Renovation of former Our Lady of Good Counsel school into apartments receives initial city approval

Plans to renovate the former Our Lady of Good Counsel school on Louisiana Avenue into a 22-unit apartment building received a initial approval from city officials on Tuesday, bolstered by support from neighbors in the Garden District Association. The former school, located on Louisiana Avenue, was originally constructed in 1923 and has been vacant for 20 years, according to the City Planning staff. The applicant, Good Counsel, LLC, has proposed for the apartment building to also have a pool in the rear of the property with an open-air pavilion and rain gardens for the front yard of the building. Historic tax credits will be used to rehabilitate the building, said Cynthia Dubberly, one of the project architects. Dubberly also said that originally submitted plans request 20 off-street parking spaces, but were reduced to 18 at the recommendation of the City Planning staff.

Former Our Lady of Good Counsel School proposed to be apartment building

City Planning officials are set to discuss the proposal of an apartment building located at the former Our Lady of Good Counsel School at a City Planning Commission meeting Tuesday afternoon. The former school building, located at 1215 Louisiana Avenue, has been proposed to be renovated into a 22-unit apartment building. According to city documents, the applicant, Good Counsel Partners, LLC, has also proposed a pool for the back of the property with an open-air pavilion. Rain gardens are proposed for the front yard of the site. City documents state that the site has been associated with the Our Lady of Good Counsel Church for over 100 years.

International School of Louisiana to use Mid-City building for swing space amid Camp Street renovations; parents voice concern about transportation

Upcoming renovations to the International School of Louisiana’s Camp Street building will require the school to move its middle-school grades to the John Dibert school building on Orleans Avenue — starting in January, officials announced this week, prompting concerns from parents about transportation between the two sites. ISL principal Melanie Tennyson told parents Tuesday night that the Recovery School District approached the school in October about renovations taking place at the current school’s building on Camp Street. The renovations on Camp Street have been in the works for years, stalling first over neighbors’ concerns about the whether the plans preserved the historic nature of the building, then later over an unrelated dispute over the Recovery School District bid process. Those issues have been resolved, and the RSD told Tennyson that renovations were set to begin early next year and be completed within 12 months. In the meantime, the school needed a “swing space” for students whose classrooms will be affected by the renovations.

Alcohol sales at Riccobono’s on Panola Street Café, outdoor seating at Raising Canes on St. Charles get initial OK from city

The sale of alcoholic beverages at a neighborhood café on Panola Street and outdoor seating for a fast-food fried chicken restaurant on St. Charles Avenue were both granted initial approval by city planning officials on Tuesday. Riccobono’s Panola Street Café has been operating at 7801 Panola Street for 17 years, according to owner Joe Riccobono. While he hopes to begin offering alcohol drinks with his menu, nothing else in the restaurant is planned to change, he told the City Planning Commission on Tuesday. “We intend to use our existing dining counter as a holding bar and there is no planned construction or change of floor plan associated with this request,” Riccobono said.

Partial demolition rejected on Laurel Street, two demolitions on Toledano Street and Ameila Street approved

A request to demolish part of a Laurel Street home to prepare for an addition was rejected by city officials on Monday afternoon, but requests regarding two homes on Toledano and Amelia streets were approved. At 4018 Laurel Street, architect Rush Carlton told the Neighborhood Conservation District Advisory Committee on Monday that he and developers want to demolish 50 percent of the existing single-family residence and add a second story as well. “The intention is to rebuild the rear portion of the house a two-story addition while maintaining the front two rooms, the classical shotgun rooms, in their existing configuration,” Carlton said. Committee member Eleanor Burke, deputy director of the Historic District Landmarks Commission, said that she opposed the request because the plans removed too much of the structure’s side gallery. “I am going to be voting against this proposal because I feel as though what’s being proposed, they’re asking to demolish too much of the historic structure.

