Jan 082013

820 General Pershing Street, photographed in December.

A plan to tear down a home on General Pershing Street and pave it for a parking lot was rejected by a second city board Tuesday, suggesting long odds for the proposal whenever it reaches the City Council for a final decision.

John Villere, who owns the home at 820 General Pershing, said that its location surrounded by other parking lots makes it impossible to rent, leading to its current state of disrepair. So, when a developer offered to buy it to make room for a few parking spaces and a delivery lane to an as-yet-unnamed project in part of the Top Drawer building, Villere told the City Planning Commission in a Tuesday afternoon meeting.

“It’s a buffer. I am the buffer. No one wants to live there,” Villere said. “It has fallen into disrepair. It is an eyesore. This would be an improvement to the neighborhood.”

A group of neighbors, however, argued that there are numerous other options for the deliveries, and that demolition of the home — which by one neighbor’s estimate may have been built in the 1890s — for a parking lot would be a detriment to the neighborhood.

“All we’re going to end up with is parking lots, and that’s prime real estate in New Orleans,” said Bob Smith of the Faubourg Marengo Neighborhood Association. “We don’t need any more parking lots in our neighborhood.”

The commissioners sided with the neighborhood, saying they felt the home had not been given the proper opportunity for renovation and rental, and voted 6-0 against allowing a conditional use for a parking lot there.

The city planning decision Tuesday follows the Neighborhood Conservation District Committee’s denial last month of Villere’s request to tear the home down. Both decisions against the project will now be forwarded to the City Council for a final decision.

To read our live coverage of Tuesday’s meeting, see below.

  7 Responses to “Plan to demolish General Pershing home for parking lot rejected by another city panel”

  1. Time to renovate or sell chump

  2. The owner, Mr. Villere, has owned this property for 20 years. He wants to demolish it because, “It has fallen into disrepair. It is an eyesore.” YES, IT IS! Fix it!!

  3. No relation (that I know of), but I’d happily list it for him.

  4. “The commissioners sided with the neighborhood, saying they felt the home had not been given the proper opportunity for renovation and rental.”—the house has sat there for 5 years in that condition. If they haven’t repaired it yet, they are not going to. If that is the case we shouldn’t tear any houses down from katrina, because people have not had enough time to renovate them.

    • No, the city should do what other communities do, fine the owner until he fixes it or sells it someone who will. Individual property rights are not unlimited, and do not allow you to infringe on the rights of others. This is why the SCOTUS has upheld blight and zoning ordinances along with the rights of communities to enforce maintenance and upkeep standards for residential and commercial properties. Frankly, I’m tired of house rich and cash poor people in this city being allowed to become slumlords or blight barons, waiting for free money or some sucker to pay them more than what the market values their property because that’s what they need to to maintain their lifestyles or pay their krewe fees.

  5. He says he can’t rent it: but how much is he trying to rent it for?

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