City Council votes FOR French Quarter High-Rise

Yesterday, by a 5-2 vote, the New Orleans

City Council voted to approve a motion that

would allow the construction of a

high-rise in the French Quarter.

 

Developer's revised rendering of the proposed tower at 121 Royal Street, which is now 190', more than 2 ½ times the height limit of 70'

Developer’s revised rendering of the proposed tower at 121 Royal Street, which is now 190′, more than 2 ½ times the height limit of 70′

We are deeply disappointed by the Council’s decision. This was a clear violation of the Master Plan and the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance, which begs the questions:

  • What public good is being realized by granting waivers worth millions of dollars to one developer?

  • Why damage the historic and architectural fabric of our most iconic neighborhood and the basis for our tourism industry?

  • Why create a traffic nightmare for nearby businesses and residents?

  • Why set a precedent for other too-tall buildings to be constructed in the French Quarter?

This article in The New Orleans Advocate offers a good summary of the meeting and the vote. Click here to read.

In moving this project forward, the Council overrode the explicit recommendations of the City Planning Commission staff, the vote of the City Planning Commission, and objections from VCPORA, French Quarter Citizens, the Foundation for Historical Louisiana, Louisiana Landmarks Society, the Preservation Resource Center (and their petition signed by over 1800 people), the Greater New Orleans Hotel and Lodging Association, hotel operators, and developers – a coalition so broad that it prompted CM Stacy Head to remark: “This is some of the most unified opposition I’ve ever seen from disparate groups and individuals who are not usually like-minded.”

Joining CM Nadine Ramsey in voting for these enormous waivers were CM Latoya Cantrell, CM Jared Brossett, CM James Gray and CM Jason Williams.

CMs Stacy Head and Susan Guidry, citing concerns about the process, the Master Plan, and the building itself, voted against – and we thank them for that!

But it’s not over!

The motion is not final. In a procedural move that rankled CM Susan Guidry, CM Ramsey severed the motion from the ordinance, meaning that there must still be a final vote. Neither the council nor the developer offered any information as to what happens next, or to how the public will be able to participate in whatever process there may be.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Sign the petition! We already have 1800+ signatures – let’s get 1800 more! Just click here.

Email some or all of the council to express your concerns! Addresses below

Stay tuned! We will keep you apprised

 

shead@nola.gov, jasonwilliams@nola.gov, sgguidry@nola.gov, lcantrell@nola.gov,

districtc@nola.gov, jcbrossett@nola.gov, jagray@nola.gov, info@vcpora.org

 

THANK YOU!