Our next meeting will be held at Clouet Gardens (700 block of Clouet), Wednesday, May 3rd, at 7 p.m. We will present the garden minders with a check for $660. This is the “take” from our last general meeting—the Huck-a-Cluck chicken bingo game. The money will go into keeping the garden mowed and generally clean and will also help show HANO, which owns the property, that there is a lot of neighborhood support for keeping it a garden/open-air space that neighbors can, and do, enjoy. 

Please remember to bring chairs and/or blankets, as there will be no seating provided.

We will have representatives from the 5th District give us an update on local crime, something which has been on everybody’s mind. Both the new captain—Jennifer Dupree—and the new lieutenant—Christopher Johnson—plan to attend, so it will give us a chance to welcome them to the 5th District and also get to know them a bit and hear their plans for the district. 

In addition, we are, belatedly, asking you for nominations for the board. At the following meeting—June 7–you will then vote on your choice of board members. To serve on the board, a person must have been a member for at least 3 months, and to nominate a board member, the nominator must have been a member for at least 1 month. Self-nominees are also welcome, provided they have been members for at least 3 months. All nominees must, of course, be willing to serve. During the pandemic, with only zoom meetings, we got very behind on this “housekeeping,” but we will resume regular elections now. You can nominate in person or send in a name, the person’s email, and assurance that they are willing to serve. We are anxious to have new faces on the board. Contact us at info@nfbywater.org

The City Council is still working out the details of their vote on residential short-term rentals; however, in the fall they will also take up commercial STRs, i.e. STRs that are investment properties (i.e. not mom and pop operations) and located in the commercially zoned areas of the city. In Bywater, we are particularly concerned about those located in HMC-1, a zone dedicated to what is supposed to be non-intrusive businesses that will benefit residents. A large number of these areas abut residential properties—  typically they back up to our backyards and particularly affect bedrooms which are usually located at the back of the house. 

On Tuesday, May 9, the City Planning Commission (CPC) will be holding a hearing to get public input on the commercial STRs. The NFB board has voted to ask the CPC to limit them to business zones that currently allow hotels. HMC-1 does NOT allow hotels. 

We urge you to attend the CPC meeting on May 9 at 1:30 in the City Council chambers of City Hall, and if that is not possible to send in a written comment to CPCinfo@nola.gov . The comment must reach the CPC before close of business on Monday, May 1. 

Returning to our next meeting, we will have wine and beer and also a choice of Pizza D pizzas at the meeting. We will also happily accept new members and people who are renewing their membership ($5 in each case). In the unfortunate event of rain, we’ll postpone the meeting until the following Wednesday, but we have our fingers crossed for good weather. 

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Quality of life is good in Bywater, and we think it needs protecting and nurturing. We want to help our neighbors’ voices be heard. We also want to celebrate what we love about our neighborhood. Check out the NEWS page for the latest updates and the MINUTES page to see what we’ve been discussing at our meetings. Be sure to follow us on FACEBOOK too!

Neighbors First for Bywater was started in 2013 by a group of active citizens and friends that felt Bywater needed a new organization to help represent residents and protect the things that make the neighborhood we love unique. Our mission is to preserve the historic architecture and character of the Bywater neighborhood, to promote green space and parks, and to give neighbors a voice in land use, density, zoning and any other issues that affect the quality of life in Bywater. We are in favor of maintaining our current medium density environment, limiting the heights of new construction and controlling changes in zoning that could have a negative impact on immediate neighbors while welcoming development that falls within these guidelines. We encourage you to attend one of our monthly meetings or take a look around our web page to get an idea of what we’re about. You can read about our mission and how we run the organization in the bylaws, read minutes from our meetings, and check out the latest news we feel is important to share. There is also a page with lots of helpful links and useful phone numbers. If you love Bywater we hope you will become a member and get involved!