The request governs three properties at 1812, 1818 and 1824 Carondelet Street (at the corner of St. Mary Street) that are owned by two companies, Bundy Palms LLC and Patrick’s Place East LLC. Two of the properties have three-story, three-family homes, and the third lot is vacant.
The application for the rezoning does not describe their plans for the property if the mixed-use zoning is granted, but representatives of the companies said the request is to restore previous commercial use of the property that was erroneously removed.
“I’d like to use the first floor in some type of commercial setting,” said Patrick Swilling, who represents Bundy Palms. “I’m not in the bar business. I sleep at night. But we’d like to have the ability to some type of commercial there on that corner.”
Specifically, the property had commercial zoning until 2015, when the city rezoned it to residential to bring it into compliance with the city’s master plan. While most of the surrounding properties have residential, they are barely a block off St. Charles Avenue, and most of the block is taken up by a Walgreens pharmacy and a parking lot used by nearby Houston’s restaurant.
“There’s certainly more commercial use in this district than there is residential,” said Zella May, a representative of the companies.
No one appeared at the meeting to speak in opposition to the proposed rezoning. The request had drawn a recommendation for denial from the city planning staff, however, who said rezoning it to mixed-use would be a spot zoning.
Planning Commissioner Eugene Green proposed allowing the rezoning because Swilling bought the property in 2014 when commercial use would have been allowed, but the City Planning Commission tied with a 3-3 vote on his motion, sending the request to the City Council without any recommendation.