The New Orleans City Planning Commission denied a request to rezone a vacant Bienville Avenue property to incorporate uses for a small business.
The request centered on a vacant two-family residence at 2729 Bienville Ave. The commission heard a request earlier this month to rezone the property from Historic Urband Two-Family Residential District – which is mostly residential – to a Historic Urban Neighborhood Business District, which can include small businesses such as corner stores.
That request was unanimously denied.
The applicant – D & B Property, LLC – requested rezoning to attract a small commercial tenant, according to commission documents. City Planning staff, however, said the rezoning “does not fit within the goal, range of uses or development character of the Residential Low Density Pre-War category in the Master Plan.”
There was also no verifiable businesses or traditional corner stores used on that land in the past, staff said.
Developers spoke about the project at an April Mid-City Neighborhood Organization meeting, garnering some suggestions on the type of business that can be established. Many people suggested a donut shop or a mail shipping center, while eschewing music or bar venues that are not allowed by the zoning anyway. Roux Merlo, with the Greater Mid-City Business Association, commended developers for trying to get the vacant property back into use.
City staff recommended denial on two principles:
1. The request did not satisfy the criteria of the Historic Non-conforming Use
2.The request is inconsistent with the city’s Master Plan.
No one spoke at the meeting either in support or opposition for the project. The commission unanimously denied the request.