This was the twenty first BlightStat meeting to which the public was invited to attend.
The City continues to march toward its goal of eradicating 10,000 blighted properties within three years. City departments that can help with this process meet every two weeks for a “BlightStat” meeting.
Goals have been set for each department and a presentation is made at each meeting to show how each department is doing toward meeting those goals.
Click here to view the City’s 21st public BlightStat presentation.
The legal department had an extended discussion about getting properties to Sherrif Sales. The legal department has been consistent in their efforts to fight blight in New Orleans. Ms. Brenda Breaux has made it clear to her team that consistent efforts will be maintained.
The group discussed marketing efforts for the Sherrif Sales noting that the Preservation Resource Center and neighborhood organizations can be utilized to help promote the events.
Mr. Kopplin suggested that the names of the curators should be known to neighborhoods as citizens are out of patience with those who are not effective.
Mr. Kopplin noted that 1,000 writs have been filed this year. Mr. Granderson and Mr. Gray were touted as the driving force behind getting writs filed so that blighted property can be brought to a Sherrif Sale.
Mr. Hebert said he has heard that some are shocked at how far the city has come in the fight against blight. Mr. Brad Vogel also gave accolades to the City for its efforts toward getting properties up for Sherrif Sale.
Mr. Granderson indicated that he and Mr. Gray have been working diligently on the files sent to them to get them ready for Sherrif Sales.
Mr. Kopplin noted that compliance only works under threat of demolition.
Mr. Granderson indicated that citizens can go to CivilSherrif.com and click on the sales list to see properties coming up for Sherrif sale.
Code Enforcement was represented by a new person that indicated the strategic demolition process is moving along but historical reviews, utility cutoffs and owner objections have slowed some demolitions.
Mr. Kopplin noted that packet delivery does not necessarily equal demolition and quipped that eminent danger works better.
Mr. Wolcott reviewed the FEMA demolitions noting that ten demolitions were done in that last two weeks. He indicated that FEMA’s process is better organized but ten demolitions each bi-weekly period will likely be the norm. Mr. Kopplin indicated that a third of all FEMA demolitions have been denied by NCDC. Mr. Wolcott indicated that only adjudicated properties are submitted to NCDC. Mr. Kopplin asked Mr. Hebert for a list of demolitions denied by NCDC.
Ms. Wilkerson indicated that NORA demolitions are winding down as the money runs out around June, 2012.
Mr. Keith Ferrouillet discussed nuisance abatement which has slowed because the contractor has indicated he is not being paid timely. Mr. Hebert indicated that the process has been explained to the contractor and that the results for this period are unsatisfactory. Mr. Hebert also indicated that payments to the contractor are current. Mr. Wise suggested inviting the contractor to the BlightStat meeting.
Mr. Wise indicated a Yale intern has done some work on performance contracting and this situation would be a good project for the intern to work on.
Mr. Ed Horan discussed the remaining FEMA trailers noting that 16 trailers remain. Mr. Kopplin told Mr. Horan that he wants the status of every FEMA trailer, what the city and code enforcement is doing to finalize this issue. Mr. Kopplin indicated that resets for FEMA hearings needs to end. He noted that the mayor said he would have them out by January and it is eight months beyond the deadline. He threw a benefit out to Mr. Horan stating that he doesn’t have to attend the BlightStat meetings once the FEMA trailers are gone.
Ms. Lear indicated that a big push is on for eradicating litter and bandit signs. She noted that enforcement is going to be tough now after giving out numerous warnings. She noted that any citizen can removed illegal signs and if brought to the Sanitation Department the owner will be called and cited if necessary.
Mr. Kopplin noted that enforcement is the key because like tire dumping, the bad behavior will continue until the perpetrator is cited.
Ms. Lear noted that 10,000 dumped tires have been picked up by the city. She indicated that citizen calls to NOPD have helped some tire dumpers get cited.
Ms. Wilkerson noted that no NORA closings were done this bi-weekly period. She noted that there have been some issues with code enforcement and the permit process. Mr. Kopplin suggested a private meeting between Mr. Horan and Ms. Wilkerson.
Ms. LeGrand from Lakeview indicated that large shipping containers on various properties are an issue in her neighborhood. A discussion ensued on how to remove these. Ms. LeGrand indicated that Safety and Permits has jurisdiction on these large shipping containers.
Answering a question from the audience, Ms. Wilkerson stated that NSP2 is a neighborhood stabilization program run by HUD (Housing and Urban Development). It’s focus is low income and rental properties as well as demolitions. More info at NORAWORKS.org
In an exclusive interview Charlie’s Neighborhood News has learned from a trusted source that the City of New Orleans will be giving Sign Bandits until September 12th to get their act together.
On September 12th the City of New Orleans will begin aggressively fining those who insist on placing signs on public property. To learn more about bandit signs and how you can help fight blight, please visit the link below:
Comment on FACEBOOK by Brad Vogel:
The city is talking about putting approximately 300 properties up for auction at sheriff sales prior to Thanksgiving of this year – that’s a momentous step. Several hundred buildings stand to get a new lease on life instead of being demoli…shed. Initial discussion envisions about 100 properties going to auction on Oct. 18. That date is designed to focus exclusively on city-initiated blight sales. There’s also the Sep. 10 NORA/LLT auction coming up – which will feature about 100 Road Home properties. So get ready to bid this fall. Auctions may not be a panacea for the city’s blight problem, but they’re certainly part of a better way forward.
WHO: Key blight policy and code enforcement staff
8:00-9:30 AM CST
9TH Floor—City Planning Conference Room
New Orleans, LA 70117