant and outdoors.

Megan Kiefer then spoke representing the neighbors who are opposed to this project.  She stated that there was no clearly delineated position but that the neighbors cohesion formed organically.  

The moderator asked SY if they had made any changes to the original plans after input from the Architectural Review Committee (ARC) and the neighbors. SY’s architect Mr. Richards replied that they had and received approval of them from the ARC.  Other changes were to the proposed parking arrangements as they were not allowed to use a lot across St. Claude Ave. Parking across St. Claude may still happen but that is not determined at this time. They have also moved the trash pickup and employee break room sites so as not to be so closed to the residences bordering the property.  

The moderator asked Elizabeth Macey to list some of her major concerns.

Elizabeth Macey listed them  as: parking, noise pollution, and the outdoor stage.  

Megan Kiefer then pointed out that the developers need a zoning change and a conditional use permit to do what they are proposing.  She went on to say that the neighborhood is being destroyed to make way for more tourists at the expense of the tax-paying residents.  She asked “If this has to happen what can make it less onerous?”

Have you considered what worse could happen to this space suggested the moderator.

Megan K: She wondered if it is this or empty lots.

The moderator then asked SY how they see this as a benefit for the neighborhood.

Mr. Pignataro responded that they felt it was good, low density, low height, and a good anchor for Bywater as one enters on St. Claude.  He did not explain what that means. It will also provide 30 full time jobs with fair wages according to his statement.

Moderator: How would you address E’s concerns?

Mr. Pignataro: A parking lot with 12 spaces, valet parking, and that he was talking to a garage owner in the 1300 block of St. Ferdinand St. about using it as a parking lot.

Mr. Richards added that noise abatement is not unique to this project and there are many ways to assure noise issues can be monitored as part of a proviso.  He also felt that having staff on duty 24 hours would provide someone to call if the noise levels were too high.

Mod: asked M and E if they had a response to this. They responded that moving the bar closer to St Claude and pointed out that the parking spaces on St. C were already used full time.

Mr. Richards responded that the bar is supportive of the pool, hotel and restaurant; it will close at 8PM and just anyone can’t walk into it.

Mod: Can non guests use the bar?

Mr. Pignataro: We envision it being available to others

Megan K: that is not ancillary

Mod: when does the pool close, are you trying to change that?

Mr. Pignataro: Pool would be open later, bar service would stop at 8PM

Megan K: Weekends and all?

Mr. Pignataro: all week

Mod: Would employees of Sun Yard technically be employees of Mr. Pigantaro’s company in Philidelphia? What company is that?

Mr. Pignataro: For marketing purposes it is called Spruce Street Commons.

Mod: The  addition of the new buildings will impact drainage on the property.  How do you plan to make certain that this does not lead to flooding?

Mr. Richards: The city requires that we do not shed onto another space.  Other requirements will be followed.

Elizabeth M: Currently we never flood.

Mod: Are you going to keep the trees or not?

Mr. Pignataro: Everything there will stay and we plan to plant more.  We trimmed the canopy and cleared away brush.

Mod: How will valet parking be handled?

Mr. Pignataro: It is not flushed out.  We have spoken to some companies but there is no definite answer at this time.

Megan K: As neighbors we want to know.  What about Feliciana and St. C? That takes another lot out of commerce.

Mr. Pignataro: We are trying to do it responsibly by talking to the neighbors and the BNA.  Only half of the lot on Feliciana will be used for parking, the other half is available for development.

Mod: Why is there so much hostility towards this project?

Megan K: It is a hotel marketing us as a commodity.

Mod: 40% of the N O economy is tourism.

Elizabeth M: Look at the French Quarter.  Locals can’t enjoy it; it is overrun by tourists.  It is insanely expensive. It is time to take care of tax paying citizens rather than pushing them out due to increasing property values and taxes.

Mod: Have you met with Nadine Ramsey and other city elected officials?

Mr. Pignataro: We met with Ms. Ramsey once before the election.

Mod: Are you buying any other properties?

Mr. Pignataro: Not me.

QUESTIONS FROM CARDS FROM THE AUDIENCE

Mod: How many pilings will you have to drive into the ground?

Mr. Richards: Can’t answer that yet.  We are not that far along. We want to save the trees so we will not use many.

Mod: There was talk of environmental protections such as composting, what plans do you have to make less of an environmental impact?

Mr. Pignataro: Composting and solar energy.

Mod:  How many people will be in the pool area?

Mr. Pignataro: Fire Marshall regulates that.  We haven’t asked yet. Number of people limited by size of egress.

Mod:  How many people will the restaurant accommodate?

Mr. Pignataro: 70 including the bar.

QUESTIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE

How do you propose to have valet parking on St. Ferdinand St. about 5 blocks away and across the railroad tracks?

Mr. Pignataro: That is envisioned as long term parking for guests.  That will not be part of valet parking.

How many people will the hotel accommodate?

Mr. Pignataro: Up to 90 people.

Parking on site?

Mr. Pignataro: There is one ADA parking place.

The CPC requested 3.

Mr. Pignataro: Three were requested, one is required.

What is a fair wage?

Mr. Pignataro: I don’t know.

What are your noise abatement plans?

Mr. Richards: We don’t know yet.  We commit to a transparent process with the neighbors.  There will be speakers around the pool.

There is a similar project on Tulane Ave. The neighbors complain about a lot of noise coming from there. What will you do about that?

Mr. Pignataro: time management

Why do you have to have amplified sound?  Why not move pumping station?

Mr. Pignataro/Mr. Richards: Move pumping station OK.  If we have our own amp system we can control it better than allowing bands to bring their own.

Are you willing to put agreements in writing so that they will be enforceable?  What if you sell the property?

Mr. Pignataro/Mr. Richards   The provisos will be enforceable.  Zoning changes stay with the property but if it is sold a new owner must apply for a conditional use for whatever is proposed.  The provisos stay with the property also.

Information about special event is conflicting.  How many weddings will there be and what about the sound stage?

Mr. Pignataro: There was never a sound stage and there will  not be one. I never said how many weddings there would be. The underwriting of this project is for the hotel, not income from events.

You aren’t willing to commit to a specific number of events?

Mr. Pignataro: I don’t mean to be flippant but I don’t know.

Where can we find plans for this on line?

Mr. Richards: One stop at NOLA.GOV 3000 St. Claude

Would you move the pool closer to St. Claude?

Mr. Richards: We are not committed to that.

You will need special events permits.  They are limited to 12 a year.

Mr. Richards: Weddings are not special events.

What are your priorities?

Mr. Pignataro: 65% occupancy per year.  That is the average for the Southern US.

Didn’t you say that you will work with the neighbors on sound abatement. The Fire Marshall allows 1 person per 7 sq ft.Walls and trees don’t work.

Mr. Richards: We feel the CPC will engage in this process.  The size of the egress determines the amount of people allowed.  When you take this into consideration we will not get to 1,000 people.

There is no current model for this in Bywater but I’m sure the average occupancy rate for N O is higher than 65%.

What do you say to residents if this project fails? We would be stuck with this big commercial space.

Mr. Pignataro: We don’t plan on failing.  In any case a new owner would need to get a conditional use.

We are terrified if it succeeds and terrified if it fails.

Are you aware that 7 restaurants have closed recently within a mile of your location? You have never run a restaurant.

Mr. Pignataro: No.  We have a consultant.

Isn’t she from Austin. ?  In a city like N O you couldn’t find someone to be a consultant?  You said you were providing local jobs.

All were thanked for participating.

A PDF of these notes can be downloaded here.

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