New Orleans City Council unanimously approved a moratorium on new alcoholic beverage ordinance for the Carrollton area, requiring any new applicants to appear before the City Planning Commission and obtain a waiver from council.
The moratorium, which will be in effect for one year, covers a wide swath of the neighborhood. It is, however, slightly smaller than a recently expired moratorium, as Robert Morris reports in Uptown Messenger.
District A Coucilwoman Susan Guidry, who represents the neighborhood, said the restrictions were put in place generally as a result of neighborhood groups' complaints about the large number of bars in the area, but one bar, the now-shuttered Frat House, was a point of particular concern. The building at 8200 Willow St., was formerly home to Jimmy's Music Club.
Though famous as an incubator for local talent as Jimmy's, the building became notorious for underage drinking and unruly patrons as the Frat House. Building owner Jimmy Anselmo has leased the building out to new operators, who plan to reopen it as Jimmy's. Anselmo spoke against the moratorium at today's meeting, at one point becoming too emotional to finish his statement.
"I followed all the rules," Anselmo said through tears. "Now you're changing them."
Musician Deacon John Moore also spoke against the new restrictions.
"Council Member Guidry, I could not agree with you more that there are too many [alcoholic beverage] outlets in the neighborhood," Moore said. "But I also believe there should be exceptions. And those are, of course, the live music clubs ... [Jimmy's] under the new owners will not be another Frat House.
Guidry said she was sympathetic to live music, but she had to take complaints from area neighborhood associations into account.
"While Mr. Anselmo has owned the property, the property has most recently been operated by the Frat House," she said. "Kids are smashing car windows in our neighborhood, knocking off side mirrors ...This is the kind of operation that was happening at this location for the last few years."
Guidry and other council members, after voting for the moratorium, still encouraged Anselmo and the location's new operators to work with the neighborhood groups on a future permit application.
Also today, Council President Stacy Head introduced an ordinance that would lift the city's restrictions on food trucks, opening more slots for mobile vendor permits allowing vendors to operate near restaurants. The proposal, which will not go to a vote until February at the earliest, has already seen some resistance, as Alex Woodward reported.
Final major news item: City Council members voted 7-0 to approve plans for the Magnolia Marketplace, a major new shopping center planned for South Claiborne at Toledano. The vote came after initial objections from a nearby church. More on the church's specific objections from Danny Monteverde in The Advocate. District B Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell said she was able to broker an agreement between the developers and the church.
"I've had extensive engagement with the applicant," Cantrell said. "I was able to build a consensus."