We should support our current zoning laws

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A guest opinion commentary from Meg Lousteau, Executive Director of the Vieux Carre Property Owners, Residents, and Associates (VCPORA):

If you live in New Orleans, you, like me, probably love our live-and-let-live-way of life, but you no doubt also want to make sure it continues.  That means that when it comes to zoning and laws that protect New Orleans neighborhoods, we can’t have “anything goes.”

In a recent opinion on this program, Kaare Johnson suggested that we throw out well-established neighborhood protections, because they were “selfish.”

I disagree. It is not selfish to ensure that the New Orleans we love will continue to be here for the generations to come.

Our zoning and land use laws are developed through countless hours of public input, reviewed by professionals and adopted by our elected officials.

The greatest danger is when big developers want to change the will and rules of the people to make more money with projects that don’t fit into our historic, beloved neighborhoods – whether it’s the Quarter, Marigny, Uptown or anywhere we call home.

Recently, developers have tried to chip away at height restrictions in the Marigny, to build high-rises to benefit themselves and their wealthy tenants.

In the French Quarter, one developer may destroy the last truly residential corner of the neighborhood with a too-large event venue, fast-food bar and restaurant known as Habana Outpost.  It will cater to music concerts and late-night, outdoor parties that will drive long-time neighbors away.

And, speaking of noise, 19 neighborhood organizations from all over the city are urging the City Council to pass seven essential, simple steps to regulate sound so we can, in fact, all live and let live.  The City Council should adopt these now.

Zoning, land use and sound laws are made by our citizens and for our citizens.  Let’s all continue to support them.