All Gone

The house next door to ours was burnt out way before we bought our house. It was ruled an arson as I understand and word on the street is the owner had something to do with that but I can’t say for sure. Anyway before we left on vacation a little while ago the house looked like this: before and when we returned it looked like this:After
FEMA were the ones who tore it down even though the damage done to the house had absolutely nothing to do with the hurricane. Should FEMA be doing stuff like this? Who knows. Now the owner of the property is trying to get a permit to put a modular Katrina cottage on the lot. The neighbors are fighting it simply because we all work really hard to keep up our houses and uphold the historical integrity of the area. I know I spend too much time inside with the baby not paying attention to rules and politics and such but I would rather have an empty lot than a modular home next door.

7 Comments so far

  1. gentillygirl on March 29th, 2008 @ 4:12 pm


    I know the owner of the house/lot in question. He’s a good person. The rains from the storm came through the roof and soaked everything inside. My friend is disabled and couldn’t get started right away. Later the house caught fire. He had nothing to do with that: he loves the neighborhood and his place. He was crushed when that happened.

    I haven’t seen the modular plans, but he is trying to make sure the place fits into the rest of the area. (I queried him extensively on this point.)

    BTW- The little neighborhood is near and dear to me also: I lived for a few years at 919 Spain until we bought our Sugar Hill home. Most of the folks I knew back then have since moved on, but the area is still one of my favs.

  2. Rayna (rayna) on March 29th, 2008 @ 8:51 pm

    I only met him once last week when he was walking the lot and he seemed like a nice enough guy to me others don’t think so. It is weird coming into a neighborhood dispute (sort of) in the middle. Since we bought our house after the fire and before the tear down. It is sort of like we were watching from the outside and just recently we have been thrown into the mix. Everyone wants to know what we think of the whole thing and of the people and we are still trying to decide for ourselves.

  3. micah4mayor2010 on March 30th, 2008 @ 4:14 pm

    I know that many of you are concerned with how your neighborhoods will redevelop. However, I don’t believe that you have the right to tell someone else what they can do with their property. They own it, and you don’t. There are a few exceptions. They shouldn’t do things that will pollute or potentially harm others. Besides that, we shouldn’t be holding back progress in any way that it comes.
    As a Libertarian, in my first term I will make it a point to attempt to eliminate most zoning ordinances. We also have to educate citizens that they have no right to infringe upon the property rights of others. This griping and whiny attitude has held New Orleans back from development for too long. We need people to know that New Orleans is an easy and friendly place to live and do business.

  4. Rayna (rayna) on March 30th, 2008 @ 9:14 pm

    I guess my biggest concern with all this is, for me and I know others in the neighborhood feel this way, that I don’t really want anything to go up that might pull down the look, historic integrity and in the long run the value of the homes around these modular homes. Are they sound, sturdy structures, will they fit in with the surrounding buildings and are they going to hold their value? As so many homes that are cookie cutter and thrown together too fast just start to fall apart in a few years

  5. Laureen Lentz (no_laureen) on March 31st, 2008 @ 1:12 pm

    Micah is talking out of both sides of his mouth on the issue of property rights. The idea that you can do whatever you want with your property is a complete fallacy of simpletons. There are boundaries which are usually quite clear in every jurisdiction beginning with zoning. Then Michah goes on to say, correctly, "They shouldn’t do things that will pollute or potentially harm others." I believe this is the real problem in New Orleans. Today, we are all are paying for a complete disregard for code enforcement for many years. Many are complete denial about the fact that people own houses they can’t afford to maintain. In time, their value goes down, not up, as the market does.

    The issue of Federal tax dollars cleaning up non-Katrina blight is something that makes many of us angry but at the same time, it’s all a matter of money. If people aren’t ever going to have the cash to fix up or clean up these properties, I guess we have to do whatever it takes to improve the situation that is a cancer throughout our city while we can. Especially because their pieces and parts become missiles in high winds or crack houses, all threats to the immediate area. Our best hope is that something historically correct, modular or otherwise can replace this home and it will once again become a contributing property.

  6. Rayna (rayna) on March 31st, 2008 @ 1:58 pm

    two thumbs up to contributing property!!

  7. lilsis on April 1st, 2008 @ 11:34 pm

    Something very important to keep in mind with all of this is that a modular home more often than not is a better built structure than a site built home. They are built to withstand the travel to the home site, they are built in a quality control environment, this is more than can be said of a site built home.
    Since his home was tore down your concern over whether he builds a site built home or puts a modular on his lot is frivolous. I suggest some research on modular homes. Now not all are wonderfully constructed but neither are site built. The real concern, I do agree, though is maintaining the integrity of the neighborhood. Modular homes are just as customizable as a site built so the only issue is the homeowner’s personal choices in style. Like Laureen’s comment it is just hoping he chooses something historically accurate.

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