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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Cities are like little laboratories

Global warming, local initiatives


Unhappy with federal resistance to world standards, communities are curbing their energy use and emissions.

BOULDER, COLO. — Frustrated with the federal response to global warming, hundreds of cities, suburbs and rural communities across the nation have taken bold steps to slash their energy consumption and reduce emissions of the pollutants that cause climate change.
This outdoorsy college town recently adopted the nation's first "climate tax" -- an extra fee for electricity use, with all proceeds going to fight global warming. Seattle has imposed a new parking tax, and the mayor hopes to charge tolls on major roads in an effort to discourage driving -- a leading source of greenhouse gas pollution.

Cities not typically associated with liberal causes have also jumped on board. In Fargo, N.D., Mayor Dennis Walaker swapped out every traffic-light bulb for a light-emitting diode, or LED, which uses 80% less energy. In Carmel, Ind., a suburb of Indianapolis, Mayor James Brainard is switching the entire city fleet to hybrids and vehicles that run on biofuels (made from plant products rather than petroleum).
"It's quite incredible, the number of things cities are beginning to do. It's very heartening," said Tom Kelly, who directs a national environmental group called Kyoto USA.

Boulder Mayor Mark Ruzzin says skeptics often ask why global warming must be a local priority. He responds by acknowledging the obvious: "Even if Boulder could somehow wish away all of our greenhouse gas emissions, that wouldn't be a drop in the bucket. It would be a drop within a drop."

Then he argues that the city must try anyway -- if only to prove to larger communities that they, too, can reduce pollutants without spending huge sums or slowing economic growth.

"Every one of us has the ability, small as it may be, to make change," Ruzzin tells his residents, asking them to substitute a push mower for a gas mower, or at least to turn out the lights when they leave a room. "No one's going to be able to escape the responsibility."

The movement began nearly two years ago, when Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels announced that his city would strive to meet the targets of the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty that aims to control global warming. The treaty requires industrialized nations to cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants that hover in the lower atmosphere. In what is known as a greenhouse effect, these pollutants create an invisible shield that keeps the sun's rays from dissipating. Many of the trapped rays are reflected back to Earth, raising temperatures.
Greenhouse gases are directly tied to energy use, because the process of burning fossil fuels emits carbon dioxide. So any measures to conserve energy can indirectly cut greenhouse emissions.

Planting trees can also help, because they absorb carbon dioxide -- and several cities have launched campaigns to take advantage of that fact. Denver, for instance, plans to plant an average of 140 trees a day for the next 20 years, while Los Angeles is replacing its famed fan palms with more leafy sycamores and oaks. Chicago encourages the planting of lush rooftop gardens, which have the added effect of cooling buildings, reducing the need for air conditioning.

Fargo acts on climate change more directly by trapping the methane that normally wafts out of its landfill as a byproduct of rotting garbage. The methane -- a potent greenhouse gas -- is then sold to a soybean processing plant, which uses it in its boilers.

"All these cities are like little laboratories, experimenting with what works. Then we learn from each other," Brainard said.

President Bush rejected the goals of the Kyoto treaty soon after he took office, calling it ineffective and unfair because developing countries such as China and India are exempt. He also argued that it would be enormously expensive for the U.S. to comply.
Determined to prove him wrong, Nickels challenged his fellow mayors to adopt Kyoto's targets at the local level. He has received more than 330 pledges from mayors representing 54 million people. All have vowed to reduce their cities' emissions below 1990 levels within the next several years.

The nation's biggest urban areas have made the pledge: Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Miami, Dallas, Denver. So have Turtle River, Minn. (population 79) and North Pole, Alaska (population 1,778).

Meridian, Miss., where nearly 30% of residents live in poverty, has signed on to the Kyoto goals. So have Sugar Land, Texas; Dubuque, Iowa; and Norman, Okla. Scores of blue-state coastal cities are on the list, including Berkeley and Cambridge, Mass. The industrial Rust Belt town of Gary, Ind., is also taking part.

Some of the cities that made the pledge have since lost interest. Topeka, Kan., is on the list, but that's because a former mayor signed up. The current mayor, Bill Bunten, has other priorities: "Our environmental problems in this city are just trying to make it clean and attractive."

Saturday, September 9, 2006

Nah, our government wouldn't do that to us.

I invite the people of New Orleans to take some time out to think about the political history of New Orleans and the rest of Louisiana.

New Orleans has always been Louisiana s largest city.
We are not anymore. We are now 3rd behind Baton Rouge and Sherveport.

