Dear Goody Clancy

Here’s a letter which I hope to present directly to representatives of Goody Clancy at tonight’s District 4 meeting (6PM @ Jesuit).

Dear Goody Clancy,

Friends of Lafitte Corridor has been reviewing the Master Plan draft. It is quite impressive. However, there are several points that concern us. We believe that the revitalization of the Lafitte Corridor, with a central greenway, offers a model for nurturing the values of sustainability and community that the Master Plan draft espouses. Therefore I am sending this follow-up to my recent e-mail.

  1. Chapter 13 mentions the Mississippi River Greenway Initiative, but we could find no mention of the greenway project planned for the Lafitte Corridor.
  2. The greenway shows up on the proposed bike route map, but it is not the correct length. (It should extend from Basin Street all the way to Canal Blvd. instead of terminating at City Park Ave.)
  3. Note the two-part structure of the project as the Office of Recovery Development has conceived it and City Planning Commission staff has endorsed: development of a Lafitte Corridor Revitalization Plan and design of the greenway/trail itself. These two prongs are distinct and substantial.
  4. In recognition of the unique opportunities the greenway represents, we recommend a special land use designation for trail-oriented development along the entire length of the Lafitte Corridor.
  5. The integrative nature of the project as “green infrastructure” should be emphasized — integrating active transportation, public health and recreation, economic revitalization, cultural preservation and environmental sustainability initiatives.
  6. For an excellent example of trail-oriented land use planning, please see the Midtown Greenway’s Land Use Development Plan

  7. Attached please find a copy of the City Planning Commission’s recent review of the Lafitte Greenway Master Plan. Note their recommendation to integrate this plan into the Citywide Master Plan and Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance effort.

Feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss these matters in greater detail. Also please feel free to contact my fellow board members: Dr. Lake Douglas who is a professor at the Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture at LSU, and architect Daniel Samuels.

Yours sincerely,

Bart Everson
Friends of Lafitte Corridor

Charter Amendments

Despite my sterling reputation for civic-mindedness, I hardly ever write to my representatives in city gov’t. It just doesn’t seem like a good use of time. But I did it today. I just sent a quick note in support of the proposed charter amendments that would give the master plan the force of law and give citizens a formal voice in the planning process. Those who were involved in the creation of the our Mid-City Plan or in the never-ending struggles over land-use decisions know how important this could be. Read on for more from the Urban Conservancy, an organization on whose board I used to serve.

Support the Charter Amendments Today

May 27 2008

New Orleans will soon begin work on a Master Plan and a new zoning ordinance to guide the city’s redevelopment and future growth. The in-depth studies and reports that have been generated since Katrina will serve as the foundation for this critical initiative.

For this highly-significant contract to have both an immediate and enduring impact, the New Orleans Home Rule Charter must be amended so that (1) the Master Plan, when completed, will have the force of law — that is, all public officials as well as private citizens will be required to follow it; (2) land use regulations – including the Zoning ordinance – as well as all capital expenditures will have to be consistent with it; and (3) all citizens will be legally structured into the planning process.

Read more on the UC website (includes list of e-mail contacts).

PS: Fielkow and Midura both wrote me back briefly to indicate their support for the amendments.