Board meeting minutes 11/5/07

Una Anderson and Cheryl Gray, candidates for the state legislature, made brief presentations concerning their candidacy and platforms.

Enrico Sterling, from Councilwoman Midura’s staff, reported that drainage issues in the neighborhood are being worked on. He also discussed issues with dealing with abandoned cars, and responded to questions.

Treasurer Cindy Morse reported an account balance of $1558.07.

Steve Villavaso, planning consultant, made a presentation about Carrollton-Audubon Renaissance, Inc. (CARI), supplemented with comments from Jerry Speir, who is also President of CARI. “Renaissance Plans” are city-sanctioned, neighborhood-based addenda to the City’s Master Plan. They are an opportunity to provide detailed input from the neighborhood on the official “vision” (in the Master Plan) for the neighborhood. Steve indicated that there will be three phases to the project: (1) data gathering (2) citizen participation and (3) developing methods for implementing the vision. The process will involve many meetings and much collaboration with CRRA and other neighborhood associations in the area including Audubon Park and the universities back to the parish line, and Claiborne Avenue to the river. The group has a website at www.carrollton-audubon.org

Jill Stephens discussed the upcoming New Orleans Po-Boy Festival on Sunday, November 18, from 12-6 on Oak Street. She also made an appeal for volunteers, for all the tasks necessary to operate the festival. Anyone desiring to volunteer should visit the website at www.poboyfest.com and click on “Get Involved” at either the top or bottom of the page. This is expected to be a big event, bringing much attention to Oak Street and the neighborhood. The festival is a project of the Oak Street Association.

Several zoning/land-use issues were discussed:

1) The proposed coffee shop on Carrollton Avenue. Marshall Hevron, Jerry Speir, Betsy Weymann, and Tom Weymann reported on a meeting earlier in the day with Councilman Darnell. He indicated that he is still considering his position, in light of the legal arguments recently presented to him by our association. [Anyone who has not seen a copy of the memo and desires one may contact jerryspeir@hotmail.com ] The group has plans to meet with Councilman Fielkow later in the week. Barry Brantley volunteered to create an electronic survey for feedback from the membership on this issue specifically, but also on broader issues related to their involvement with the association.

2) A proposal to re-zone (i.e., “spot zone”) the corner of Willow and Joliet, to allow the re-construction of the corner grocery that was there before the storm. Several people commented on what a nuisance the store had been. Jerry Speir noted that the owners had exhausted their two years (since the storm) to begin work on the re-building, in order to maintain their “non-conforming use” at the site. Therefore, the property has lost its non-conforming use status and the request for re-zoning is highly irregular. It was moved by Cindy Morse, seconded by Marshall Hevron, that the organization should officially oppose the re-zoning. The motion passed unanimously.

3) A proposal to spot-zone a property on St. Charles Avenue and allow for the demolition and conversion of one of the major homes there, for construction of a large condominium complex. The zoning change would be from the MOST restrictive residential classification (RS-1) to the least restrictive (RM-4, a classification with no height limitations). Marshall Hevron moved, and Evan Wolf seconded, that CRRA should officially oppose this re-zoning, communicate our opposition to the City Council and to the neighborhood associations in the vicinity (also seeking their support for our zoning issues). The motion passed unanimously.

Cindy Morse reported for the Education Committee that plans are being finalized for a “work day” at Johnson school, at which volunteers will assist the school with minor construction, landscaping, and general cleaning efforts. Likely dates are December 1st or 8th. Interested persons should contact Cindy at cmorse7@cox.net Priestley School is developing a tutoring program for its students that would require a commitment of one hour per week by tutors. Interested persons should contact Annette Bak at AnnetteBak@chevron.com

Jennifer Jenkins has volunteered to chair a revitalized Crime/Safety Committee and is seeking other like-minded souls to be a part of that effort. Interested persons should contact Jennifer at jennijenk@bellsouth.net Betty DiMarco reminded us that the Carrollton Area Network is working on both improving the mapping of crimes in the area and on increasing community involvement in crime prevention.

NEXT MEETING: Monday, December 3, 7:30 p.m., at Asian Cajun.

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