The rest of the State of Louisiana, especially those above the South Louisiana Cajun/Catholic line, has always had a love-hate relationship with the City of New Orleans. We in the New Orleans area were different, our faiths, our racial mix, our culture, our flavors, our music. We are different from other areas in Central & North Louisiana. We are different from the rest of “the South”. The relationship has always been a little uncomfortable. Historically the New Orleans generated significant tax revenue for the State of Louisiana and there has been more than on occasion when New Orleans had to fight to have that tax revenue returned to provide services, because once that tax revenue got into the state coffers it belongs to the whole state, regardless of where it was generated.

Take a look at the LRA.
Why is Orleans parish the only parish that has been required to have a master plan before the dollars that the Federal Government has provided to assist recovery can begin to flow and allow repairs to essential services? In December, the federal government provided recovery dollars to the people of South Louisiana who were affected by Katrina and Rita. Why is it that the State of Louisiana is still holding on to the money? Perhaps the are those in power in Baton Rouge that are hoping that the victims of Katrina and the Corp of Engineers will give up trying to jump through all the hoops the LRA puts before us and then the recovery dollars can end up in the hands of other Louisiana cities.
Nah, our government wouldn't do that to us.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

4 Corners

There has been a war on the corner of Carrollton and Claiborne. The enemy has shifted at times, and there was never a Peace or Resolution. Just an uneasy cease fire.

Our Neighborhood was never much of a player in this war. We live in the Territory but we had always figured it was someone elses fight. That we were powerless to effect a change and that the outcome would be one that we would have to live with.

As is said so often “Katrina changed everything”, it changed our landscape and it reinvigorated our desire to save our Neighborhood.

Jenel…..One of the quickest thinkers ever, she walked the Neighborhood and passed out flyers till she assembled the beginings of a Team. She wrote the letters and spoke up when perhaps Silence was what was expected.

Scott… One of the first ones back, no gas, no hot water, no heat. His first fight was with Entergy and our then Council Person. He is The Architect, and the quiet force who balances our strident yells with a quiet firm no.

Kim…. The Bow Tie Man, he is the Yin to our Yang and flew the Flag. Before we met I would silently salute the Flag on the front of his house on Carrollton. “DON’T GIVE UP THE SHIP” it said. He has taught me a lot.

Morrey…. The passionate pragmatic actress. See her now at Southern Rep. [shameless plug] She kept us on point with paperwork and membership and remebering to dot the i and cross the t. It made all the diffrence.

Our last recruit. Debi…. She lives at the corner of Blight and Despair. Her house overlooks the 4 Corners. When we met she was worn to the nub from this fight and sure that the outcome would be one that was inevitable. She brought reality to the situation. When ever I thought that the fight was over I drove to the Parking Lot and looked at her house. I thought about being a single mother and trying to make a home for a 11 year old. As the piles of trash and gas tanks and flooded cars grew I thought about what it was like to live there. As I write this I am listening to “Room with a View [of the Blues} by Johhny Adams. That is her theme song.

Me…All I know is that there is a right way and a wrong way, and my list of gratitude is long. Alan at Think New Orleans he pointed me in a the direction of Civic Activism that has forever changed the way I see things. Maitri the Magnificent and Ray from New Orleans relocated to Austin and back again with a shovel and broom.

All of this is an introduction to the announcement this week that Walgreens will be working with the City, and the residents of our Flooded City. They are planning on building according to the Carrollton Overlay and including a much needed Grocery in the equation. Marc Robert is on board with this and we are as well.

For the first time in a long time the residents of the 4 corners are working together for a better community.

We have Shelley Midura to thank for that. Shelley did not even have time to hang her hat in her City Hall office, and she was meeting with us, and other residents in the area. She and Alex Morgan worked tirelessly and dogedly to resolve this issue. At a time when there are nothing but issues, she gave this one her full attention and we can not say enough about her even handed approach.
So Thanks to all those who made it happen. Walgreens, Gordon Kolb, Justin Schmidt, Marc Robert and all those that care about the future of this City. And not to forget, Mid City, Neron Place, Marilyn Barbera [The Sage], Richard Layman in D.C. Michelle and Peter, for gas when I was running low.

I have probably forgotten to thank you, my mind is now hampered by chemo and Double Post Traumatic Stress, and the relentless sound of jack Hammers in my Neighborhood.
So Thanks… Karen Gadbois

Sunday, August 27, 2006

NorthWest Carrollton mentioned in NYTimes

Planning... Lambert
Planning... UNOP
Planning... CPC to come

In the neighborhoods, New Orleanians are skeptical. “Why does it seem that every time someone swoops in to help us, it winds up being a mess?” asked Jenel Hazlett, of the Northwest Carrollton Civic Association, a neighborhood group. “They keep moving the players around, and we as citizens keep getting jerked around.”

