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||Name redacted at the request of the author
||New Orleans, Louisiana
|Holy Cross Proposed Site - Cabrini Church
||There is no choice here the way your question is posed. Mitigation and avoiding damage to the property is a ludicrous proposition. I ask you: Have you been inside, have you driven in the neighborhood?!? What in heavens name is there to mitigate and save? I live in the "area for potential effect" as you call it in the map on your posting. I do not want mitigation, I want progress and I want it now. Mitigation efforts mean nothing in this case - as I understand - the church will sit dormant if Holy Cross does not move to the site.
I attend neighborhood planning meetings where I hear people make comments like: I will not be back unless Holy Cross moves into the neighborhood. . . . Why would we invest our money in an area with blighted commercial real estate. . . . With Holy Cross, these blighted areas could develop quicker. . . . Without Holy Cross who knows if it will EVER redevelop? UNO is not growing fast enough to reach our corridor.
Regardless of what people say about preserving a church that had problems physically and monetarily prior to Katrina, I wonder what we are saying to the people who are looking at us. Not just residents who have not returned, but the world. We look like idiots to be trying to determine whether a building that at its best is controversially historically important, when you are ignoring one of the oldest areas in the city with hard working, salt of the earth people who want to continue to grow.
I was in Washington D.C. recently in a meeting with Senator Vitter when he met with the students from the area. I inquired about the difficulties he is having getting more money for our area when we have yet to proceed with the money already given to us. Clearly, this is a problem. The lack of ability to move forward in a tangible way - a way that the world can see is an impediment to growth and rational thinking. How on earth do you expect people to have faith enough to move back to a community when they have a choice of living somewhere else in the community?
I think we need to stop looking at this situation in a vacuum. This potential progress is being stymied as a result of a self serving interest that, yes, may have some points; however, this situation is unprecedented. To make regulations and rulings without keeping in mind the actual community could be the lynchpin in a plan that slowly causes the death of a nearly dead community. You cannot rationally expect people to stay in this area when these sorts of decisions are road blocks in the face of progress. We cannot stand by and let this happen.