Holiday At Home in the Vieux Carre!

Friday, December 13  5:30 - 8:00 
1026 and 1032 Esplanade Avenue
Back by popular demand, the 2013 Holiday At Home in the Vieux Carre event – which also happens to be the final event of our 75th anniversary year - will be at 1026 Esplanade and 1032 Esplanade.  These beautiful homes showcase the diversity of house types in the Vieux Carre.  Each features a beautiful courtyard to boot. 

In addition to our usual wine, cocktails from Café Amelie, and delicacies from the Sweet Palate, we’ll also have champagne to toast the end of this most auspicious anniversary year, and, thanks to our generous hosts, incredible hors d'oeuvres!

Join us to celebrate the holidays, and commemorate the close out of our 75th anniversary year with great food, drink, surroundings, and company!

$5/VCPORA members, $10/non-members, FREE to those who join that night!


Written comments on the city's draftComprehensive Zoning Ordinance are due TODAYFriday, November 29. VCPORA and French Quarter Citizenshave been reviewing the voluminous document (which can be viewed by clicking here) for the past few weeks.  We applaud the dedicated City Planning Commission staff and commission, and the thousands of participating citizens whose work and input resulted in a needed overhaul of this vital city document.

As with anything this complex, there are many aspects in the draft that are only now becoming clear.  Most are tremendous improvements over the current CZO, but two are very alarming, and we need your help to bring these to the city's attention.

First, the draft CZO deletes vital language that requires the Vieux Carre Commission to ensure that the character of the Quarter is protected.  Known as Section 8.1. it mandates that the VCC only issue a permit under the following conditions:  The historic character of the Vieux Carré shall not be injuriously affected;  signs which are garish or otherwise out of keeping with the character of the Vieux Carré shall not be permitted; building designs shall be in harmony with the traditional architectural character of the Vieux Carré; the value of the Vieux Carré as a place of unique interest and character shall not be impaired.  None of this language is included in the draft CZO.  We strongly believe that these vital protections must continue to be a part of the VCC's evaluation process.

Second, changes to the rules about restaurants and alcoholic beverage outlets amount to a loosening of the current restrictions to the point that all standard restaurants would be able to serve alcohol and many (particularly those in the CBD and historic neighborhoods) would be automatically permitted to offer live entertainment.  Writes Keith Hardie, New Orleans attorney and neighborhood activist, “These changes will have a dramatic effect on neighborhood business districts, all of which can now become more like Frenchman Street. The change in the way restaurants serving alcohol are regulated will remove from the City Planning Commission and City Council their ability to make sure that restaurants are good fits for our older neighborhoods, and the city-wide late night closing hours will encourage more restaurants to operate as bars. This one-size-fits-all approach is inappropriate for a City with diverse neighborhoods.”  VCPORA and French Quarter Citizens urge that the current regulations remain.  


Email the city and tell them that you want these neighborhood protections retained in the new zoning ordinance!  Email addresses and suggested text below, but feel free to write your own message.,,,,  
Dear City Leaders:

I thank you for the work you've done to update the city's Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance, but want to express concern about two elements of the draft document so that vital protections for the French Quarter and for neighborhoods across the city are retained.  First, please keep the language currently enshrined in Section 8.1 of the CZO that protects the character and uniqueness of the Vieux Carre.  Second, please don't change the rules for standard restaurants to allow them to be alcoholic beverage outlets, and in many cases, become live entertainment venues as matters of right.  Without these protections in place, standard restaurants throughout our city's neighborhoods could become establishments that are incompatible with their surroundings.  We need to keep the current rules in place.  Sincerely,

Again, the city has set the deadline for written comments as tomorrow, so please, take a moment today or tomorrow to send in an email!