Like others, Ms. Hazlett professes bewilderment at a planning process, now stretching out for nearly a year,that involves an ever-shifting cast of characters, embraces and then swiftly rejects differing visions, and calls for repeated consultations with the citizens — and still produces no plan.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

NorthWest Carrollton in the Village Voice

See the article in the Village Voice.

Building Blocks
Neighbor by neighbor, house by house, New Orleans struggles on

By Anya Kamenetz Tuesday, Aug 22 2006

"I've lost all sense of what's normal," says New Orleans resident Bart Everson. His house, which took on five feet of water, stands at a crossroads in the city's recovery—one of the points where people staring at destruction must decide whether to stay or go. At the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, he and his wife are back in their Mid-City home, in a neighborhood where fewer than 30 percent of the families own the place they live in and which most visitors might see only on their way to Jazzfest.

Absentee landlords have abandoned more than half the nearby buildings in his district. His neighbors across the street, an elderly African American woman with her three grandchildren, are gone, replaced by someone who seems to be a squatter. Newly arrived Hispanic laborers are paying twice the pre-Katrina rents, yet some have no electricity or gas. Some pile their unbagged garbage in the street. The block around the corner is full of FEMA trailers, and across the street is a grocery store untouched since the storm. Inside, rats scurry over a floor slick with rot.

And yet Everson, who works at Xavier University, and his wife, who teaches school, have no plans to leave. They are renovating their flooded first story. They complained to their City Council member about the garbage and the rats, and used Spanish-language flyers to persuade new neighbors to clean up. And most of all, the Eversons are active in their neighborhood organization, which like dozens around the city is working independently to devise a plan for rebuilding. Their group is proposing to form a community redevelopment corporation to buy blighted houses and provide a path to homeownership for those willing to renovate them.

"We want to give people a reason to move to Mid-City," Everson says, especially people from more wrecked neighborhoods who can't afford to buy in the areas that stayed dry. "I really think we are the best of the worst, as far as a flooded neighborhood that's coming back."

If you want to get what's going on in New Orleans right now, you need to understand Everson's state of mind, which he describes as "tightly bridled optimism." People here have always read the map as a checkerboard—rich and poor, safe and dangerous, white and black. One year post-Katrina, the grid has acquired a few more dimensions. Multiply the August 30 flood line by the percentage of renters vs. homeowners, and by the distance from the "sliver on the river" or the "Aisle of denial"—the dry area from the French Quarter to Tulane University—and you get a rough index of viability.

The grassroots commitment of individual residents like Everson is the X factor in the fate of each of the city's 73-odd neighborhoods; still-inadequate hurricane protection and an absence of citywide coordination are the immovable variables that threaten them all.

Add to that mix the big money and big plans coming at the beginning of September. Up to $150,000 in homeowners' assistance is coming through the Road Home program, federal grants administered by the state Louisiana Recovery Authority. But for rental housing and every other city planning issue, no one knows what exactly will be funded, or how and when. John McIlwain of the Urban Land Institute, a national urban planning and developers' trade organization, has been advising in the process officially and unofficially for the past year. He says Mayor Ray Nagin has just a few weeks to designate someone who’ll make sure the money goes where it's supposed to. "There is a window of opportunity now with the plans in place and the money coming in,” McIlwain argues. “If they're not coordinated by a strong organization, the money will be wasted."

On the other hand, he says, "One thing I think is really positive is that the neighborhood groups are involved in the planning effort . . . . Recovery has to be neighborhood based and block by block."

Dozens of neighborhood organizations have either been formed or greatly expanded, even in the most devastated areas, and suddenly everyone knows the local city councilperson by name. "I knew my neighbors to wave to," says Karen Gadbois. After the storm, she co-founded the Northwest Carrollton Civic Association and is now trying to get elderly neighbors back in their homes, shut out a big-box store, and improve police response. "I've called them and they literally say, 'If you'd like to report an emergency, press 3--it's like calling Cox Cable, except you're calling 911." At a recent 2nd District community police meeting, she says, a man reported that a gunshot victim crawled under his FEMA trailer and died.

Talk to neighborhood activists citywide and you hear the same chorus of complaints: housing blight, decaying infrastructure, resurgent crime, and a lack of leadership. "The mayor is invisible," says Maitri Venkat-Ramani, a Shell Oil geologist who hears drug deals outside her house on Magazine Street.

"He's done nothing for the city," seconds Linda DeGruy, who moved back into the Iberville projects in June without authorization and is withholding rent. She’s suing the Housing Authority of New Orleans for her right to stay. While most of the city's public housing remains closed and slated for demolition, around 250 residents have returned to this development, some with permission and at least 29 without it. The drug trade is back here too, with a vengeance. Cleveland Young, one of a group of men standing outside Iberville's corner grocery with beers on a Sunday afternoon, says he got out of prison in the spring after five years and is "just trying to survive."

