While driving around the City taking photos of houses on the agenda for Mondays demolition hearings, I began to notice that the utilities were cut off BEFORE approval and that the subcontractor was defacing the property by spray painting the initials of the company, AJM.

There were a couple of things that struck me about this house,
1. it was structurally sound
2. it appeared to have been not just stripped of it’s utilities but also the entire old brick sidewalk had been ripped up
3. It is in the Bywater District covered by the Historic District Landmark Commission.
4. It was and never had been on an agenda to be considered for demolition.

I tracked down the owner and he was shocked to find out that the demolition contractors had made the bold and most likely illegal move to disconnect his utilities while he, the owner was preparing the house for renovation.

So what have we here? An eager beaver contractor defacing property and causing more problems than they solve.

Karen Gadbois

Karen Gadbois co-founded The Lens. She now covers New Orleans government issues and writes about land use. With television reporter Lee Zurik she exposed widespread misuse of city recovery funds and led...