Multiple properties on the 2400 block of Bienville Avenue are on the docket for zoning changes at Tuesday’s City Planning Commission hearing.
Ramsey Green, of GCE Green Bienville, LLC, would like to restore a five-unit complex at 2431-39 Bienville Avenue. He said the unit was built in 1893 and occupied as five units until Hurricane Katrina. After Katrina, the zoning was reset when the building became vacant.
“We’re going to renovate it and bring it back to its original design’s intent, which is five units,” said Green.
Green is requesting a zoning change from a ‘R-D3 Two Family Residential’ to ‘RM-2A Multi-Family Residential’. His company also purchased the lot next door, 2429 Bienville Ave., and tore down its blighted property, they are proposing to use the lot as off-street parking.
City Planning staff however, have recommended denying the zoning change. Because the properties are not one lot, the staff report states, the single-family dwelling space can not be considered for off-street parking. The unit itself, planning staff wrote, cannot be considered for zoning change under the Historic Non-conforming Use Policy and the lot is too small for the requested change.
Green hopes the City Planning Commission can look more closely at the history of the building. He said he thought the commission staff were limited in what they can recommend based on various zoning policies, and hopes the commissioners can see past the recommendation for denial.
Green said he knocked on doors in the area and all ten residents he spoke with signed an affidavit supporting the rezoning.
“Everyone we’ve spoken to is excited about it,” said Green.Across the street at 2436 Bienville Ave., property owners Kevin and Keith Bunn are also asking for a zoning change.
The corner building has an angled storefront with a “Bunn’s Grocery” sign out front and owners hope to restore the property to a small grocery store.
The planning commission staff are recommending their request for zoning change from ‘RD-3 Two Family Residential’ to ‘B-1A Neighborhood Business’.
Both zoning change requests will go before the City Planning Commission Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.