From green space to industrial? Algiers rezoning under scrutiny

From green space to industrial? Algiers rezoning under scrutiny

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A fight to keep the west bank quiet is underway in Algiers as rezoning plans are being discussed for the area. But some are not so welcoming to change.

In Algiers there are big plans for the derelict and often overgrown properties adjacent to the Mississippi River. Not much has changed in the area since Hurricane Katrina, and the move to rezone it to a more commercial and industrial landscape is underway.

Some residents are rolling along with the idea.

"I think it's a shame that the city hasn't done more with this area to revitalize it," said Linda Pessin. "It has so much to offer."

"We really need this for this community," said Cheaeta Fields. "It will be a nice little big change - something different."

The only industrial uses for the land near the levee are movie productions and storage of Mardi Gras floats. And while some welcome the idea of more industry to the area, others have reservations about rezoning.

Recently the City Council passed a comprehensive zoning ordinance that allows for development near the Algiers ferry terminal.

Algiers Point Association President Rob Booms is also concerned about what's in store. The Port of New Orleans requested Councilwoman Nadine Ramsey to rezone the city's green space used for events to a maritime industrial zone, which opens up the land for a possible shipyard.

Booms says so far Ramsey has not been accessible, and he's afraid that without his association's input, Algiers could turn into a hub for apartments, condos and hotels.

"We want to know what's the plan," Booms said. "How is this going to affect our neighborhood, because this is a quiet neighborhood - very family-oriented. We would like to preserve the historical character of the neighborhood, and we're afraid some of these developments may encroach on that."

As the discussion progresses, both sides keep a close eye on which direction the tide will go.

Ramsey's office says she is proposing the measure to correct an error made in the city's master plan. The rezoning measure is expected to be discussed during a meeting this month.

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