On the local Cable Channel 6 you can watch the Board of Zoning Adjustments hearings and see what type of zoning issues can come into play. This morning I watched the most recent episode which was a story of a young man who bought a blighted property in New Orleans with the hope that he would be able to restore it.
Here is his story. A blighted home was found and this home was a double. The property had been a double for about 100 years. This young man checked with his title company and the title search on the property reflected a double, this young man drove around the neighborhood and saw that about 40% of the other properties on the street were doubles and his bank during the mortgage process confirmed that the property is a double.
The problem is in New Orleans properties approval for non-conforming use can expire which is what happened to this property. Having been a double for 100 years but zoned as a single the property has to be restored to a single.
The house has been blighted since pre Katrina and finally someone buys it and has the funds to restore it and the city Zoning Board is iffy as to whether to allow something to remain a double and be restored. This group would actually consider allowing this property to remain blighted…rather than allow it to be restored to a double which is non conforming.
This flies in the face of the Mayor and his program to rid New Orleans of blighted properties, it flies in the face of this community moving forward past Katrina and the worst part it discourages individuals from coming into the New Orleans community and investing and restoring blighted property which is something this community can not afford to do…
This application was finally approved but after 2 years of fees, time and hiring an attorney.
The City of New Orleans Department of Safety and Permits can verify in writing the zoning of properties in Orleans Parish and is located at 1300 Perdido Street, Room 7E05, New Orleans and is open Monday – Friday from 8am -5pm. The telephone number is 504-658-7100. You just can’t assume anything….