As a decision over whether to create new historic districts in Mid-City and Parkview has been tabled until next month, a group representing the Tulane-Canal neighborhood has decided to take advantage of the time and ask to be considered separately for the pending proposal.
The plan, which first started to make traction in various study groups last year, would give both Mid-City and Parkview neighborhoods official historic designations under the Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC). That’s the city’s regulatory agency for local landmark commissions outside of the Vieux Carre.
As of now, that plan considers the Tulane-Canal neighborhood part of Mid-City, rather than recognizing it as its own area.
Before it was deferred, New Orleans City Council was set to vote on the proposal Thursday. It was first suggested five years ago, and had been studied in earnest starting last year.
After considering reports and surveys submitted by a review committee tasked with scrutinizing the proposal’s feasibility, City Planning Commission in late September voted that the designations should be created, and the Historic District Landmarks Commission should be given limited oversight in both areas.
Specifically, the commission decided homeowners in Mid-City and Parkview neighborhoods should have to seek permission from the HDLC only before tearing down buildings.
It was one of several options residents considered when giving input about what level of control they’d like over development in their areas.
Other options would be to allow the HDLC oversight over new buildings and renovations, too, or to not give the regulatory agency any control over either new construction or demolition at all.
On Wednesday, the night before City Council opted to defer the vote, Jacob Rickoll, the president of the Tulane-Canal Neighborhood Association, said his instead of accepting the plan as is proposed now, his board would push for the latter option for sections of his neighborhood.
According to Rickoll, the board was uncomfortable with his neighborhood being “lumped in” with Mid-City for this decision.
Instead, the board unanimously decided to recommend to City Council that the Tulane-Canal have different levels of HDLC oversight for different parts of the neighborhood. Specifically, the board wants the regulatory agency to oversee demolition only from a specific area between Banks and St. Louis streets, and not have any authority over what happens to buildings from the south side of Banks Street to Poydras Street.
“The reason for that, most people on the board felt, is the neighborhood from Banks Street to St. Louis has a lot of architecture worth preserving, but from Banks to Poydras there’s a lot of opportunity for development,” Rickoll said. “We’re worried that HDLC oversight might hinder development in that area.”
City Council will vote on whether to approve proposed historic districts on Nov. 3.