MCNO Position on June 2011 Demolition Hearings

Following are MCNO’s positions regarding today’s Neighborhood Conservation District Committee (NCDC) hearing which were sent to the NCDC Committee Members for consideration.

Old Business

5060 Canal St – DENY
It is our understanding from the State Attorney that a letter was sent to Safety and Permits detailing the processes for potential demolition. One of these (require for any subsurface activities, which would be required to cap the sewer and other plumbing lines) is obtaining a demolition permit from the State Archeological Office. The other is ensuring the remains in the Cypress Grove wall vault attached to this structure will not be disturbed.
A near neighbor confirmed this morning that LSU has not applied for the demolition permit with the State Archeological Office. Until LSU obtains that permit, MCNO has no confidence that the demolition will be conducted in a manner that respects the numerous remains affected by the demolition of this site.
We request the committee deny this request, given LSU’s apparent reluctance to follow procedure and respect the dead, so that this item can go to City Council for review. This will both buy time and reinforce upon LSU that the committee believes in protecting human remains.
Strategic Demolitions
This property is in Fair condition and the original, classic 2-bay shotgun structure is undoubtedly still contributing to the historic streetscape. Furthermore, the lot is seriously non-conforming in depth, so it is unlikely anything else would be built here. Please deny this request and ask the city to prioritize this property for Sheriff’s Sale.
This property has been proposed by the City for demolition three times – in 2009 (denied), in 2010 (withdrawn) and in 2010, there was interest in purchasing it. At that time, the potential purchaser was unable to come to an agreement with the owner – who for the record lives in Metairie and has done NOTHING to protect it. The owner purchased it in 1977 for $13,500 and obviously has no desire to expend the money to return it to commerce – or to sell it, which would certainly be easy given that he is not out of town.
It is undoubtedly still contributing to the historic streetscape. MCNO notes that the roof line on one side appears to be sagging, and there is some roof damage (mostly near the porch) but the property is not collapsing. I have personally seen properties with far worse roof damage (huge holes in the roof for years on end) be lovingly restored and put back into commerce.
Furthermore, this property’s position along the Lafitte Corridor makes it an excellent candidate for rehabilitation. Next door to it are two vacant lots, so to demolish this will further erode the streetscape and make it easy for someone to purchase a large parcel along the Greenway, potentially for unwelcome uses.
We ask the committee to DENY this request and ask the city to prioritize it for Sheriff’s Sale. Let’s give this nice Arts and Crafts double shotgun the second chance it should have had in 2009.
If the committee will not move to deny, we request a 30-day deferral to work with the city and ask them to withdraw this petition.
This single, bracketed shotgun was the unfortunate victim of a fire in the house next door in July 2007. The fire spread to this property and the city deemed it in “imminent danger of collapse.” It was spared demolition at the time and has sat forlornly ever since in the essentially the same condition.
The fire was limited mostly to one side in the rear and a nearby neighbor who has been inside the property reports it can be rehabilitated. The worst thing about it, she says is the refrigerator that has still not been cleaned out.
Despite the damage in the rear, the property is undoubtedly still contributing to the historic streetscape. Furthermore, the lot is seriously non-conforming as to lot width, so it is highly unlikely anything else would be built here.
We ask the committee to DENY this request and ask the city to prioritize it for Sheriff’s Sale.
This is a cute little shotgun in good condition. We are surprised that it is on the list and ask the committee to DENY. A number of residents have returned in this area and are renovating their historic homes. We believe it is a good candidate for sale if the asking price is reasonable.
3000 St. Peter – DENY or DEFER
The property owner is elderly and has not been able to obtain Road Home funds due to a lack of insurance. With no insurance and no Road Home money, she has been unable to effect repairs. The MCNO board member who handles this area is working with several non-profits (meeting with them this week) who believe the homeowner may qualify for assistance in renovating the structure.
She wants to return to live here and we ask the committee to give her that chance.

New Business – Louisiana Land Trust (Road Home Properties) (LLT)

341-43 Jane Place – APPROVE
This was obviously once a nice raised shotgun, but it has long since been altered beyond having any contributing status. It is in serious disrepair and vagrants appear to be using it. MCNO has no objection to the demolition of this structure.

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