“Today’s TP”:http://www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/2008/08/city_mistakenly_demolishes_cou.html

If the demolition of the DeJean house was an isolated act then perhaps the level of anger and frustration would be much less, but months ago a homeowner left this “comment on my blog”:http://www.squanderedheritage.com/homeowner-letter/. You would think the City would educate itself to process and procedure by now.


Several paragraphs from the TP stuck out but these 2 more than others.

So it came as a surprise Friday when Erica DeJan, who is nearly eight months pregnant with her fourth child, found a sticker on the house stating that Mayor Ray Nagin’s administration had declared it a public health threat and planned to tear it down.

She high-tailed it to City Hall, city-issued building permit in hand, and left with a letter stating that code-enforcement officials would consider her objection and, if they still deemed the property a candidate for the wrecking ball, would schedule a public hearing on the matter

There would have never been a public hearing on this matter because the house was outside of any Historic District. This is just another devastating example of the poor information disseminated by City Hall Employees. This issue is not about red tape or the owners fault to notify them she did not want her house torn down. This is the result of people who 1..Don’t care 2.Don’t know what the rules are.


The City should have provided the family with a “public hearing” which would have been more along the lines of a hearing before Code Enforcement and Safety and Permits. This did not happen and leaves many more questions as to the mechanisms at City Hall. If a building permit is pulled it should render the demolition permit inactive. What are the safeguards?

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...