The Isidore Newman School is working on additional restrictions to its expansion plans in order to address the concerns of its neighbors, the school attorney told members of the surrounding neighborhoods Tuesday night. The school is asking for land-use changes on three sides of its campus. An early-childhood center is planned across Loyola Avenue, a home on the corner of Jefferson and Danneel is being renovated for a headmaster’s house, and the old AutoPaint building at Danneel and Robert, currently used for storage, could one day become a classroom facility of some kind, said attorney Justin Schmidt. Neighbors worry about the impact that each of the changes could bring. The early childhood center, they say, will bring more traffic to the already-crowded neighborhood streets.
After 18 years, the Baronne Street Neighborhood Association has a new leader for the first time, and the group may soon have a new name as well. The association board is seeking ideas for a new name from its members, new president Lynn Alline said at a neighborhood meeting Tuesday night. The primary concern, she said, is that defining the neighborhood by Baronne Street “doesn’t really represent the territory.” To her point, a new resident in the area responded that he had seen a sign for Tuesday’s meeting but had not realized it referred to his neighborhood. Baronne Street stretches 3.5 miles across New Orleans, starting downtown on Canal Street by the Roosevelt Hotel, through the skyscrapers of the Central Business District, past some of the most dangerous corners in Central City, past the small Uptown commercial district soon to be anchored once again by Martin Wine Cellar, and ending at the house on Dufossat made infamous by MTV’s most recent New Orleans season of The Real World.
A plan to create formal councils of neighborhood groups to increase citizen participation in city government would only “many more layers of bureaucracy” and should be scrapped, according to a letter from the Garden District Association published by The Lens. The letter suggesting changes to the Citizen Participation Project was written by Shelley Landrieu, director of the Garden District group but also a leader of the Baronne Street Neighborhood Association and Audubon Area Zoning Association. Instead of new councils based on city planning districts, the Garden District would prefer more formalized opportunities for neighborhood association input within the city’s existing policy-making process. The director of the group that drafted the plan told Karen Gadbois of The Lens that the Garden District had drawn “inaccurate conclusions.” The letter was copied to numerous other neighborhood groups, including many in the Uptown: the Irish Channel Neighborhood Association, the Touro Bouligny Association, the Baronne Street Neighborhood Association, the St.