Jul 082014

A photo of 517 North Solomon Street from the demolition application. (via nola.gov)

Ed Horan, chairman of the Neighborhood Conservation District Committee, canceled Monday’s meeting for lack of a quorum. (via nola.gov)

Hearings on demolition permits at two Mid-City addresses (and other properties around New Orleans) are being delayed for two weeks after the city panel failed to gather enough members to hold a meeting legally on Monday — in part because five of its 13 seats are vacant, officials said.

Two of the 16 demolition requests scheduled for Monday’s meeting of the Neighborhood Conservation District Committee were in the Mid-City area, according to the agenda:

  • At 517 North Solomon Street, a demolition contractor is seeking to tear down a single-story home, according to the permit application. No explanation is given for the request, though the application contains a number of photos of the house.
  • At 416-18 South Olympia Street, the owners sought an after-the-fact permit for a house demolished there by the previous owner, before they bought the property. New owner John Cody Stringer is “requesting to have [the] illegal-demolition fee waived” because he purchased it as a vacant lot with the intent of building a new two-family home there, according to his application.

The NCDC meeting was scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. Monday (July 7), but committee chair Ed Horan said it could not begin because only six members had arrived. Seven are needed for a quorum that can vote, Horan said.

After waiting more than 30 minutes without any other members appearing, Horan announced that the meeting would have to be canceled, and all demolition requests would be postponed two weeks until the next meeting.

“I apologize. It’s supposed to be a committee of 13, but unfortunately we only have 8 of the members appointed,” Horan said. “It makes it really hard for us to get seven of our eight appointees here at one meeting. Hopefully we’ll get some new appointees to fill these spots.”

Each of the seven City Council members appoints one member to the NCDC, the mayor appoints one, and five are representatives of various city departments — Safety and Permits, Code Enforcement, the Historic District Landmarks Commission, the City Planning Commission and the Department of Health.

“We are working to fill the one position appointed by the Mayor,” wrote mayoral spokesman Tyler Gamble in an email. “All of the City representatives on the Committee were present yesterday.”

The NCDC will convene again at 2 p.m. July 21.

  4 Responses to “Citing empty seats, city’s demolition panel postpones hearings on Mid-City properties”

  1. […] items on the agenda that were delayed when Monday’s meeting was postponed — details of which can be found at Mid-City Messenger. More than half the requests before the NCDC on Monday were in various Uptown neighborhoods, […]

  2. Is this house owned by Ricca’s? Are they planning to expand their footprint?

  3. Yea that house is owned by Ricca’s. I was told they are hoping to replace this structure with a metal building similar to the one they currently operate out of. This structure would be a huge loss for this area

  4. 517 N. Solomon is owned by Ricca’s Architectural Sales, we have owned this property since just before Katrina. Unfortunately between the termite damage and the two feet of water which submerged the foundation and floor joists during Katrina, the structure of the building is unstable. We do plan to erect a building in it’s place, to mainly house a carpentry workshop and storage for lumber. We are working with Woodward Design + Build to come up with a design for this building. It will not be another metal storage building. We do welcome your insight or suggestions on how to make the new building fit in with the overall aesthetic of the neighborhood. Please stop in and talk to either Roland or me! We love Mid City and want to please our neighbors and friends! So please let us know, because if you do not tell us we would not know your concerns!

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