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Walgreens Kills Flooded Neighborhoods

In spite of the fact that the Walgreens Corporation has leased property for 8 years and has let it fall into a a state of disrepair.

In spite of the fact that it has become a public nuiscance to the degree that the neighbors next to the site fear for personal safety.

In spite of the fact that we have experienced the worst man made disaster in the History of this Country.

In spite of the fact that we are busy trying to fight for the survival of our Neighborhood with no help from The LRA and our Federal Government.

In spite of the fact that we have asked repeatedly and been lied to repeatedly by Walgreens Corporate offices as well as local representatives.

In spite of all that they want to continue to ignore the Zoning Laws of this City.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Hold Walgreens Accountable

This is a store built in Ohio for a town of less than 3000 people. Walgreens does not want to give the same respect to the recovering citizens of New Orleans.

World Monuments Watch

New Orleans alone contains 20 National Register Historic Districts and 20 National Historic Landmarks, many of which were severely impacted by flooding. These buildings and neighborhoods are as much an integral part of the culture of the area as its celebrations, music, and food.


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Whose Plan is it Anyway

An e mail recieved from a NorthWest Carrollton member

New Orleanians have waited for clear direction in the planning process and worried over who was going to end up in charge.
We have yet to get it, either clear direction or even a process to might get us to a clear direction.
We’ve had BNOB.
We’ve had individual neighborhood plans done by folks with either money or connections or both.
We had the City Council-Lambert Planners put in place to try to help those folks who have neither money nor connections and to herd the other planning cats and now ….. drumroll please

We have GNOF, Rockefeller, the NOCSF and the Unified plan.

Interesting that GNOF folks participated in BNOB.
Interesting that GNOF is full of folks which lots of connections. i wonder if I were to look deeply at membership how many of those families are Rex or Comus families.
Interesting that GNOF/Concordia and others are only now stepping to the forefront, now that they have secured financing and feel that they can improve upon (circumvent?) the messy democratic process that should be associated with the follow of federal dollars to New Orleans’ recovery. In short what they have said to New Orleans citizenry and government is: “We have the money and the Rockefeller connections” so now that you are desperate you all have to follow us.”
Interesting that we as citizens continue to be told we MUST PARTICIPATE!!!!!, yet are not provided with details or even the actual locations for the meetings where we can PARTICIPATE will be held by our GNOF/Concordia friends. Perhaps this really is the Comus-Rex Plan and all those GNOF/Concordia/folks with connections really don’t want us to participate as much as they want us to stand on the streets and watch their parade.

To bad they haven’t realized, that Katrina made us more aware and less willing to stand on the sidelines.
This, folks, is fixing to implode.

Friday, July 21, 2006

2 Weeks

Yesterday Shelley Midura read a statement at City Council. This is an excerpt:

“The question is will Walgreens build to the corner in such a way that allows
a Grocery to be built next to it, or will it build to the corner in such a way
that excludes that possibility. So in the end the decision is Walgreens.

Having attended the City Council Session I can say that Shelley demonstrated a remarkable knowledge of the issue, one that has a History in the City, in terms of Neighborhood wishes and Development.

She has spent considerable time and effort along with her Staff to research and listen

We sincerely hope that the Team Walgreens will come to the table and we all can find the middle ground that we can live with, and celebrate.

We would like our corner to be the Urban Model for Walgreens, a store which serves the cars passing by and the residents who live there. Much as the downtown; Canal Street, Walgreens delights with it’s Huge Art deco sign.

We would like to see our corner be the icon for future development.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Letter from NorthWest Carrollton to Shelley Midura

This letter was sent to Shelley Midura

Thank you very much for your statements and your actions today in the City _Council Meeting.

We know you listened to every word we said.
We know you evaluated every angle and all possibilities.
We appreciate you diligence and thoroughness and evenhandedness (even though it has been nerve racking!)
We hope you realize that what we the neighborhoods truly want a
win-win situation.
We will wait to hear from you or from Walgreens as to how we should proceed.

