Planning Commission Delays Plans For Bywater Hotel

Feb 7, 2018

The New Orleans Planning Commission has delayed a decision on a hotel proposed in Bywater. The project faces strong neighborhood opposition.

More than two dozen people held up signs that said simply, No.

The commission — meeting at the Roosevelt Recreation Center — is being asked to approve a zoning change. Property owners want to build a 21,000-square-foot hotel at the 3000 block of St. Claude Avenue — site of the Chazfest music festival.

Opponents say the hotel doesn’t belong in a residential setting.

Frances Goff Osborne says she’s enjoyed living in the riverfront neighborhood since 1988.

“I, along with my husband, have worked hard to maintain our home in the Bywater. At our age, quality of life and living is important. To have the tranquility of our neighborhood imposed upon by a Philadelphia real estate company is heartbreaking to me and my neighbors. This project sounds like gentrification on steroids,” she said.

New Orleans attorney Justin Schmidt — representing the owners — says there are no other hotels in the popular neighborhood. Developers are objecting to some changes made by the staff, like enclosing an outdoor bar area.

The commission delayed a decision on the proposal until March 13.