DHS Seal - FEMA    
 
FEMA Section 106 Notices for Louisiana
Comment on "Public Notice NHPA/NEPA1
Seeking Public Comment for FEMA Funded Construction
of the Mazant-Royal Housing Development,
4100 Royal Street, New Orleans
"
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Name: JANINE HANNEL
City: NEW ORLEANS, LA
Specific
property
affected:
Mazant and Royal streets
Comments: Re HANO/ITEX site 4100 Royal St., New Orleans
Google Earth and HANO's own website show how inappropriate this proposed development is for the historic Bywater neighborhood. With little exception Hano's tabs for Housing and Communities show housing 3 stories or under with simple but appealing traditional New Orleans traditional style.

BACKGROUND: If affordable housing were really the issue, 50 units of all low-income housing could have previously been built.

SCALE:
For a basically low-rise 19th century neighborhood, the scale of the proposed development is an outrage.
The largest nearby development, the repurposed Rice Mill Lofts at Montegut and Chartres, mostly 4 stories, is 69 units. The proposed four-story development of 135 units is almost double that and 2.7 times the originally acceptable 50 units of low-income housing. The proposed project is clearly an excuse to profit by cramming as many people as possible into a poorly thought-out space-- showing little respect for the neighborhood or future residents. Why not skip the ruse and import an inner-city highrise instead?

DESIGN: Commonsense would dictate a design that isolates cars as much as possible from the apartments by placing parking on one or two sides.
Instead, the mostly U-shape of the proposed parking area, unlike that of the Rice Mill Lofts, creates a an air and noise pollution pocket for the future residents.
A sensitive development would be many fewer units looking out onto a grassy center courtyard and parking around the perimeter of the building.

CONTEXT OF NEIGHBORHOOD; TRAFFIC; AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Any proposed development should be considered in the context of a neighborhood and not in isolation. Several hotels are proposed nearby, including one next door, as well as the redevelopment of the Naval Support Activity base by a developer sensitive to neighborhood needs for affordable housing. A cruise ship terminal has also been proposed.
All together or even separately, the likely projects will bring a huge increase in traffic. Traffic already backs up at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) at 2800 Chartres with students and/or when traffic halts several times a day for the train at this location.
The proposed parking for about 100 cars in the proposed development will result in considerable backup onto the nearby streets, all small and mostly one way. Chartres St. has an enforced speed limit of 30 mph. There will be nowhere for this much traffic to go.
Flooding: Even in mild rain, at the Rice Mill Lofts half of Chartres Street floods because of inadequate drainage under the street. This issue has been brought up many times before regarding an adjacent proposed development, and nothing has been done to alleviate the problem.
Why haven't studies been done re the adequacy of water pressure, drainage, and traffic?