Football fans may like it, but the neighbors aren't so happy. Remember the big new stadium Tulane is building? It's still scheduled to open before the start of the 2014 season, but Vanessa Bolano found some neighbors who are ready for a fight right now.
Signs outside several Uptown homes show some residents fear the new Tulane Stadium. As proposed the 30,000-seat, $60-Million facility will be built on campus in time for the 2014 season, yet attorney Jane Booth hopes to put a big speed bump in their plans.
“We are asking the city council to impose what's called an interim zoning district, which will allow the New Orleans City Planning Commission to study this project so that they can ensure that there is a big foot between the University's plans and the surrounding neighborhood.”
Booth says a 45-year-old law allows Tulane to build without involving the surrounding neighborhood, and now residents will have to deal with a traffic and parking nightmare.
It's why she's representing "Save Our Neighborhoods" an organization led by Maura Sylvester.
“We're not allowed to give a lot of input. We are getting information dictated to us and we're supposed to accept it. I would like more dialogue. I think a lot of people would like more dialogue,” says Sylvester.
Tulane released this statement:
“The new Tulane University Stadium will be a point of pride and economic stimulus for the city of New Orleans and it will be constructed in a manner that will benefit our university, our friends and our neighbors. We recognize that building such an important new structure on our campus must be done in a manner that is sensitive to the needs of multiple groups, including our neighbors.
Tulane has met repeatedly with individual neighbors and with neighborhood associations, and we will continue to do so. We have also met with our elected officials and have listened to ideas and concerns about design, traffic and parking and as a result, made changes to our plans. Tulane has also commissioned a study to ensure that game days will be managed with the least possible impact on our neighbors.
The decision to build an on-campus stadium, to open in the fall of 2014, is another sign of Tulane’s recovery and our deep commitment to the well-being and future of New Orleans.”
Attorney Jane Booth stresses, under the current zoning ordinance, Tulane is only required to have 200 parking spaces for the 30,000 person stadium. Several homeowners around the stadium are so upset they're getting appraisals on their homes and talking about moving. Booth says homes lining the stadium will literally be in its shadow.
For a link to the Save Our Neighborhood petition click here.