What happens to people who run for the New Orleans City Council and promise how they will protect our 19th-century neighborhood? Then they win the seven council seats and somehow forget their promises. Do they go to a class that desensitizes them, so when in session, they look stoic and not really concerned about what they are doing to our Lafayette Square District neighborhood? Talking with each other while citizens are trying to let them know their opposition?
Please tell me how Punch Bowl Social, a bar, bowling alley and fast food restaurant coupled with a co-living dormitory, Two Saints, works for a neighborhood where most of the neighbors have been putting their time and money in for 25 to 50 years. Why does affordable housing have to be coupled with a BAR? And why does affordable housing have to be placed on one of the most expensive pieces of property in downtown New Orleans? Because the Industrial Development Board will issue bonds wherein Punch Bowl Social and Two Saints do not have to pay taxes? I think we have enough tax exempted properties downtown New Orleans.
The council and Planning Commission need to understand the term ‘conditional use.’ It means otherwise not good for an area, so it is considered on the basis of whether it will hurt a neighborhood. Of course it will, if the neighborhood is residential and wants to keep out the circus Bourbon Street life that is destroying the French Quarter.
Then to add injury to insult, the Planning Commission and the developer say that we don’t have enough liveliness in our 800 block of St. Charles. That we could certainly use some drunks, urinating and defecating and throwing down beer bottles and drink cups and trash, and vomiting in our neighborhood. We need to liven it up.
Please leave our neighborhood intact. We don’t believe that every time a developer opens his mouth we have to go along with his scheme, and nor does the council. Council: Listen to the neighbors and neighborhoods. We are the ones that are paying the property taxes and trying to create a quality of life wherein we can live and work in peace, without having to constantly dodge bars and festivals, unruly short-term renters and council members.
We as neighbors and neighborhoods pay a big price for your council decisions.
Lafayette Square resident