NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Should you be able to have a driveway in front of your home? You may not know this, but there's a law in New Orleans that dictates how much of your front yard you can pave. And now there's a campaign in the city pushing to make your yard greener.
While some neighbors have a small driveway in the city others don't have one at all and want one. But, that law makes it illegal to pave more than 40 percent of your front yard. Now, City Council President Stacy Head wants home and business owners to pave less and plant more. It's part of that new campaign called "The Front Yard Initiative." The reason behind it? Head, along with The Urban Conservancy, say when rain hits pavement, it can't be absorbed. They believe more green space will cut down on street flooding.
"There's so much that we can do in our own yards and our own properties, and parking lots are another huge opportunity for New Orleanians, for entrepreneurs, for new green businesses to come up with better alternatives that will really solve all the problems that we are dealing with," said Urban Conservancy Executive Director Dana Eness.
Urban Conservancy showed us what they say is a good example of what they would like to see all over the city. The owner of Parkway Bakery has not only planted more than 70 trees around his business, he's also putting in a new parking lot that he says will absorb more rainwater. The parking lot will have a plastic grid installed that we're told is made of recyclable material and is built to withstand water.
"We're trying to contain all our own rain water and not let it run off into our neighbors and into the storm drains which taxes the pumps trying to pump it out into the lake," said restaurant owner Jay Nix.
Some of you like the idea, saying while parking is an issue in the city, flooding and the environment are even bigger issues. Others say if you want a driveway in front of your home, you should be able to have one.
If you live in New Orleans, you may soon see a flyer on your front door that is part of the Front Yard Initiative. It has information on what organizers believe will help cut down on street flooding, why they think you should replace unwanted concrete and asphalt with plants and soil, and resources on how to make that affordable.
The campaign also encourages citizens to report excessive yard paving violations.