This Tuesday, August 4th, the Faubourg St. John Neighborhood Association will meet under the big dome on the bayou at 7 p.m. Jeff Schwartz of Broad Community Connections will talk about the Taco Bell proposed at Broad and Bienville.
If you would like to attend the meeting, please join your neighbors at 1368 Moss Street in Faubourg St. John. Look for the big dome on Bayou St. John. The meeting is August 4th at 7 pm in the cafeteria.
The property diagonally across from the ReFresh Project— at Broad and Bienville, on the far/Lake side of the intersection–is currently five vacant lots, covering 20,000 square feet in a C-1A district with an Inner City Urban Corridor overlay that provides for design review and renders fast food and gas stations conditional uses. The current owners are now proposing a Taco Bell at that corner.
Over the last 10 months, Broad Community Connections has worked with the current owner to encourage them to develop a more substantial mixed-use project on the site. After those conversations didn’t get any traction, Broad Community Connections made an offer (with a development partner) to buy the site, but were rejected.
The current owner has proposed a Taco Bell at the site. The City Planning Commission denied the previous proposal for a gas station.
Land Use: The proposed use as a fast food restaurant does not meet any stated community needs, brings another unhealthy food option into the community, and is a national chain restaurant competing with local restaurants. The hours of the drive-through are also of concern. The proposed hours of operation are shown below.
Sunday through Thursday Lobby: 7 am – 11 pm
Drive-up: 7 am – 4 am
Friday & Saturday Lobby: 7 am – 11 pm
Drive-up: 7 am – 5 am
Future Land Use: This site is slated to become an AC/EC MU-1 district, with the intent of creating mixtures of uses with arts and cultural uses and pedestrian-friendly amenities.
Design: The proposed site plan and design does not meet the base C-1A zoning requirements, much less the Inner City Urban Corridor requirements. More importantly, this is another auto-oriented use that will permanently relegate this site to an auto-oriented, single-tenant site. The previous buildings that were demolished to clear the site were double-shotgun commercial structures that supported multiple local small businesses, and the new CZO and Master Plan–as well as all post-Katrina planning processes–clearly contemplate an increasing mixture of uses and buildings that are increasingly bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly.
Community Development: This is another fast food chain restaurant with low-wage jobs, unhealthy food options, and absentee managers who are not invested in the community. These uses are conditional for a reason.
The current ownership group actually owns a number of restaurants in the New Orleans area, including Oceana Grille in the French Quarter.
jeffrey schwartz | m.c.p.
executive director | broad community connections
m 504 722 3628