As for the request from the Council President:

the neighborhoods will not budge on their insistence that the protection provided to the residential and historic neighborhoods by the overlay is upheld

I hope our alternate plan showed we are not anti-Walgreens or anti-development

Again your constituents Thank You very much,

Jenel Hazlett
NorthWest Carrollton

Saturday, July 15, 2006

8405-07 Apricot

8405-07 Apricot sold
by Gwendolyn Baylis Everage & Charles Everage
to  Brandy Truehill Bush & Michael Bush Jr.
for $105,000

Friday, July 7, 2006

GNOF and Lambert

This is a copy of A Letter to the Editor from a Resident of NorthWest Carrollton

As a recovering neighbor in a flooded neighborhood on the edge of the Isle of Denial I looked around to the few neighbors who were back and we all said: HUH?!!!! or “We’ve got to get busy” and “How the heck do we prove our viability or plan?” So we organized, we went to countless meetings, we learned and we were annoyed by the conflicting signals being sent from Federal, State and City government as well as the well meaning non-profit organizers. Some neighborhoods “have money to hire their own planners others have worked connections with local and national universities, some neighborhoods used both money and connections to start their plans.

In January BNOB said that neighborhoods had to prove their viability.Many neighborhoods had neither money nor connections and were left to figure it out for themselves, while they were rebuilding their houses and lives.

The City Council’s Planning process allows these “have not” neighbors and neighborhoods a voice. Has the process been perfect? Nope. Welcome to PostKatrina New Orleans. In case you haven’t noticed, not much is perfect.

But if you take the time to attend the meetings, talk to the planner or planners directly, speak to Mr. Lambert (who attends the meetings) directly and explain your frustrations, concerns, ideas then, I promise you, the City Council Planners will listen and respond and work with you.

This is true bottom up grassroots planning by the neighborhoods and the neighbors who are here struggling to make it work. We can not throw the baby out with the bathwater just because the GNOF and the Rockefeller Foundation have ridden in their white horses. Lest we forget, the funding for the GNOF planning and the associated recovery funding is coming in on the backs of flooded, recovering neighbors. The plan to fold the work of the City Council planning process and other independent planning processes into the work being done by GNOF honors the work of citizens who have been at this for a long, long time. Let our city government work out a process that joins the City Council planning efforts and GNOF efforts. It is possible. To assure continuity in the planning process key contacts from neighborhood groups who have actively participated in building their own plans or working with City Council planners should be included in GNOF’s efforts. The CSO process and associated contacts are not enough. I am glad the Rockefeller foundation is working here in New Orleans. I’m sure they will do good work.

We must collaborate and cooperate to make this work. By “we” I mean all of us: Neighbors, Non-Profits, Federal-State-City governments, Wet and Dry, Back and Not back, all of us. Because if we New Orleanians do not all stand together in our recovery and planning then we shall surely all drown together. And most of us know what that is like and do not care to repeat it.

Jenel Hazlett

NorthWest Carrollton

Friday, June 30, 2006

Letter to Our Council

This is an exceprt of a letter was written by one of our members

There is a misconception that I have heard voiced, both by Councilperson Miduras office, and in the ABC TV news story on the proposed Walgreens at the corner of Carrollton and Claiborne, that I would like to correct. The public and neighbors who are in opposition to a proposed 150 foot setback variance for the building, have been told that if the Carrollton Overlay is adhered to (ie. No setback from the street), no design review will be given to the actual design of the building itself. That is a misleading, and utterly false statement. The Zoning Ordinance clearly states that :

The overall building design (including its height and bulk) should be compatible with the neighborhood and shall provide for a pedestrian environment (through) the use of visually active ground level treatments by incorporation of overhangs, arcades, balconies and galleries, (and) architectural details, material, colors, textures. The design vernacular and site development shall adhere to the character and scale of the surroundings.The City Planning Commission has the authority, and indeed the duty, to review the design (including the facades) of the proposed building, and the power to recommend changes if they find the design lacking. I would hope that a neighborhood committee could be allowed to be part of that process as well. This was obviously not done at the Walgreens on Claiborne and Napoleon, and resulted in a nondescript block of a building. But that, I fear, was due to the City Planning Commission not following the design review recommendations of the Zoning Ordinance, and not a fault of the Zoning Ordinance per se.

It is important to set the record straight for those who may have been confused by any unintentional misinformation disseminated by the media or Ms Miduras office on this matter.

What a difference some blight makes.....

This past May, FIA invited newly-inaugurated District A City Councilman Jay Batt to our General Membership Meeting, to discuss Walgreens planned re-development of the northwest corner of South Carrollton and South Claiborne Avenues.

In his campaign speeches,then-candidate Batt made a bold promise of bringing not one
but two or three grocery stores to the lower Carrollton area. This Walgreens site
plays heavily in the ongoing grocery store debate, as it is one of the few ommercial sites along South Carrollton Avenue capable of handling anything more than the smallest neighborhood store.

For over two years, members of several neighborhood groups in the Carrollton area have met with City planners, former District A Councilman Scott Shea and other municipal leaders, to monitor and critique Walgreens design and development plans, hoping to ensure that Walgreens plans for the busy corner were compatible with the
historical and residential character of our neighborhood.

