Council votes to ease parking problems linked to double-to-dorm conversions in university area

The City Council on Thursday approved two motions on parking and residential density in the University neighborhood. They are aimed at establishing an Interim Zoning District for the Uptown area near Tulane and Loyola with more stringent parking requirements than the rest of the city. It’s an unusual move for a council that normally prioritizes the creation of housing, particularly affordable housing, over parking. But the Uptown area near Tulane and Loyola universities has an unusual problem, with investors buying up homes and converting them to high-end multi-unit rentals marketed to students. “What’s occurring right now, particularly in the Maple neighborhood, is that doubles are being converted into dormitories,” said District A Councilman Joe Giarrusso at Thursday’s meeting.

City to take on parking problems in the Uptown university area

New Orleans residents know something about parking scarcity. Off-street parking is rare in the rows of century-old doubles and singles that make up the city’s historic neighborhoods. In most areas, this is a problem occasionally, during special events or when a neighbor has a party. In the university area near Tulane and Loyola — where rental units are in especially high demand — it is constant, residents say, and it’s been getting worse. To create more rental units, doubles have been converted to fourplexes and triplexes with six bedrooms are expanded to create 12, according to city records compiled by neighborhood activists.