Council members vote against commercial zoning for Bywater hotel development

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Plans for a Bywater hotel were shot down after City Council members voted against re-zoning the property for commercial use.

Council members voted 3-2 against changing the zoning of the 40,000-square-foot property on the corner of Montegut Street and St. Claude Avenue.

The nine-month battle was between residents and developers. The project would have included an outdoor pool, a restaurant and 37 rooms that would take up seven lots.

Many passionate residents spoke, listing concerns over gentrification along with desires to keep their neighborhood local rather than filled with tourists.

Proponents said they believed the project would be beneficial for the whole community, with its restaurants and job opportunities.

A vocal resident opposing the proposal reacted to the vote.

"I'm feeling really inspired, I'm feeling validated. You know, we're living at a time when we have our faith in government rapidly dissipating, and what you saw here today is that all of the votes came out in favor of the people, and people felt that their voices and their civic activism was fruitful, that they were heard," Megan Kiefer said.

Plans to re-zone the area in the future would need to be re-filed by a council member after two years.

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