Mid-City residents sound off about proposed historic district

Mid-City residents sound off about proposed historic district

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Mid-City residents weighed in Monday on whether their neighborhoods should be considered historic districts. The move, which will ultimately be decided by the City Council, could subject the area to stricter construction and demolition rules and regulations.

"The lack of definition at this time makes me hold my position that I'm against it," one resident said Monday night.

Some objected to more oversight of their neighborhoods.

"I'm in opposition of HDLC taking over control of the demolition. I'd like the keep the process the way it is right now. I don't believe it's a problem in the area," another resident said.

Others fully support the idea.

"I think ultimately it's very important in terms of maintaining the character of the city to say can we protect some of the architecture, can we protect some of the other uses that are out there," resident Jay Brinkman said.

If new boundaries are created deeming Mid-City a historic district, developers would need to get approval from the historic district landmarks commission in order to tear down buildings. In addition, the HDLC would have to approve plans for new construction or renovations for any property visible along Carrollton Avenue.

"One of the benefits will be, maybe some restrictions or at least better notification on the demolition of properties, which already happens but it's not very efficient," said resident April Lauterbach. "And we had a 100-year-old house taken down because they didn't go through the process appropriately."

Committee members say the goal is to simplify the process to determine if demolitions should be allowed, moving it from one city agency to another.

"It's essentially transferring this review power from the NCDAC to the HDLC, which is a two-step process, to the HDLC, which would be a one step process," a committee member explained.

The committee is in charge of determining what the boundaries will be if the historic district is created. It will meet once more for further discussion before passing along a recommendation to the City Planning Commission and ultimately, the City Council.

Recently, a similar committee voted to create historic districts Uptown. That, too, must be approved by the council.

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