Zoning, Parking, and the Big Easy

I’ve seen parking discussed in many venues, but seldom in the “dining out” columns, at least beyond whether or not a restaurant has valet service. However in this column written in New Orleans, the subject of zoning requirements and their classic inconsistency hits home.

It’s well written and goes to the classic back room politics of which the Crescent City is so well known. A building that had been a restaurant, and then went empty, now wants to open again however political enemies are stopping it because there’s not enough parking and of course that’s a public safety issue. Public Safety? This in the city that has the highest murder rate in the country.

The writer points out:
What restaurant in New Orleans has safe, secure parking? Tick thru your list of 20 restaurants you routinely go to. How many of them have a parking lot attached? For me about the only one that does is Nine Roses, and I think that is in Jefferson Parish. Galatoire’s, Patois, Clancy’s, Rue 127, Commander’s Le Foret, August, Cochon, La Boca, etc… None of these places have parking lots (Some of those listed do have valet, though). New Orleans restaurants and parking are mutually exclusive.

But then, when are parking zoning requirements supposed to be consistent. I can certainly attest that if you are in the Vieux Carre there are probably a hundred world class restaurants within walking distance and not one has parking. I guess the zoning wizards weren’t around back in Andy Jackson’s time.

JVH

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