Catholic Church cleared to divide Our Lady of Lourdes property from school

A request to separate the lot that houses the closed Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church on Napoleon Avenue from the school on the same block was unanimously approved by the City Planning Commission last week. According to a staff report, the church near the corner of Napoleon and Freret was originally built in 1907, but closed after Hurricane Katrina and never reopened. Archdiocese officials have said they intend to sell the former church building, but keep the school. The request divides the Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church and Holy Rosary Academy & High School, located next to the church, into two separate lots, formally separating the two facilities. The subdivision was actually approved last year under the old Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance, but brought back to the City Planning Commission last week so that the resubdivision would be in compliance with new regulations.

Irish Channel bed-and-breakfast proposal splits city panel

Questions about whether the owner of a bed-and-breakfast planned for the Irish Channel just off Magazine Street would actually live there led to a split vote before the City Planning Commission this week, leaving the decision in the hands of the City Council. The proposed bed and breakfast, located at 1013 Sixth Street, is currently a four-unit residence, but applicant and owner Karen Bacharach plans to convert the house into a eight-room bed and breakfast. Architect David Glasgow, who represented Bacharach before the City Planning Commission, said the house was built in 1856 and renovations are being done to restore and repair the structure. “The floor plan rebuilding would be brought back more in keeping with what it was historically,” Glasgow said. Glasgow said that Bacharach is already an owner of a hotel on Prytania Street and had a previous bed and breakfast in the Garden District.

Boil water advisory for East Bank of New Orleans

The Sewerage & Water Board has issued a water boil advisory for the East Bank of New Orleans. See advisory below:

NEW ORLEANS – The Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans (S&WB) has issued a precautionary boil water advisory for the Eastbank of New Orleans. Residents in the affected area are advised not to drink,make ice, brush teeth, bathe or shower, prepare or rinse food with tap water unless it has been properly disinfected until further notice. At 2:55 a.m. this morning, the S&WB Carrollton Water Plant experienced a number of Entergy power surges that resulted in interruptions to the Claiborne and Panola Pumping Stations. Because of these Entergy power surges, water pressure unexpectedly dropped to 20 pounds per square inch (psi) at the S&WB Carrollton Water Plant for a few minutes and may have dropped below 15 psi (pounds per square inch) in areas throughout the Eastbank water system.

New bed-and-breakfast in Irish Channel gets initial approval from City Planning Commission

A new bed-and-breakfast proposed for a large Laurel Street home in the Irish Channel received initial approval Tuesday afternoon from the New Orleans City Planning Commission. The proposed bed-and-breakfast is located at 3100 Laurel Street and 830-842 Eighth Street. The site consists of three lots with two interconnected two-story buildings. One side of the building, at 830 8th Street, contains the owner’s residential quarters with 3,000 square feet of floor area. The other side of the building is located at 3100 Laurel Street and is used as a gallery, work, and storage space with nearly 5,000 square feet of floor area, according to the application.

What’s next for the proposed renaming of Jefferson Davis Parkway?

As the City Council voted last week begin discussing the removal of four Confederate statues throughout the city, they also outlined the legal process by which it will take place, and many Council members shared their views on the issue. On June 26, Mayor Mitch Landrieu wrote to the council requesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue at Lee Circle, the Jefferson Davis statue on Jefferson Davis Parkway, the P.G.T. Beauregard Equestrian statue on Esplanade Avenue and the Battle of Liberty Place Monument on Iberville Street. The motion passed by the council at the meeting held Thursday, in response, states that the city code allows for Council to follow proper legislation to remove structures such as statues, plaques, monument and others from public property “deemed a ‘nuisance’ in that, among other things, the item honors, praises, or fosters, ideologies which are in conflict with the requirements of equal protection for citizens as provided by the Constitution and the laws of the United States.”

With the motion passed, the Council is required by the City Code to hold public hearings for recommendations on the removal of the statues from the Historic District Landmarks Commission, the Chief Administrative Officer, the Superintendent of Police and Director of the Department of Property Management, the City attorney, and the Human Relations Commission. The motion added the Vieux Carre’ Commission to the entities stated in Landrieu’s initial request, to be a part of the public hearings. Mayor Landrieu also proposed to change the name of Jefferson Davis Parkway.