At the request of FIA representatives and others, Councilman Shea deferred
any City Council action on Walgreens proposed plan, to allow additional inquiry into the matter, and to allow his successor Batt time to broker a compromise between the increasingly opposing factions. Batt never shied away from the fact that his primary
objective was simply to ensure that the Walgreens plan included a grocery store. But many residents had additional concerns, and were willing to forego the opportunity to make groceries just down the corner, if it meant compromising on the City
Carrollton Overlay design restrictions.

Briefly stated, Walgreens proposed plan began with demolishing the existing commercial building that once housed a K&B Drugstore and a Canal/Villere grocery store. But in addition, Walgreens planned to acquire and raze the entire city block, including, most notably, the fire station at the corner of Carrollton and Nelson.
In its place, Walgreens proposed a new commercial center that, in the eyes
of many residents, was poorly situated on and simply too large for the site. Many residents also opposed the relocation of the fire station to an unidentified site on the lake side of Earhart Boulevard.

Another key objection expressed to the Walgreens plan was the lack of certainty that a grocery store the second phase of a two-phase development would ever be built. As
proposed by Walgreens, the former K&B/Canal Villere building would be demolished immediately, making room for the quick construction of the new Walgreens store.

Carrollton Overlay

OK…How Hard should this be to understand?

The following design standards take precedence over ones specified in the underlying zoning districts which are less restrictive:

Building Design A strong visual connection shall be made between the building design and the existing character of the area. The overall building design (including its height and bulk) should be compatible with the neighborhood and shall provide for a pedestrian environment through the use of visually active ground level treatments. Where appropriate, buildings should provide climatic protection to their users by incorporation of overhangs, arcades, balconies and galleries. Architectural details, material, colors, textures and landscape treatments shall be coordinated to provide visual continuity, quality and consistency. The design vernacular and site development shall adhere to the character and scale of the surroundings.

2. Site Development

a. Setbacks Front yard setbacks shall be the average of the existing buildings on the block face with the installation of landscaping in any front yard setback.

b. Vehicular Use Area Landscaping and Screening. Parking areas shall be designed to meet the standards set forth in Section 15.2.5 of the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance. A continuous landscape hedge at a minimum height of thirty (30) inches shall be required along the perimeter of any vehicular use area adjacent to the public right-of-way. Alternatively, masonry wall, earth berm, metal fence and a hedge, or any combination thereof meeting the same height requirements may be substituted. Any residual areas not used for parking or vehicular access shall be landscaped with trees, shrubs and groundcover. Additionally, a landscaped island shall be required every ten (10) continuous parking spaces, to include the planting of a minimum of one (1) shade tree, shrubs and/or groundcover. All required trees shall be a minimum of ten (10) feet in height and have a minimum caliper of two (2) inches upon installation.

c. Street Tree Planting Where the continuity of major street tree plantings has been interrupted, as determined by the City Planning Commission staff, the reestablishment of such planting shall be required as a condition of development/redevelopment. Such plantings shall be in accordance with the standards of the Department of Parks and Parkways.

d. Trash Dumpsters Trash dumpsters (and any other type of refuse storage area) that are positioned adjacent to or visible from any other land use or street right-of-way shall be screened from view from them with an opaque wooden fence or masonry wall that is no less than six (6) feet tall.

e. Loading Area Service drives or other areas for off-street loading shall be provided in such a way that during the loading and unloading, no truck will block the passage of other vehicles on the service drive or extend into any other public or private drive or street. All loading areas shall be screened from view from the adjacent properties or street right-of-way with an opaque wooden or masonry fence that is no less than six (6) feet tall.

f. Lighting Light standards shall be limited in height to twenty-five (25) feet and shall not be directed toward any adjacent residential uses.

3. Signage

a. Each business shall be limited to one (1) attached wall or projecting sign. The sign shall be limited to one (1) square foot per linear foot of building width or tenant space to a maximum of seventy (70) square feet. Exterior attached signs shall not project above the first floor of a building.

b. One (1) detached (monument) sign shall be permitted for businesses/uses located along corridors or sections of corridors with at least four (4) lanes. The sign shall be limited to one-half (1/2) square foot per linear foot of the lot width to a maximum of seventy (70) square feet in area. Maximum permitted height of the detached sign shall be twelve (12) feet. Any detached sign shall be set back from all adjacent public rights-of-way a distance at least equal to the height of the sign.

c. A maximum of two (2) canopy signs shall be permitted for each business but their area shall be counted in the total allowable sign area for the business.

d. The sign may be illuminated but shall not flash, blink or fluctuate. The backlighting of awning containing signage shall not be permitted.

e. Only one interior window sign per business shall be permitted within four (4) feet of the interior face of any window of a building and shall be counted in the total allowable sign area for the business.

