November 16, 2010
The Board of Zoning Adjustment held two votes on Monday on whether to allow a supportive housing facility planned for Esplanade Avenue to move forward. Both votes were split 3 to 3, effectively stopping the project before a packed house.
The hearing room was filled with vocal supporters and opponents, both sides wearing stickers or buttons. The plan is to redevelop Bethany House, a former nursing home at 2535 Esplanade Avenue, and turn it into a 40-unit apartment complex for low-income workers and formerly homeless people with disabilities. Some local residents, however, have mounted fierce opposition, and brought their voices, and their attorney, to the Zoning Adjustment hearing.
Tensions at the hearing escalated beyond buttons, and the Board’s staff at one point interrupted the proceedings to reprimand audience members for their loud interjections. While the complex’s representatives and supporters pitched the board, comments such as “liar” and “move them to a hospital” could be heard.
Read remainder of the story at Louisana Weekly.