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3500 St. Claude Avenue (near the intersection of St. Claude Ave & Gallier Street) New Orleans, LA  70117

Thursday, August 20, 2015

 
The Riverfront Alliance presents an inspiring evening sure to put fire in our bellies -- just when we need it most:

Reading, discussion & book signing with acclaimed urbanist Roberta Brandes Gratz, author of "We're Still Here Ya Bastards:  How the People of New Orleans Rebuilt Their City"


6:30pm

All Soul's Episcopal Church in Historic Holy Cross

5500  Saint Claude Avenue (across the bridge, between Caffin Avenue & Flood Street) 

Free and Open to the Public - ample parking is available. 

Books will be available to purchase.  


Praise for "We're Still Here Ya Bastards":


"A great American story: how people who love New Orleans keep saving it, and big money and bad government keep screwing it over." 

-Roy Blount Jr., author of Feet on the Street:  Rambles Around New Orleans


"Do we need another Katrina book?  No.  Not just any book.  We need this one."  

-Lolis Eric Elie, story editor, HBO's Treme

 

Update:

The Riverfront Alliance has grown from six to eight neighborhood groups & associations, representing thousands of citizens who share our concerns about the Draft Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (CZO). We have communicated our concerns with the City Council and have remained very engaged in this process for months.

Now, the time approaches when the City will vote on the CZO.

To its credit, the city has been posting its proposed amendments on its website, so the public may see what it is considering.  Some will make the draft CZO better.  For those, we are thankful. But some changes actually make it worse for historic neighborhoods and residents.

During our meetings and correspondence with council members on our key issues, they have asked us not only to tell them what we don't like about the CZO, but to suggest changes that reflect what we DO want to see in this document.

We've done so. You can read more about our requested amendments to the CZO HERE.

CALL TO ACTION:

A "Committee of the Whole" (the entire City Council) will meet to discuss the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (CZO) on Friday, April 17, 2015 at 9:00 am (Council Chambers, City Hall.)

A Committee meeting means they will not be voting, but the meeting is open to the public to attend and make comments. We can't do this without you. We need concerned citizens to do two things:

  1. Please plan to attend with us and support the Riverfront Alliance as we present and reinforce what we have been asking all along.
  2. Please send your comments to the Council today using this form. Don't delay; there will be a cutoff period at some point in the future.

http://www.nolacitycouncil.com/resources/resources_czo.asp

Sample language:

I support the Riverfront Alliance's concerns about the Draft CZO and urge you to incorporate their suggestions to help protect and preserve our historic New Orleans neighborhoods so that we all may live, work and thrive here.

Specifically:

  1. Riverfront Overlay – Stop riverfront towers in historic neighborhoods.
  2. Restaurant regulations – Each neighborhood is different and cannot be regulatedunder a "one size fits all" approach; the city should not change the hours or nature of neighborhood restaurants without public citizen input via a Conditional Use Process in every case.
  3. Re-insert long-standing French Quarter protections known as "Section 8.1"which the draft CZO would kill.
  4. Eliminate "Article 5" – called the "Trojan Horse in the Draft CZO" – until the concerns of the Bureau of Governmental Research are addressed.

It only takes a minute to send an email, but we will live with the effects of this CZO for decades and generations to come.

Thank you,

Volunteer Members of the Riverfront Alliance – A Coalition of 8 Neighborhood Groups

 

 

In New Orleans......Neighborhoods Matter!

In New Orleans, our neighborhoods – our rare, historic buildings and the people who live in them, maintain and preserve them for future generations – are the heart and soul of the city.

The residents of New Orleans, along with the special values and customs we practice in our city, are an integral part of the unique culture that people come from all over the world to enjoy.

The culture, people and architecture of New Orleans are inextricably bound. Protecting the aesthetic integrity of these architecturally significant neighborhoods not only matters to those of us who live here, it is a big part of what we "sell" to the world via our thriving tourism industry.

Preserving our culture starts with preserving and protecting our historic neighborhoods, which are like no place else on earth. They must remain livable for residents or we risk our city becoming simply a theme park façade – a set, dressed for a visiting audience.

After the great losses of Hurricane Katrina, we have an unprecedented opportunity to rebuild stronger, better and with great intention. The CZO is the "how" that will help us achieve our vision for the new New Orleans. It will be the law that governs how the city is shaped and how it grows for the next hundred years.

This is a crucial time in our city's history – and in our future. We have to get this right.

 

The truth about the CZO

At over 600 pages, the CZO is a massive document. It's unlikely you've read all of it yourself. But buried within are crucial mandates that take away historic protections and provisions for your quality of life.

Neighborhood leaders and associations citywide are concerned about these issues – that's why we've formed the Riverfront Alliance. We've read the fine print. We want to help our city leaders fix this document to protect and preserve New Orleans' historic neighborhoods.

 

Why should I care?

Planning and Zoning aren't sexy!

But planning and zoning are the building blocks of the city we live in, and the specifics of the CZO will affect each and every one of us. Zoning is what shapes our neighborhoods and affects our livelihoods and our quality of life. Zoning creates stability in our neighborhoods and business corridors, which allows residents to have confidence investing their life savings in buying a home. These are crucial issues about which we all need to remain informed.

A neighborhood is an ecosystem made up of both residences and businesses – it has to stay in balance for everyone to thrive. The CZO will guide and govern this balance. While we support appropriate business ideas that will complement and serve our neighborhoods, it is crucial that the needs of residents are not overlooked in favor of commercial development.

Most importantly, we residents must participate in this process, and demand that our city leaders honor our participation in the crafting of these laws – otherwise, we run the risk of decisions being made for us and at our expense. Size Matters! And so does public input.

Get informed about the issues here.