4. Litter Abatement Program A litter abatement program acceptable to the Department of Safety and Permits shall be established for each development indicating procedures, pick-up schedule and a contact person.

(Ord. 18,569 § 1 (part), adopted 1/8/98)

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Ideas for Planning

We batted around some ideas the other night for the planning process of our Neighborhood

1) A police substation on our side of Audubon Park.

2) A floodwall on the Orleans side of the Monticello Canal.

3) Dark skies lighting.

4) Light rail system down Claiborne Avenue.

5) A streetcar line down Carrollton to connect Xavier University with Tulane and Loyola.

6) Change bustops from ugly oven-like stops to user-friendly tree-landscaped stops.

7) Appropriate commercial development along Apple Street from Dante to Leonidas.

8) No conversion of residentially-zoned properties to commercial.

9) Trees on every major thoroughfare including and particularly Earhart.

9) Redevelopment of Incarnate Word. Should be placed on the Historic Register.

10) No demolition of historic houses in federal historic neighborhood.

11) Create a local historic neighborhood consisting of the boundaries of the Historic Town of Carrollton.

12) Very careful development of high-density housing.

13) Planning for Claiborne/Carrollton. Safe and inviting ways to get from streetcar to Palmer Park.

14) Revitalization of Palmer Park. Perhaps a bandstand.

15) City Gates Artistically inspired structures at the entrances to Orleans Parish at Claiborne and at Oak and Earhart that effectively announce that you are now entering a very special place.

16) Correct traffic flow at Earhart and Carrollton interchange.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Next Meeting

Meeting in City Council Chambers June 28,
7 p.m. (see below)

Please forward to friends, especially the following neighborhoods: Carrollton/ Claiborne//Broadway/Upper St. Charles/Fontainebleau/Mid City.

This is a major issue in how the old Town of Carrollton shall be redeveloped and ultimately, the entire Carrollton Corridor all the way to City Park. The value of our property hinges on retaining the authentic New Orleans architecture facing major thoroughfares.
The possibilities are: beastly or beauty.

*Note the only issue before the council shall be either to grant a variance to Walgreen or not to do so. There is no vote by the council concerning a Grocery Store.

Granting the variance will allow for a suburban designed store with parking facing Carrollton, and the store placed in the rear behind the parking. Carrollton Ave has a design standard which requires the Urban concept of placing the store near Carrollton with the parking behind the store. Upholding this Ordinance is consistent with historic neighborhoods surround by residential property.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Town Hall Meeting

Join Shelley Midura on Wednesday June 21.
Jesuit High School at Banks and Carrollton 7pm
Enter on Banks Street Side.

We will have the opportunity to review plans for the corner of Claiborne and Carrollton, meet with Council Woman Midura and the Developers of Walgreens.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Speaking Out

At a June 28th Town Hall meeting held in City Council Chambers Scott Andrews (on NorthWest Carrollton's board) spoke out on why we deserve better than Walgreens was offering.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Walgreens Town Hall

This past Thursday several members of NorthWest Carrollton, along with residents of the Riverbend carrollton area,attended a meeting with Mr. Darryl Berger, Mr Gordon Kolb and Mr. Marc Robert amoung others.

What we see in the present site plans is a suburban model placed in an urban context. In the past Walgreens had waged a campaign against the Neighborhoods, it worked to the degree that they are still willing to fight this fight with the exact same position

History of the Walgreens Fight

Walgreens is once again requesting to build a Drug Store at Carrollton and Claiborne, and is requesting a variance of the Carrollton Ave. Inner-city Overlay.* There is no firm commitment at this point that a grocery store will ever be built next to it. Those who have attended the June 15th meeting with Shelley Midura, may wish to update us on any progress that was achieved.

History of the Carrollton Residents fight for a grocery store.
1. An open forum sponsored by Uptown Triangle, Carrollton/Riverbend, Upper Carrollton Residents and MARI was held at Xavier where approximately 60 people went to the microphone and each stated they wanted a grocery store at that corner. The meeting was attended by 90 plus residents The Walgreen developer from Houston, their attorney, Councilman Scott Shea, Alex Heaton, Steve Scalise were present. The event, advertised on widely distributed flyers, was designed to tell Walgreen and Councilman Shea that the neighborhood wanted a grocery store.

