After a series of community meetings hosted by Tulane about their plans for a new football stadium, a nearby neighborhood is hosting its own meeting Thursday evening that will pair a university official with one of the most outspoken opponents of the project.
A vacant Tulane fraternity house was damaged in a fire early Friday morning, authorities said, leaving a newly scorched structure directly next door to an empty lot on Broadway Street where a frat house that burned last October was recently torn down.
The former Sigma Alpha Mu house at 712 Broadway caught fire around 1 a.m. July 20, said Tulane University spokesman Michael Strecker. The building was unoccupied and undergoing renovations, so there were no injuries, Strecker said. He referred questions about the cause of the fire to the New Orleans Fire Department, which did not have information on the investigation readily available Tuesday afternoon.
Tulane University officials pledged Wednesday night to reach an enforceable legal agreement with the city of New Orleans governing the activities and operations at its new football stadium — with hopes of resolving most of the issues in it by the end of August.
Councilwoman Susan Guidry will ask the New Orleans City Council to withdraw plans Thursday for a new zoning district that would have governed the construction of a football stadium on Tulane’s uptown campus, a day after university President Scott Cowen is scheduled to speak to neighbors about the plans.
Tulane University described its plans Monday night to shuttle football fans to its proposed Uptown stadium from parking lots around the city, but nearby residents continue to question how they will access their own homes on game days.
Over the past week or so, the prospects for Tulane’s proposed Uptown stadium appear to have improved considerably.
A measure that would have required the university to receive the city’s approval for the project (known as an interim zoning district, or IZD) received a negative recommendation from the City Planning Commission, whose members said Tulane should only be held to current law, which allows construction of the stadium by right. Even if the City Council passes the IZD anyway, it is unclear whether its proponents could then muster five votes to overrule a veto by Mayor Mitch Landrieu.
(Tulane will hold its second community forum on the stadium, concerning traffic and parking issues, at 6 p.m. Monday at the Audubon Tea Room, 6500 Magazine Street.)
What do you think? Is Tulane within its rights to build a football stadium on campus? Or is the stadium too big for the residential Uptown neighborhoods altogether?
The law that allows Tulane to build a football stadium on campus without any oversight from city leaders may be out of date, and the construction project may raise serious issues that need more scrutiny, but the university ought not to be made to follow regulations that are not yet on the books, the city planning commission ruled on Tuesday.
By a 7-1 vote, the commissioners will recommend against creating an interim zoning district that would require universities to seek city permission for large construction projects. What remains to be seen is whether Tulane’s victory Tuesday is fleeting — as the same City Council members who voted to begin the IZD process can ignore the recommendation and vote to approve it — or if it provides a spark of momentum that builds into a win before the City Council as well.
Uptown residents who want the city to create a formal review process over the proposed construction of Tulane’s football stadium will head into a meeting Tuesday with one strike against them: the City Planning staff recommends against creating an interim zoning district governing large university construction projects.
A number of initial questions were answered and many more new ones were raised Wednesday night when Tulane University officials met with hundreds of Uptown residents about plans to build a football stadium on campus.
Tulane University is providing free parking in a lot on Claiborne Avenue for tonight’s community forum about its proposed on-campus stadium and shuttle service to the meeting location on the opposite end of campus, officials said.