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An Outrageous Proposal for a
Zoning Change To Build Short Street Condos

January 5, 2004

Dear friends and neighbors,

A developer, Jim MacPhaille, has again proposed to build an enormous high-rise condominium building on the square bordered by Short Street, Pearl Street, Huso Street, and Leake Avenue. The current zoning is RD-2, Residential two-family, with a height limit of 40 feet. The developer is proposing to change the zoning to RM-3, Multiple-family zoning, with a "Residential Planned Community" overlay to allow the construction of this enormous 14-story building.

The developer is proposing to construct "a fourteen level residential condominium building with ten floors of residential units, and four floors of parking." The proposed building height is 142 feet. It will have 67 residential units and 142 parking spaces. This building will tower more than 100 feet above any other house and be more than eight times as massive as any other home in our RD-2 residentially-zoned neighborhood.

In 2001, this same developer proposed a 16-story building on this same spot. At that time our Uptown Triangle Neighborhood Association strongly opposed his plan and appraised our City Councilman, Scott Shea, of our opposition. Mr. MacPhaille subsequently withdrew his proposal. He has now resurrected this previously failed proposal and is requesting a zoning change to accomplish his plan.

If one developer is allowed to change the zoning of a quiet residential neighborhood in order to make a profit, then truly no neighborhood in the Uptown/Carrollton/Audubon area will ever be safe again. If this monster building gets built at this site, there will be a feeding frenzy all along Leake Avenue, with developers tripping all over themselves to see who can build the biggest and tallest condominium buildings. Anyone who can get a few lots together will become the next neighborhood threat up and down Leake Avenue and elsewhere. This will be a nail in the coffin of our neighborhoods and will certainly wall off Leake Avenue and the levee.

Our neighborhood is in crisis. This Short Street Condo project is only two blocks away from the proposed Dublin Street Condo project, only three blocks away from Maple Street, and only one block away from the historic intersection of St. Charles Avenue and Carrollton Avenue in the Riverbend. This property is a strategically important location for Uptown New Orleans.

We welcome your active participation. This Short Street Condo project is scheduled to come before the City Planning Commission on January 27, 2004. Plan now to make your voice heard. This is an assault on our peaceful, historic neighborhoods and on our quality of life.

Sincerely yours,

Sheldon Hersh, MD
Committee to Save Leake Avenue
Uptown Triangle Neighborhood Association


On January 27, 2004 the City Planning Commission voted to defer this matter until their March 9, 2004 meeting.


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