2.. Picketing at the site with signs that reflected the neighborhood's overwhelming desire for a grocery store rather than another drug store. It was carried by the TV media on more than one occasion.As many recall, who were involved in stopping Walgreen from obtaining a variance of the "Inner City Carrollton Overlay," * the upholding of the Overlay was crucial to the redevelopment of the square, but was not the sole issue. A grocery store for the site had overwhelming neighborhood support for miles around. The position of the neighborhood was to uphold the parking and design requirements of the Overlay and to force the issue of getting a grocery store. Walgreen withdrew their request for a variance and decided to wait out the neighborhood opposition to a variance.(The Overlay addresses “setback” requirements on a major thoroughfare, that is, a structure is to be built near the sidewalk with the parking in the rear. This urban design benefits aesthetics of the streetscape with sensitivity to the surrounding residential properties and in this case Palmer Park as well. It also affords convenience for pedestrian traffic. In contrast, a suburban design has parking near the side walk with the building set back behind the parking lot, e.g. Veterans Blvd. The overlay was signed into an ordinance by Peggy Wilson and recommended by the City Planning Commission as a reaction to some unsightly commercial development that had occurred between Earhardt and I-10.)
3. Petitions numbering approximately 1000 in favor of a grocery store were collected by all neighborhood associations from Broadway and beyond to the Jefferson Parish line and from the Mississippi River to Pritchard Place and Walmsley Ave. Never before had this area collected as many petitions.

4. Thousands of flyers were distributed announcing several neighborhood meetings to obtain input from residents. All neighborhood associations overwhelmingly supported a grocery store on that site, but would not support a variance of the Carrollton Ave. Overlay design ordinance.. The support for a grocery store at that location was also a major topic in neighborhood association newsletters.

5. Architectural plans were drawn up by Rodney Dionisio, an architect, and at the time a board member of Carrollton/Riverbend Residents’ Assoc., indicating that both a Walgreen’s Drug Store and a grocery store within the square with parking could be achieved. The design was in compliance with the Overlay and was exhibited at

several neighborhood meetings. Walgreen refused the offer of the design because they insisted upon building the store behind the parking lot away from Carrollton Ave.

Note: Was told that there shall be another and perhaps even larger redevelopment in the area of Piccadilly and the Carrollton Shopping Center and perhaps even closer to Earhardt. If the residents allow a variance from the Overlay for Walgreen, it shall set a precedent for a waiver of the Overlay from Claiborne to I-10. Shelley Midura needs to be aware of the possibility of an uglier than ever Carrollton Commercial Strip. This is a complex issue, it involves not only a much needed grocery store, but it also involves the beautification of Carrollton Ave. In the 1960’s, the Lower St. Charles Ave. streetscape became urban blight. It went from beautiful historic mansions and oaks to unsightly commercial buildings set back with concrete parking lots in front. It will take much activism to prevent this from happening to Carrollton Ave.. Please support rebuilding the way that Urban Planners design beautiful cities.

Thanks to Marilyn Barbera..She has worked on this project for too many years to count

Friday, June 9, 2006

Walgreens and City Council

This Thursday the first session of the new Orleans City Council was an important day for the Residents of NorthWest Carrollton.They voted to table the ordinance and allow the Neighbors to take part in the process.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Ye Olde College Inn

When NorthWest Carrollton Civic Association was in its infancy, Johnny Blancher allowed us to use Ye Olde College Inn's upper room for our first meetings. We were lucky when we had 10 people show up. But then it was February & March of 2006 and the whole city was still recovering. Thank you Johnny.
Ye Olde College  Inn, Feb 2006

Sunday, January 1, 2006

What's in a name?

Why the name NorthWest Carrollton?

In January 2006, I stood on my front porch and thought how do you start a neighborhood group where everyone is NOT back in their homes and some folks are staying in other cities and only coming into town on weekends. I also looked around and thought what makes a logical boundary for a neighborhood group? Then I asked myself the real deciding question: how far can I walk and flyer every building or, in January 2006, every car that didn't look like it had flooded? I decided that Carrollton, Claiborne, Leonidas & Earhart was about as large an area as I could hope to cover by myself for the first 3 or so months.

I got lucky. The West Carrollton neighborhood boundary almost exactly coincided with my physical limitation boundaries. It seemed silly not to include the commerical area on Earhart and not to set the boundaries at the "big streets".

When I did more research I found the Preservation Research Center showed that almost the same area was a part of the Carrollton Historic Register Neighborhood. When you think you and your neighbors could end up a green dot and the map says you have to "prove your viability", being a part of historic Carrollton seemed like a very good thing indeed.

I'm a 9th Ward girl (my husband moved me uptown in 1988 and we moved to our NorthWest Carrollton home in 1997). So I didn't really have any preconcieved notions about the area. The choice in the name and the boundaries were made on research and the limitations due to having to ensure that, with or without phones, electricity or eMail, everyone in the area could get flyers about neighborhood meetings.