HDLC issues stiff fine for unpermitted demolition

Header image: 2220 Broadway St.

Deploying a new, stiffer penalty structure for the first time, the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission on Wednesday (Jan. 4) issued a fine of $21,690 for the partial façade removal of the building at 2220 Broadway St. Before voting eight to three in favor of the fine, the HDLC discussed the matter for more than an hour, establishing the circumstances of the case. The fine levied was 25 percent of the maximum allowed by law (set at 15 percent of the structure’s value) but well above the prior ceiling of $10,000. Like all HDLC decisions, it may be appealed to the New Orleans City Council.

The HDLC also maintained the landmark status of the Salvadore D’Antoni house at 7929 Freret St. The owners, who had requested that the property be removed from the city’s list of historic landmarks, were not present. The Preservation Resource Center’s Nathan Lott cautioned that the only grounds for de-listing a landmark property should be a major loss of historic integrity; the commissioners concluded that this was not the case for 7929 Freret St.


Designed by Edward Sporl, 7929 Freret Street is a noteworthy Prairie Style residence first nominated as a local landmark 40 years ago.

The HDLC also denied a demolition request by the city’s Office of Code Enforcement for the blighted shotgun at 815 Third St. HDLC Director Bryan Block explained that the building, while in poor condition, was not in imminent danger of collapse. A representative from Code Enforcement stated that because the owner is deceased, the legal process for seizing and selling the property will likely take more than a year. She said the department is considering a program to clean and stabilize vacant property but does not currently have one in place.

Another privately owned property, at 8829-31 Jeannette St., also was considered for demolition. The owner’s representative said that Code Enforcement had cited the property and encouraged its removal. After HDLC staff reported that remediating the blighted condition through repair also would satisfy Code Enforcement, the commissioners opted to grant only the partial demolition of a rear portion.

To watch the full HDLC meeting, click here:  https://cityofno.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=34

Nathan Lott is PRC’s Policy Research Director and Advocacy Coordinator.


Photo 1: 815 Third St,  Photo 2: 8829-31 Jeannette St.